CAIRO: “Greek investments are here to stay and are not going anywhere,” Greek Ambassador to Egypt Chris Lazaris said.
“All projects that were planned before the recent events are still going forward as planned,” he told Daily News Egypt, explaining that Greek companies plan to continue their presence as well as strengthen their investments in Egypt.
Lazaris met recently with Osama Saleh, chairman of the General Authority for Investment (GAFI), and Evangelos Dairetzis, counselor for economic and commercial affairs. The discussion centered on Greece’s commitment in the developments in economic relations and investments between the two countries.
Lazaris explained that there are currently 112 Greek companies in Egypt in various sectors, including Piraeus Bank and Titan Cement, and will be bringing the total number to 113 as early as next month when ARGO Plastics is expected to establish their presence in the country.
The total capital of Greek companies in Egypt is estimated at about €800 million.
“No Greek company intends to leave Egypt, although some of them can be expected to tread carefully in the first few months after the events,” he said.
“It should also be noted that no Greek company actually closed down during the revolution, although some did temporarily send their families to Greece,” he said.
Lazaris added that the staff of the embassy and consulates general of Greece and their families never evacuated in a show of trust and solidarity with the Egyptian people and that no travel warnings were ever issued by Greece during the turmoil.
During the meeting, discussion on ways to increase investments between the two countries and the importance of working together was a main highlight in addition to planning future meetings.
Lazaris noted that the revival of the Greek Egyptian Business Council, which has been dormant since 2008, is expected to take place before the upcoming summer as well as intentions to expand it to the Chamber of Commerce status, planned in partnership by GAFI and the corresponding Greek authority “Invest in Greece” in Egypt.
A visit near the end of May is also expected by the Confederation of Greek Industrialists in an effort to look at further investments.
“The Egyptian market remains very much in the eye of this embassy and of Greek businessmen,” said Lazaris.
“Queries arriving at our embassy’s Trade Mission concern mainly energy and energy materials conveyance, maritime and land transportation, health equipment, water management and irrigation, waste water management, management and recycling of solid waste, renewable energy materials, high technology system parts and so on,” he added.
In terms of attracting Greek investors to the country, Lazaris said, “We don’t have to attract our investors, the Egyptians do, but we are remaining beside them.”
Lazaris also said that they are currently discussing plans for the second half of the year and beyond and are excited for the future in this country.