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Mouthpiece Minister of Foreign Matters Kostas Fragogiannis’ speech in the Greek – Japanese Company Forum (Tokyo, 31. 01. 2023)

Ladies and gentlemen,
Greece and our nationwide economy is finally moving towards a more sustainable route for growth. The continuous upgrades of the country’s credit score by the major credit rating organizations, as well as the recent 7-year, 10-year & 15-year bond problems – all successful – confirm that our country is certainly moving towards self-sufficiency plus market-based funding. The go back to economic growth in 2021, coupled with the inflows associated with substantial European funds via “Greece 2 . 0” Recuperation Plan and the large amount of empty capital capacity, offer substantial scope for the revival of private investment.
In this lighting, we call upon Japanese companies wishing to invest in Greece in order to profit from the relevant opportunities. I would like to personally invite Western businessmen to show their desire for the Greek market, where there are opportunities for suitable partners and profitable endeavors.
The importance attached by both sides to their maritime sector is easily shown on the steady and high-level presence of Japan in the annual Maritime Exhibition “Poseidonia” held in our biggest port, Pireas.
Ladies and men,
Distinguished members of the 2 Delegations, Ladies and gentlemen,
A sincere thanks to the people who worked hard to prepare today’s Community forum and my best wishes for any successful and fruitful exchange of thoughts and plans and initiation of potential partnerships.
It is evident that this exchange of business delegations, within such a short time of time, underlines both the attention of our countries in furthering our economic and industry relations as well as the existing possible in the field.
Greece and Japan share a long history of assistance as bonds of a friendly relationship, common values and principles have helped us create an honest partnership. This partnership was given new impetus in 2022, with the high-level trips to Japan of the Ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) of Foreign Affairs Mr. Dendias, in April and the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Varvitsiotis, within September.
Regarding tourism, we look forward to further promoting cooperation in specific forms of tourism, taking into consideration the particular preferences of the Japanese people. To this end we pleasant the Memorandum of Cooperation on Tourism we just signed during our visit here in Tokyo and we look ahead to a fruitful cooperation. And I think, we also agree how the reinstatement of direct flights between Greece and The japanese is a priority, as it will not only facilitate the two way circulation of tourists, but will also boost economic and business cooperation.
Distinguished members of the two delegations,
I would like to conclude our short welcome by conveying optimism that this visit will certainly contribute significantly to the building up of our cooperation and lead to the forging of a more powerful and lasting partnership, adding to the long-term bonds associated with honest friendship among our peoples.
Within 2021, our bilateral business volume reached 416 million €, growing by 15% within the first 9 months of 2022. This boost is indicative of the optimistic prospects in our commercial cooperation. Especially after the signing of the EU – Japan Free of charge Trade Agreement (FTA), which guarantees Japanese companies’ unhindered access to the European market,   we expect the particular bilateral economic and industry relations in the coming many years to flourish. In this light, we consider the Greek participation in the Osaka 2025 Planet EXPO an ideal opportunity to advertise our economic cooperation.
Furthermore, as prominent maritime states, Greece and Japan are developing substantial links. The cooperation involving the Greek shipping community and the Japanese shipbuilding industry units a great example thereof. Considering that Greek ship-owners have tested their trust in the Japanese shipyards for more than 70 many years, we expect Japanese shipbuilders to increase their interest toward Greek shipping equipment producers.
Appreciate it.
Because it is true, that will despite the unfavorable – to put it lightly – global economic environment, because of the ongoing conflict in between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the ensuing rising energy prices, supply disruptions and higher inflation, Greece’s economy is certainly sending out a message of optimism and hope.
In terms of investment, Greece is currently an appealing country for investment in a variety of sectors, namely logistics, transport, real estate, tourism, agri-food, power, pharmaceuticals. Our focus would be to make the best use of the equipment offered by the EU Recuperation and Resilience Fund, while our New Development Legislation provides for a series of incentives. The particular National Recovery and Strength Plan «Greece 2 . 0» allows for co-financing (with Western european Institutions such as the European Investment decision Bank, EIB and the Western Bank for Reconstruction and Development, EBRD) of investment loans on innovation, eco-friendly economy and digital changeover.
Recognized members of the two Delegations,
I am incredibly happy and greatly honored to address today’s Greek-Japanese Business Forum being held here in Tokyo, almost three months after the fruitful visit in Athens of the high-level delegation of KEIDANREN, and the numerous connections between Greek and Japan businesses that took place then.
We are also very proud – I must admit – to be provided the opportunity to present to you, together with my colleagues at the economic team of the government plus PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis themself, the great news about the Ancient greek economy and the current position of Greece as a reliable, strategic partner and as a stylish investment destination in European countries and Eastern Mediterranean.

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