Investment Opportunities in Western Greece Outlined in U.S.

25 October, 2006

The investment opportunities in western Greece were outlined during a press conference in New York on Monday by a four-member delegation of the Western Greece Periphery, headed by Ancient Olympia mayor Ioannis Skoularikis.

The delegation is visiting Greece for the Western Greece Periphery's (Achaia, Ileia and Aetoloakarnania prefectures) participation in the World Conference that took place in Atlanta on October 19-20, in which 15 twinned cities from all over the world took part, with Ancient Olympia as the honored city.

Skoularikis said that the Greek delegation's participation focused on issues of tourism development, developmental opportunities, and projection of the Periphery's comparative advantages for future investments, adding that the twinned cities institution was an exceptionally successful institution with its roots in ancient Greece, and which was presently funded by the EU.

The chairman of the Ileia Chamber of Commerce, Angelos Angelopoulos, presented the significant efforts being made in the Western Greece Periphery in recent years for the promotion of exports of olive oil and other products, such as pickles and peppers, which he said were very competitive in the US with respect to corresponding products form Turkey and Egypt, due to a reduction of excise duties by the US.

Equally noteworthy efforts were also being made in the sector of tourism, he said, adding that the Inner Cabinet, chaired by prime minister Costas Karamanlis, had 10 months ago approved a very large tourism investment by American investors on the coast of Pyrgos, Ileia prefecture, which was slated to commence in February 2007.

The director of the Greek National Tourism Organization’s NY office, George Tambakis, stressed the positive results of the Greek participation at the Atlanta world Conference, noting the decisive contribution of tourism to development and quality of life "not only for the sake of financial returns, but also for inter-cultural communication which, in turn, entails a long-term benefit to commercial transactions as well".

Western Greece Periphery Tourism Development Company general director Dimitris Karayannis said that the three prefectures of the Periphery had the advantage of receiving the highest percentage of funding under the new developmental law, nearing 60 percent while, according to a recent GNTO study, 11 of the Periphery's regions were classified as having very large tourism exploitation potential.

He added that only 15 percent of Greece's tourism potential was currently being exploited.

Source: Athens News Agency

(Posting date 14 December 2006)

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