Amid tight security measures, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras inaugurated the American pavilion at the 83rd International Fair of Thessaloniki (TIF) on Saturday morning in the presence of US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and US Ambassador in Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt.
Speaking at the ceremony, the prime minister made mention of the talk he had with US President Donald Trump during his trip to Washington, pointing out that they agreed on the importance of the US being chosen as the country of honour at the first TIF after the end of the 8-year memorandum era “marking the return of the country to growth and regularity.”
“We are bound by many things. Above all, we are bound by common values, struggles for common values and common goals. We have historic and strong ties, hard work, difficult times, but a constant and steady effort for progress and prosperity”, the Greek PM said.
“Greece can play an important role in a fragile wider region. Greece is a pillar of stability, security, a country that can play a leading role in this era. Your support with your presence here is an important contribution”, he noted.
The US is the honoured country at this year’s annual trade fair, which is estimated to draw 1,500 exhibitors from 20 countries. America is participating with a delegation of 60 companies including tech giants Google, Microsoft, Intel, etc.
“The strategic cooperation between Greece and the USA creates the best basis, setting the foundations of new prospects for Greece and the wider region. A prospect for security, development, peace and stability”, the Greek PM concluded in his brief speech.
Earlier the US Commerce Secretary said the Trade Fair offered real possibilities for both sides. “The TIF offers real possibilities for both sides. This will expand economic ties and economic co-operation between the two countries, “said Mr Ross, who congratulated all US companies on the pavilion.
The official inauguration of the TIF is scheduled to take place at 7.30pm local time with the Greek PM delivering his keynote speech, which is expected to lay out his economic programme believed to include economic relief and provisions for certain sectors of the Greek economy in light of next year’s general elections.