03 April, 2006
Economic cooperation between the United States, Greece and Turkey can constitute a "bridge" between the peoples and cultures of southeastern Europe and the Middle East, opening up new prospects in the investment and development sectors. Furthermore, the strengthening of Greek-Turkish relations is shaping "a new environment" in the broader region, while Greece's economic infiltration in the Balkans is "a unique opportunity" for American investors.
These were the main conclusions drawn from a conference held here late Friday night which was organized by the Association of Graduates of the Business School of New York's Columbia University, with the cooperation of the International Chamber of Commerce (of Greece) and of the Council of Foreign and Economic Relations of Turkey. The conference had as its theme:” Crossroad for investments and cooperation opportunities: Greece, Turkey and the United States".
The conference was addressed, among others, by Greece's Deputy National Economy and Finance Minister Christos Folias, U.S. Ambassador to Athens, Charles Ries, and Greek Ambassador to Washington, Alexandros Mallias.
Deputy economy and finance minister Folias spoke of "new horizons" and "new ideas", noting that "with a spirit of understanding and cooperation," the peoples of Greece and Turkey "will have a better future."
Referring to "the progress of the Greek economy" and to "the new facts," he underlined the "encouraging developments" in the sectors of tourism, throughout the year, and of investments, calling on American investors "to come to our region."
Folias stressed in particular "the enormous economic importance" of the agreements which Greece has signed in the energy sector.
Speaking to reporters later, Folias said the conference was "an excellent initiative for us to discuss the opportunities of investment cooperation between the United States, Greece and Turkey."
To reporters' remarks that efforts were also made in the past for investments in Greece but did not have a significant result, Folias underlined that "many start something but few can complete it, and we are among these few." The deputy finance minister added:"We came here to present what Greece has achieved these past two years, where our country aims for its future and how we see cooperation, of mutual benefit, with the United States of America, with our neighbors, and therefore also with the Turks and how we will be able to promote the interests of our big neighborhood which is southeast Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, the countries of the Black Sea and of north Africa."
Source: Athens News Agency