NEW YORK – An atmosphere of optimism prevailed at the ‘23rd Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum: A New Era – A New Direction for Greece’ which took place as an in-person event only, April 11, at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan. Representatives of the Greek government expressed the belief that the Greek economy will withstand the shocks of the unfavorable international situation, maintaining the achievements of recent years. They are confident the country will continue to move forward given what is reported to be a more attractive investment environment.
Every year, a delegation of senior Greek government officials, led by the Prime Minister, and a group of private sector business leaders update a global audience on the reforms, developments, and outlook of the Greek economy and each of the main sectors, highlighting trends, challenges, and opportunities. Furthermore, a group of international investors and financiers share their insight on Greece as a business and investment destination.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in the videotaped message from the Prime Minister which traditionally opens the conference, gave a brief account of the work done by his government from 2019 until today and expressed his belief that Greece now has the ability to meet all its challenges and opportunities. He did address the individual problems caused by the war in Ukraine and rising inflation, but said he was confident that the Greek economy will respond well.
Mitsotakis emphasized that Greece’s position in the world is very different from where it was three years ago before the New Democracy party came to power, adding that they have proved that the government can overcome great challenges and bring about changes for the better.
Speaking to the media, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras expressed confidence that “Greece has learned the hard way,” adding that “it has learned to implement policies for the benefit of the citizen” and said he has confidence in the newly-formed investment environment.
“The Greek economy is attractive. The data show the attractiveness for investments of our country in recent years, thanks to the implementation of a coherent economic policy…It is based on a prudent fiscal policy, reductions of taxes and social insurance contributions, for the benefit of investments, but also with the implementation of critical structural changes,” said Staikouras.
The Minister of Development, Adonis Georgiadis, echoed the words of Mitsotakis and Staikouras, stating that Greece has shown stability and economic success in the last two years, noting also the importance of Greece having repaid the IMF, which had a positive impact on the international profile of Greece, as did the announcement by the EU’s Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis that Greece will be under less supervision by the summer.
The General Secretary for Public Revenue, George Pitsilis, focused on tax reforms, stating with confidence that expatriates and international investors who want to operate in Greece now have the advantage of tax security. “We are working systematically to provide even more tax security for investments. [Continuing] in this direction we will strengthen the tools we have already developed. We publish our decisions and circulars – they are now all on the internet and everyone can find what they are looking for.” He added that there is a new support center, which they are staffing this year, and stated that, “we will put even more emphasis on international investment.”
Another highlight of the conference was the keynote address of CEO of Pfizer, Dr. Albert Bourla, who brought his welcome view that society will have returned to full normalcy by the end of this year based, on the one hand because of the tools that have been developed, like vaccines and treatments, and on the other hand because of the pressure that people are exerting on governments to lift the pandemic restrictions. Dr. Bourla was received with prolonged applause and words of praise by the speakers who introduced him – including Georgiadis and shipowner Nikolaos Tsakos.
The 2021 Capital Link Hellenic Leadership Award was presented to Alex Fotakidis, Partner, Head of Greece – CVC Capital Partners, for his outstanding contributions to Greece.
For yet another year a special ‘Opening Bell’ ceremony in honor of Greece, titled ‘Greek American Issuer Day’ took place with the participation of high Greek public and private sector officials at the New York Stock Exchange on April 12. Dr. Tsakos and Staikouras rang the Opening Bell and the NYSE flew the Greek flag on Wall Street and issued special commemorative medals to honor the members of the Greek Delegation.
John Tuttle, Vice Chairman and Chief Commercial Officer, Intercontinental Exchange, NYSE, welcomed the Greek Delegation and the listed companies and highlighted the long-standing relationship between the NYSE and the Greek and Greek-American business communities. The U.S. Capital Markets are a major source of capital for a growing number of companies of Greek interest and the NYSE is playing a leading role.
The Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum is held in cooperation with New York Stock Exchange and with the support of Lead Sponsors, CITI, and Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) Ltd. The Forum is an International Summit about Greece hosted in New York, organized in cooperation with the NYSE and major global investment banks. It is the longest running investment forum about Greece abroad, engaged in a systematic effort to promote Greece as a business and investment destination to a global audience.