HomeGreeceDeputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis’...

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis’ interview with “PARON” newspaper (26.06.2022)

I will address all this in Serres, in Ioannina and at the local chambers of commerce that I will be visiting in the coming period. And I hope to attract even more allies in our endeavour to strengthen the Greek economy’s extroversion.
The most obvious answer is that it is of concern to all because it contributes to the overall effort to modernize the Greek economy and improve the country’s production model, the effort to encourage and support entrepreneurship, the effort to capitalize on one of the country’s key comparative advantages, its human capital.
One may reasonably ask, what is the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness doing in the Greek periphery? How do these visits boost Greece’s international economic relations? What is the added value of a speech at a regional chamber of commerce and in the end, why should economic diplomacy be of concern to members of regional chambers and to us all?
And it is true that, despite the unfavourable global economic environment and recurrent global crises, our efforts are bearing fruit, with indicators reflecting that the Greek economy is on the right track. These indicators include exports and investment as a percentage of GDP, with their increase being a primary objective of economic diplomacy. In fact, according to the annual National Strategic Plan for Extroversion for 2022, these targets are aimed at increasing Foreign Direct Investment to 4% of GDP (compared to 1.8% in 2019) and exports to 48% of GDP by 2023 (compared to 37% in 2018).
In today’s world, internationalization of enterprises – their activity beyond national borders – and promotion of domestic products in international markets is a key factor for corporate viability and for increasing their competitive advantage.
Why economic diplomacy concerns us all
The less obvious, but more meaningful answer is that it is important for all of us to understand the developments and trends of our times. A strong such trend is that economic diplomacy is a driver of economic growth, prosperity and political stability. It is therefore critical that we understand its function and role in order to make good use of the tools and opportunities it offers for our individual and collective benefit. And it is our political responsibility, as government, to ensure that citizens understand, embrace, integrate and capitalize on global trends and developments for both their individual and collective benefit.
The Economic Diplomacy leadership, we are here to facilitate and support this process of internationalization of Greek enterprises throughout the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ political leadership and its services in Greece and abroad as well as the specialized staff of Economic and Commercial Affairs, Enterprise Greece and the Greek export credit company, Export Credit Greece, are by the side of Greek entrepreneurs.
We seek to inspire them with our vision so that they develop new products and services; to persuade them of the necessity to expand their contacts and partnerships with companies in their sector abroad as well as to strengthen their presence in international exhibitions; to urge them to enter new markets where Greek products will be attractive and competitive; to encourage them with our policies to adopt innovative solutions for their operations that will enhance output and improve product quality; to provide them with incentives to invest in green energy, which is a strategic goal of the country with a multifaceted environmental, geostrategic, social and tourism footprint.
I will be in Serres and Ioannina in the coming days, following an intensive two-month schedule of visits and international contacts in the Balkans, Northern Europe, US and the Middle East, to promote the country’s economic diplomacy objectives.

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