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Politics

Land of the Rising Money: Mitsotakis Hunts More Investors in Japan (Video)

TOKYO – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ push to get more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Greece to accelerate a faster recovery as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps waning took him to Japan lure businesses and upgrade strategic relations.

In Tokyo, he met Japanese Premier Fumio Kishida  to sign a joint statement of cooperation during a visit that also saw the Greek leader talk to executives of Keidanren, Japan’s national business and industrial associations body.

At the business association Mitsotakis, accompanied by the Greek delegation, was received by Director Toshiaki Higashihara (President and CEO of Hitachi) and noted his was the first visit of a Greek leader to the country since 2005.

He told the audience that Greece is coming back big and, “We’ve been able to implement a series of very important structural reforms which have made Greece a much more interesting and I would dare to say attractive investment destination for foreign capital,” his office said.

“If you look at our public finances, I would dare to argue that we have left the years of the fiscal crisis behind us for good. We have seen the fastest decline in the debt to GDP ratio of all European countries. We are projected to produce a primary surplus in 2023,” he said, also noting that elections are coming in the spring.

“Consider Greece as an investment destination, to the extent that you’re interested in investing in our part of the world. I think it is a combination of three things: a prudent fiscal policy which cut taxes, but without endangering the fiscal discipline of the country, significant reforms on all fronts and the fact that we’ve cleaned up our banking system,” he said.

Mitsotakis noted upgrades by international ratings agencies.

I fully expect that we will reach investment grade within 2023, and that will open up new possibilities also for Japanese capital to be redeployed in Greece over the next years,” he said.

“Our countries significantly upgrade their strategic relations and we inaugurate a field of close cooperation over a range of different sectors of policy: political, economic, climate, digital education, culture and tourism,” Mitsotakis said.

Mitsotakis said the two countries could give a new impetus to their bilateral relations after nearly two decades, while highlighting the similarities between them and their agreement “on particularly important global and regional issues”.

He said the meeting showed opportunities  between Japan, the third-largest economy in the world and Greece “which is emerging as a reliable and very stable investment destination and trading partner,” said Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency AMNA.

The leaders said in a joint statement  that they recognized the importance of strengthening NATO engagement in the Indo-Pacific region and of further promoting NATO cooperation with Japan.

The recognition came as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Tokyo on Monday after a visit in South Korea, where he called for Seoul to provide direct military support to Ukraine, the defense alliance not directly.

Kishida and Mitsotakis said they emphasized the importance of the two maritime nations working together to ensure free and safe navigation in open waterways, and agreed that Japanese Coast Guard training vessels will call in Greece to enhance their communications and cooperation.

 

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

 

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