16 September, 2008
More than fifty farmers, businesses, entrepreneurs and agencies presented their innovative actions at a conference entitled: "Agricultural Entrepreneurship: Greek Products and Cutting-edge Technology” organised by the Foreign Ministry in association with the Ministry of Rural Development and Food at the Foreign Ministry’s “Y. Kranidiotis” amphitheatre.
This conference followed the “Green Entrepreneurship” conference, which was successfully organised last July aiming at taking stock of innovative Greek ideas and products, expanding opportunities for Greek agricultural produce on international markets, expanding the field available for cooperation and funding, and mobilising competent officials.
The conclusions of the conference "Agricultural entrepreneurship: Greek Products and Cutting-edge technology” will become a tool for the international promotion of Greek products, applications and technologies through economic diplomacy actions.
Our objective is to promote You. Modern Greece. Creative Greece. Because the government of Kostas Karamanlis and all of us are interested in the agricultural community and the country our children will inherit,” pointed out Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Petros Doukas and repeated that economic diplomacy is very high on the Greek foreign policy’s agenda.
We would like to mobilise our Embassies, our ambassadors, our economic diplomats to promote products sourced in Greece, produced by Greek farmers, by the Greek foodstuffs industry. At the same time, we want foreign ambassadors to be able to convey the Greek farming community’s dynamism and capabilities. It is a great opportunity for those who take part in today’s conference to get to know each other, exchange ideas, develop synergies, knowing that if we - Greeks – don’t act, somebody else will take our place. Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Petros Doukas said: “We want to help small, medium and big enterprises.
The issue of rural development is a constant challenge, which is becoming even greater if we take into account that we live in an environment of a generalised economic crisis, and it is for this reason that Greece has to be at the forefront of developments. Greece’s answer has to be loud and continuous. We want to take part in this new scene – and why not – become a key player.”
Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation Mr. Theodore Skylakakis stressed that Greek agricultural entrepreneurship can evolve into a strong exporting force by making the most of experiences gained thanks to the sector’s long-standing exporting tradition and by promoting the high quality and nutritional value our products offer.
“For its part, the Foreign Ministry helps support agricultural entrepreneurship with a series of actions such as business missions, synergies with sectoral agencies, and market researches carried out by our Economic and Commercial Affairs Bureaus abroad.
In particular, business missions organised by the Foreign Ministry include representatives from the agricultural sector – following a targeted selection – based on each market’s needs and preferences,” pointed out Mr. T. Skylakakis.
He also mentioned the new services provided by the Foreign Ministry to all businesspeople interested in exporting their products: the new modern interactive portal of the Secretariat General for International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation (www.agora.mfa.gr), which provides information from the Foreign Ministry’s central services and Economic and Commercial Affairs Bureaus to any interested party in countries where there are such Bureaus. Direct information is also given by newsletter on various topics and at zero cost to those interested to use these services.
Secretary General for Agricultural Policy and International Affairs of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, Mr. C. Afgoulas mentioned the Ministry’s strategy for rural development, which - among other things - is aimed at the modernisation of Greek farming, the production of high-quality products with high added value, opening of new markets, increasing agricultural produce exports and raising the income of Greek farmers.
Mr. Afgoulas stressed: "Our development vision for sustainable rural development is included in the 4th Programming Period and it is being implemented through actions under the Rural Development Programme “Alexandros Baltatzis” 2007-2013. By aiming at increasing the value of agricultural and forestry products we support investments in upgrading and modernising the processing industry and the trade in agricultural produce.”