Dimitrios Mardas, Greece’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, used today’s Korean-Hellenic Maritime Cooperation Forum to invite Korean investment in his country and vowed to boost exports of Greek equipment to the Asian nation.
Greece has a $1.2bn trade deficit with South Korea, which it will aim to balance out by increasing exports of Greek food products and shipbuilding equipment to Korea, Mardas said, seeing as Greek shipowning companies are “one of the best clients to shipbuilding industry in Korea”.
“Korea pays too much attention to Romania and Turkey, but there is an interesting space in Greece [for foreign investment],” Mardas told the forum, held in Athens as part of Posidonia.
“Greece is an interesting place for foreign business activities, even in areas where we have many small enterprises, which are very productive and they are developed in many areas,” he continued.
“In this context, probably some system can be developed between the big firms of Korea and the small firms in Greece.”
A business delegation will visit South Korea before the end of this year with the aim of signing a trade agreement, Mardas said. Greece has also been promoting its tourism industry within Korea.
The government aims to turn Greece into a “logistics hub” and has earmarked the northern Greek ports of Alexandroupoli, Kavala and Thessaloniki for privatisation, which Mardas said could be interesting for foreign investors. A majority stake in Pireaus Port Authority was sold to China’s Cosco earlier this year.
A new LNG terminal is to be built at Alexandroupoli, where the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) gas pipeline (IGB) will terminate once constructed. Companies from Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, Azerbaijan and the US have already shown interest in bidding in the terminal’s tender.