29 June, 2007
The next economic miracle will be the economic integration of Southeastern Europe, Greece's national economy and finance minister George Alogoskoufis said Friday, during a presentation of the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (BSTIP) held at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA).
Alogoskoufis said that the development of the region was of particularly importance for Greece, also, noting that Greece has contributed in that direction with its own extroversion, with Greek investments in the region having reached 15 billion euro and directly or indirectly creating 200,000 jobs.
He said that a central axis of the economic model imposed by the global economy was the outwardness of the Greek economy, which the government is promoting.
EBEA president Constantine Michalos noted the strong presence of Greek businesses in the wider region, adding that Greece was among the top investors in the Balkans.
Greece, he elaborated, was the largest investor in Serbia and Albania, the second largest investor in Bulgaria, and the third largest investor in Romania, while it also had intense business activity on the Turkish market as well.
Through the Programme, he added, emphasis would be placed on further activation of the Greek enterprises in the development of collaborations and exchanges of knowhow.
The UNDP is the United Nations' most significant programme dealing with development issues, and focuses on actions in developing countries.
The aim of the programme is to reduce poverty at global level, chiefly through the materialisation of "countries' development programmes" that cover a wide range of activities in developing countries.
The programme's overall annual budget is 4.8 billion euro, and it is active in 166 countries.
Greece was a recipient country up until 1986, receiving aid in the form of funding, knowhow, seminar organisation, etc., while in 1987 it became a donor country and has since them been contributing annually to the UNDP budget.
On December 6, 2006, Greece, represented by Alogoskoufis, and the UNDP's regional director for Europe signed an agreement for the promotion of trade and investments in the Black Sea region (BSTIP), which provides for the co-financing by Greece, Turkey and the UNDP aimed at the development of the private sector and particularly the reinforcement of SMEs.
Source: Athens News Agency