The close trade and investment ties between Europe and Africa are of great importance to Greece as a Mediterranean country, Secretary General of International Economic Relations and Extroversion (Foreign Affairs Ministry) Ioannis Smyrlis said at the Informal Council of the Trade Ministers of the European Union (Foreign Affairs Council – Trade) in Marseilles on Monday.
Smyrlis, who is also head of Greece’s export agency Enterprise Greece, is attending the Feb. 13-14 meeting ahead of the EU-African Union Summit on February 17-18, held by the French presidency of the Council of the EU.
Among other issues Smyrlis raised at the council was the protection of Greek protected designation of origin (PDO) products in Africa such as feta, according to diplomatic sources. EU Commission Executive Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said the Commission would seek improved protection terms for the Greek product in South Africa.
On Sunday, and as part of the works, Smyrlis attended a working dinner with World Trade Organization Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala