GREECE.BALKANS.USA: BUSINESS CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
MICHAEL G. PAPAIOANNOU, EDITOR
HERMES EXPO INTERNATIONAL 2002
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL SEMINAR
APRIL 6-7, 2002
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
Michael G. Papaioannou
PART I: GREECE: A VALUABLE ALLY, PARTNER, AND THE FRONTIER
FOR PEACE, SECURITY, AND CONTINUING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
FOR EUROPE AND AMERICA
1. US-GREECE BUSINESS COOPERATION: ISSUES, STRATEGIES, AND
Michael G. Papaioannou
2. USA-GREECE-SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE: PEACE INITIATIVES AND
Thomas J. Miller
3. POLITICAL ASPECTS OF THE U.S.-GREECE RELATIONSHIP: PEACE AND
SECURITY IN THE REGION
4. ADVENTURES IN CAPITALISM: THE CASE OF GREECE
5. GREECE.S RELEVANCE IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Dean C. Lomis
II. USA-GREECE-SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE: CHALLENGES AND
PROSPECTS OF BUSINESS AND CULTURAL COOPERATION IN VIEW OF
THE ATHENS 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES.
6. GREECE IN THE EURO: CURRENT CONDITIONS AND NEW PROSPECTS
Anastasios T. Papathanasis
7. GREECE IN 2002: COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES
Stavros T. Stavridis
8. SMALL BUSINESS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE
9. GREECE: AN EMERGING ENTREPRENEURIAL PARTNER AND AN
INCUBATOR FOR GROWTH IN THE BALKANS AND BEYOND
Phillip M. Kafarakis
10. INVESTING IN GREECE: ADVANTAGES, CHALLENGES, AND PROSPECTS
Michael G. Papaioannou
11. GREECE, EUROPE, AND THE EURO
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS
Journalist, Chief of Economic Reportage for Antenna Television
Former Business and Software Engineering Consultant for IBM
Member, US House of Representatives (R-FL)
Phillip M. Kafarakis
Chairman and CEO, Odyssey Commerce Group
Dean C. Lomis
Professor Emeritus of Communications and Greek, University of Delaware
Thomas J. Miller
United States Ambassador to Greece
Michael G. Papaioannou (editor)
Senior Economist, International Monetary Fund
Anastasios T. Papathanasis
Professor of Economics, Central Connecticut State University
Regional Administrator, US Small Business Administration
Stavros T. Stavridis
Member, Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Thessaloniki
As the largest trade event for the Greek American marketplace, Hermes Expo
International tries to respond to the fast developing needs of the global economy. Hermes
Expo focuses on seeking ways to tighter integrate trade and investment between the
United States, Greece, and southeastern Europe. As part of this effort, Hermes Expo
organizes annually trade shows and exhibitions and presents, in parallel, practical
seminars on mutual promotion of business relations and economic cooperation. These
events are at the core of Hermes Expo.s goals.
The broad goals of Hermes can be summarized as (1) promotion of trade relations
between Greece, southeastern Europe and the Americas; (2) exploration of investment
opportunities in Greece and the southeastern European region; and (3) development of
business and government networking between Greece and the rest of Europe and the
United States. Active pursuit of these goals has succeeded in making Hermes Expo a
moving force and catalyst behind the unity of the Greek-American business community,
a critical means of strengthening US-Greek trade relations, and a contributing factor in
the creation of a climate of closer communication and understanding between Greece and
Greeks living abroad.
The 2002 Hermes Expo International seminars featured two main topics: .Greece: A
Valuable Ally, Partner, and the Frontier for Peace, Security, and Continuing Economic
Development for Europe and America. and .USA-Greece-Southeastern Europe:
Challenges and Prospects of Business and Cultural Cooperation in View of the Athens
2004 Olympic Games.. The titles of these seminars are indicative of the importance of
the issues that Hermes thinks pertinent for the understanding and further development of
US business activities in Greece and the Balkans. We are grateful to the distinguished
speakers from the world of business, politics, and the mass media, who made these
seminars a great success.
I am pleased that Hermes Expo International held these important seminars and brought
forth the subsequent proceedings on these critical topics. My congratulations and thanks
to Dr. Michael G. Papaioannou for his initiative and hard work in organizing and
moderating the seminars. His contributions have added immensely to this volume and to
the deeper understanding of the risks and rewards in doing business in Greece.
Founder and President
Hermes Expo International
The strategic importance of Greece for the stability and economic development of
southeastern Europe has widely been recognized by both American and European
leaders. Greece.s leading role in such an endeavor stems from its geographic location, its
open political and economic systems, and its membership in the European Economic and
Monetary Union. The promotion of trade and investment relations in the Balkans through
Greece has been suggested as one of the most effective means to further enhance the
viability of peace and prosperity in the region.
Assessment of the major challenges and opportunities in fostering trade and investment
relations between the US and Greece is an issue of paramount significance for politicians,
businessmen and international investors. The 2002 Hermes Expo seminars, held April 6 –
7, 2002, gathered prominent diplomats, politicians, businessmen, and scholars of
government and international finance to examine the current status and future direction of
international trade and investment in Greece and to analyze the potential role of such
business involvement as a stabilizing force in the Balkans.
The seminars were designed to be international in perspective and comprehensive in
coverage. Each speaker was asked to make a presentation on one topic within the broad
two themes, that not only would address the latest developments but would also provide
insights into specific emerging issues within the chosen topic. Much of this volume is a
collection of articles presented at those seminars. It gathers ten significant articles,
including the keynote presentation by Ambassador Miller. This volume is a contribution
to the understanding of the political and economic aspects of the current setting in Greece
and of the potential regional implications of conducting international business in Greece.
A number of people were instrumental in the success of the seminars and of this book. I
thank the founder of Hermes Expo International, Paul Kotrotsios, for providing a forum
for these seminars and for his strong support in selecting the topics; I also thank
Christopher Morris for his highly effective copy editing and assistance with the
preparation of the manuscript.
Michael G. Papaioannou
GREECE: A VALUABLE ALLY, PARTNER, AND THE
FRONTIER FOR PEACE, SECURITY, AND CONTINUING
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR EUROPE AND
1. US-Greece Business Cooperation: Issues, Strategies, and
Michael G. Papaioannou
The title of this volume of proceedings reflects the main themes of the two seminars
organized under the auspices of the 2002 Hermes Expo International on April 6-7, 2002.
The presentations by leading American and Greek experts on diplomatic, political and
business issues offer a very lucid exposition of the current conditions for doing business
in Greece, the opportunities and challenges that foreign entrepreneurs and investors face
in their dealings in Greece, and the future prospects of strengthening the business
collaboration between Greece and the US. They focus on trade and investment relations,
with an emphasis on the advantages of Greece.s membership in the European Economic
and Monetary Union (EMU) and the opportunities to be tapped in view of the 2004
Olympic Games. Furthermore, they examine the synergies arising from a closer
cooperation between the US, Greece and the Balkans, and the role of Greece in fostering
regional economic and political cooperation and stability. Accordingly, the book is
divided into two parts, each containing revised forms of the articles presented in the
Part I of the book is entitled .Greece: A Valuable Ally, Partner, and the Frontier for
Peace, Security, and Continuing Economic Development for Europe and America.. It
begins with the present article which serves as an introduction to the topics of trade and
investment promotion between the United States and Greece, as well as their broader
implications. Immediately following this article, we begin with a .big picture. analysis
by Thomas J. Miller, US Ambassador to Greece, of the role of Greece in promoting peace
and economic prosperity initiatives for the Balkans. He stresses the envisaged difficulties
and main impediments along the way, and the need for improvement of trade and
investment links between the United States and Greece for executing these initiatives.
This is followed by an overview by US Congressman Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) of the
current international environment, the problem of terrorism in light of the events of
September 11, 2001, and Greece.s understanding and cooperation in combating this
adversity in its preparations for the 2004 Olympics.
Then, John Alexiou, business consultant, presents a variety of paradigms for assessing
capitalism in the context of a modern democracy. He draws inspiration from the views
expressed by modern western scholars and politicians for his thesis of advancement
through industrial progress, structural reforms, and cooperation between universities and
industry. Finally, Dean C. Lomis, professor emeritus of the University of Delaware,
offers an assessment of Greece.s democratic credentials and its consistent record as a
reliable ally of Europe and the US. He focuses on issues relating to the unique political,
cultural and economic characteristics of Greece, including its traditionally close
association with the Middle East and Africa, and on the strategic considerations with
regard to Greece.s commercial and investment relations with its neighbors.
Part II addresses general and specific issues relating to .USA-Greece-Southeastern
Europe: Challenges and Prospects of Business and Cultural Cooperation in View of the
Athens 2004 Olympic Games.. In the first piece, Anastasios T. Papathanasis, professor of
economics at Central Connecticut State University, analyzes some recent vital statistics
of the Greek economy, including data on sectoral growth and fiscal accounts, which show
that Greece is a dynamic member of the EMU. He also discusses issues relating to
investment opportunities, especially in the energy sector. In the second piece, Stavros T.
Stavridis, of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Thessaloniki, assesses Greece.s
political and business environment by highlighting recently implemented policies and
available statistical evidence; discusses Greece.s comparative advantages, including its
role in the regional development of the Balkans; and stresses that Greece offers the
advantage of established avenues for reaching the target market, which is imperative for
the survival and profitability of businesses in today.s competitive global setting. Next,
Michael Pappas, regional administrator for the US Small Business Administration,
addresses the role of small businesses in international trade, discusses recent US
initiatives to stimulate small business formation, and explores the investment potentials
for growth in America.
This is followed by an article by Phillip Kafarakis, Chairman and CEO of Odyssey
Commerce Group, on Greece.s entrepreneurial resourcefulness, business initiatives
already undertaken in Eastern Europe and government policies facilitating such activities.
He emphasizes Greece.s geopolitical location for initiating trade and investment relations
in the Balkans, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Middle East and Northern
Africa. As an EMU member, Greece can become a major trade hub for neighboring
countries and for the broader region. Then, Michael G. Papaioannou, senior economist at
the IMF, provides a simple framework of analysis of the impact of institutions on
economic growth and assesses the importance of structural constraints in undertaking
foreign investment initiatives. He emphasizes the potential of increased investment
opportunities in light of Greece.s membership in the EMU and the 2004 Olympics, and
discusses the prospects of a sustained US-Greek cooperation in trade and investment
activities. Lastly, George Aftias, chief of economic reportage for Antenna Television,
discusses the beneficial effects for Greece from its participation in the euro zone both in
terms of attaining economic stability and promoting trade and investment relations. He
further stresses the broad requirements for being in a currency union, and outlines the
bright prospects of the major western economies.
In today.s world of intense globalization, business enterprises should try to enhance their
competitive edge and expand in markets with the most potential. Notwithstanding the
risks entailed, the Greek economy offers substantial growth potential and strategic
benefits for US firms. These benefits accrue from Greece.s membership in the EMU, its
strategic location in the southeastern Europe, and the opportunities arising from the
upcoming 2004 Olympic Games. The US government should continue to be alert to the
opportunities afforded by Greece.s positive and normative political and economic
advantages as it seeks to develop peace and prosperity in the Balkans. Accordingly, US
private entrepreneurial initiatives could also be encouraged and assisted by US
government policies as a means to stability in the region.
2. USA-Greece-Southeastern Europe: Peace Initiatives and
Thomas J. Miller
Thank you for inviting me to speak this morning at your seminar.
I understand from Paul that the Hermes Expo is the largest trade event for the Greek
American marketplace. I don’t have to tell all of you how important international trade
and investment are to the globalizing marketplace. I think it’s important that events like
this be successful and productive.
First and foremost, I want you to know that I am 100% committed to helping American
companies invest and do business in Greece. It is one of my top priorities as the US
Ambassador there. I was previously the US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina and I
have been active in the region as a US diplomat for about 17 years. If you have any
questions about doing business in the Balkans, please feel free to ask, today or any
time.you can contact my office at the American Embassy in Athens. I will do my best
to answer any questions I can.or offer the best advice I can. I don.t always have the
answers, but maybe I can provide some insight from my experience.
Given where I was and where I am now, I have a few things to say about economic
development in Greece and in the Balkans, and about what role the United States has to
play in all of this.
Greece has said for a long time that it is the economic engine for the Balkans. The fact
that Greece is committing nearly a billion dollars in assistance for the Balkans says a lot
about where it thinks it is best to spend its money. Its current economic reforms also
make it a likely candidate to play a greater leadership role in southeastern Europe.
Greece, under the conditions of their EMU membership, has made significant
improvements. For example, inflation is down from 25% in the 1980s to about 3.4%–the
EU average. The government deficit as a percentage of GDP is now less that 1 percent,
and the size of the public debt is within EU targets. Economic growth in Greece is near
4%–the most robust in Europe. All of this means that Greece has the potential to succeed
and stay the course as a leader in southeastern Europe.
Thessaloniki in particular is becoming the commercial hub of trade in the Balkans. Its
geographic location coupled with Greece’s commitment to economic development in the
region makes it an ideal candidate to be the center of trade in southeastern Europe. Many
businessmen are already using northern Greece as a base for expansion northward.
Greece’s relations with other countries of the region also play an important role in their
ability to act as a leader in the area. These relationships are not only a catalyst for
economic cooperation but also provide Greece the ability to guide these states towards
solid democratic principles.
The United States, the European Union and the international community are all
committed to building solid and long lasting democratization. We hope for shared
standards of human rights; we hope to open borders to trade and investment; and we hope
to create a better standard of living for the people of southeastern Europe. The key is to
make peace and prosperity durable and war unthinkable.
What we know is that without peace, stability, and democracy, the region cannot
successfully transform and integrate into Europe and the international community. We
must fight against organized crime, corruption, and trafficking in human beings. Through
regional and other initiatives, we can make the rule of law a part of society. What we
recognize, as governments, is that without the rule of law, trade and investment cannot
translate into prosperity.
Initiatives like SECI, the Stability Pact, and SEDM are key to southeastern Europe’s
ability to function with the rule of law and create stable governments that respect
SECI, the Southeast European Cooperation Initiative, initiated by the US, is dedicated to
enhancing regional cooperation, and thus stability in the region. It does this by
encouraging cooperative and trans-boundary solutions to economic and environmental
problems. By improving information exchange and encouraging multi-state programs
SECI is able to address the developmental aspects of the region. An example of a SECI
initiative is the SECI anti-crime center in Bucharest, which helps to fight threats to
regional security and prosperity.
The Stability Pact, initiated by the EU, is another serious attempt by the international
community to prevent conflict in the area and promote stability. More than 40 countries
belong to the Pact, which seeks to build cooperation and democracy rather than further
conflict and ethnic cleansing. Their efforts are to stabilize, transform, and eventually
integrate the region into the European and transatlantic mainstream.
SEDM, the Southeastern European Defense Ministerial, is a ministerial open to all
southeastern European nations.with hopes of making all Balkan nations members. It is
a group of Defense Ministers from several Balkan nations that operate with guidance
from the US and NATO towards creating a Multinational Peacekeeping Force
Southeastern Europe (MPFSEE), a joint military headquarters, and a political military
steering committee. By cooperating together, Balkan nations work together to assume
collective responsibility for the region, its growth, and especially its security.
Ten or fifteen years ago when one talked about the Balkans, one talked about war and
economic disaster. Now, I won’t say that things are perfect in the region but there is
certainly improvement. Through initiatives and support for growth, these countries are
forging ahead. It is not only about trade and investment; as we all know, it is about what
you need for trade and commerce to work. The institutional underpinnings must be
reliable for investment to work and for business to be conducted without severe
The bottom line is that investors are not social workers. They don’t come in to a country
if there is not a profit to be made. You will put your money and your people in a place
that is going to make you money. I will work to improve the climate.you must work to
make your investment a prosperous one.for everyone.
Greece has a lot to offer in this respect. In the mid 1990s I worked closely with Greece in
establishing one central office where a foreign investor could go.a one stop shopping
sort of idea. I used this same concept in Bosnia. The idea is to create a mechanism that
goes around the bureaucracy instead of getting weighed down in it. McDonald’s in
Greece is a clear example of success using this method. Other countries in southeastern
Europe can look to Greece for successes.and for failures.learning from both.
I understand many of you are invested in or considering investing in Greece and the
Balkans. My advice to you is to keep an open mind, ask questions about the way business
is done, learn from other investors, and utilize the people and organizations in the country
who want you to succeed, including American Embassy personnel and our Foreign
Commercial Service. We want peace and stability in the area.economic prosperity must
be a part of that. The US Government will do all it can to help American businesses be a
part of that transformation.
3. Political Aspects of the US-Greece Relationship: Peace and
Security in the Region
I commend the efforts of Mr. Paul Kotrotsios, Founder and President of Hermes Expo
International in providing this economic trade forum to nurture the ties between the
European Union, Eastern Mediterranean countries and North America. I look forward to
participating in next year.s Hermes Expo!
On September 11, 2001, I, like millions of Americans, watched in horror the news
coverage of the terrorist attacks. The death and destruction brought by the attack is
unfathomable. There is no doubt that this day will long be remembered, and everyone’s
thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives have been forever altered by this tragedy.
I am proud that America responded to this tragedy the way we have responded to past ones
. by coming together and reaching out to one another. On the day of the attack, Americans
rushed to the aid of their fellow Americans without thought of the possible consequences to
themselves. In the days following the attack, thousands of Americans have lined up to
donate blood or provide other assistance to the victims and their families.
Even as we pull together to recover, one thing is perfectly clear: America has never, nor
will it now, yield to terrorism. Those who perpetrated these heinous act should know that
they will never break our spirit or lessen our love for freedom and democracy. Their deeds
have united us and will make us stronger and more resolved to fight for the ideals upon
which this great nation was founded.
Our campaign to rid the world of international terrorism has begun, and we must be
resolute in our conviction. We must be vigilant. We must never forget that freedom must be
constantly guarded. It is a noble but fragile thing that can be stolen or snuffed out if not
protected. We enjoy our freedom only because we have been willing to fight for it.
The terrorist attacks reminded us that freedom comes with a price. Today, American
military personnel are tracking terrorism at its many sources. In the words of President
Bush in his recent State of the Union address, “it is both our responsibility and our
privilege to fight freedom’s fight.”
The Role of Small Business in Security
Small businesses are the engines that power our economy. I think my colleagues who
constantly complain about the evils of, as they say .big business,. might be surprised to
know that small businesses comprise more than ninety-nine percent of all American
employers and create more than three-fourths of the new jobs in our country each year.
Small businesses are also responsible for about 50 percent of our private gross domestic
product. They also produce more than 55 percent of all innovations and generate more
patents per dollar than large businesses.
You and your businesses are the reason for our country.s economic strength and vitality.
You always have been. And you always will be. That.s why my Republican colleagues in
Congress and I have worked to create a pro-growth atmosphere in which you and your
businesses can succeed.
Last year.s terrorist attacks worsened an already slowing economy. I believe it is especially
important for Congress to create an atmosphere for you to succeed because of the leading
role you will play in ensuring our country.s economic security.
Greece and the US Fight for Freedom
Recently, we commemorated the 181st birthday of Greek Independence, the restoration of
democracy to the land of its conception and the triumph of the human spirit and the
strength of man.s will. The goals and values that the people of Greece share with the
people of the United States reaffirm our common democratic heritage.
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the government and people of Greece for
expressing their heartfelt condolences and sympathies to our nation. They have declared
their unconditional and immediate condemnation of the heinous acts of terrorism against
the people of the United States on September 11, 2001.
Greece.s Measures against Domestic Terrorism
Greece has always unequivocally condemned terrorist acts while cooperating with other
governments to stamp out terrorism, more specifically, November 17, the Greek terrorist
Following the recent horrific events in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, the
government and people of Greece, standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States,
reaffirmed their commitment to the international fight against the perpetrators of terrorism
and those that sponsor such barbaric acts.
They also reiterated their determination to further augment their capacity to collect and
utilize information for the purpose of combating terrorism and eliminating its sources of
funding, pledging to cooperate both at the bilateral level, as well as internationally.
Greece, as part of the anti-terrorist international coalition, has:
• provided use of its naval facilities at the Souda bay Naval Base in Crete;
• participated with a 143-man contingent, two C-130 planes with 45 air force personnel
and 84 vehicles and engineering equipment in Afghanistan;
• transferred a surface vessel to a NATO force in the Arabian Sea;
• sent Greek aircrews to serve in NATO AWACS planes which fly missions in the U.S.
Regarding the security of the 2004 Olympic games in Greece
A $600-700 million security plan has been designed for the 2004 Olympics in Athens and
is constantly upgraded. By comparison, about $300 million was spent on security of the
Utah 2002 Winter Olympics.
A seven-country advisory group has been set up with security experts from the U.S., Israel,
Britain, Spain, Australia, France and Germany, who are advising the Greek authorities.
Greek police officers observed and examined the security measures implemented at the
Sydney Olympics and the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
As America confronts one of the most ominous challenges in its history, it is reassuring to
know that we have the unconditional and unequivocal support from good friends such as
Greece. Upholding the ideals of freedom, justice, democracy and human dignity are
treasured values both Americans and Greeks hold dear.
4. Adventures in Capitalism: The Case of Greece
Thank you for the opportunity to present this article at the Hermes Expo International
The English historian Edward Gibbons wrote: .In the end, more than they wanted
freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life and they lost it all–
security, comfort and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society,
but society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from
responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free..
Countries that enjoy enduring success have set high values that remain fixed while
national policy and business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world.
The dynamics of stimulating progress is the reason that countries such as the US, Japan,
and leading EU countries became elite institutions able to renew themselves and achieve
long term performance. Progressive nations understand the difference between what
should never change and what should be open to change. This rare ability to manage
continuity requires the ability to develop a vision. A vision provides guidance about what
to preserve and what progress to stimulate toward the future. Effective visions are
inspiring, challenging, and about excellence. Visions aim at empowering people to
assume responsibility for and control of our own personal and professional destinies. A
vision defines the enduring character of a nation, and helps corporations to grow and to
exploit technological breakthroughs, research, development, and educational progress.
Essentials of Capitalism
Business must be free from government controls to seek opportunities wherever they can
be found. In order to succeed, people must be free from stifling hierarchies and
organizational slots. Free markets need free men and women to create the future. I am not
saying that there should never be government regulations on the private enterprise
system. Both industry and labor need good laws in order to function, and only a
democratic legislative body can provide them. Jefferson said: .A wise government shall
restrain people from injuring one another, and leave them free to regulate their own
pursuits and improvements.. But if people continue to demand more benefits from the
government, they will be insulating themselves from the impacts of economic changes
that create competition and progress. It will lead the public to believe that a centrally
controlled planning system is necessary and desirable. Neither business nor labor seeks
through private market power or government help to reduce the effects of competition.
They invite the danger of permanent central control over the economic system.
Capitalism is a system of values and attitudes, a way of life that permits individual
motivation, excitement, personal freedom and excellence.none of which can flourish in
a centrally planned and controlled system.
John Gardner, a philosopher and educator, said, .A nation is never finished. You can’t
build it and leave it standing as the Pharaohs did the pyramids. It has to be recreated for
each generation.. Every time Greece recreated itself it reached new heights.
Prerequisites of Economic Advancement
Improvements in economic maturity levels must be done in steps. Greece cannot in
practice make use of industrial or scientific progress beyond its own maturity level, nor
can it reach such a state by leaping over maturity levels. Advanced technology and
enterprise management can not be exploited unless we dramatically improve the human
resources that use them.
Managing complex operations demands the best adaptations of proven industrial and
management methods, liberal doses of common sense, and the humility to recognize
fallibility and limitations so that they might be corrected. Greece must renew its human
capital. It should steadily upgrade its human resources with new talent. The next
generation, standing on the shoulders of their predecessors, should establish new heights.
Greek political leaders have for many decades struggled between two incompatible
commitments. One to agricultural productivity, and another to family farms as the major
economic support of the nation. Instead of attempting to develop an industrialized
agriculture.essentially a large scale commercial business.they supported a
government-dependant rural class. Government dependency must give way to the values
of self-sufficiency and responsibility.
In the beginning of the 21st century all of us recognize that we are experiencing changes
more rapidly than in any other time in history. Some are coping very well, others are not.
Countries unable to adapt will remain underdeveloped. Inflexible corporations may not
survive. Successful business are those that evolve rapidly and effectively. Yet innovative
businesses cannot evolve in a vacuum. They must attract resources, capital, partners, and
customers, to create a cooperative network.
Times of transition come with increased opportunity and risk. There are people who are
worried and confused about changes that are thrust upon them. But others show increased
vitality and excitement after experiencing changes. When a chief executive comes to
power he or she will initiate many programs. With good leadership and planning most
will be successful, but a few will fail. Failure may be a case study rich in lessons; it may
be the best teacher. Analyze what went wrong, understand the lessons learned and resolve
not to repeat them. Understanding why certain efforts succeed is as important as knowing
why others fail.
Hellenes must pay close attention to the changes occurring around the world. The greatest
imperative for Hellenes is to establish private research universities like those in the
United States. Such institutions will become partners with industry to educate, advise and
research industrial and economic growth, as they do now in this country and around the
world. They will produce the intellectuals with the technical, managerial and scientific
skills to create profound social and industrial changes.
The uniquely close relationship between universities and industry is one of America’s
greatest advantages as the economic competition between nations intensifies. American
scientific research, based primarily in the universities, is among the best if not the best in
the world. If Hellenic industry can create and tap such a great resource in a timely
fashion, Hellenic economic and industrial competitiveness can be vastly enhanced.
The idea of academic cross-pollination is not new. Many universities trade faculty and
share resources. MIT and Cambridge University have formed a partnership for innovative
education and research and a relationship between universities and industry. an area in
which MIT has experience.
Greeks must continue to improve their strategies to produce industrial and marketplace
gains, chiefly by strengthening and leveraging their unique breadth of people, skills and
technologies. We should also be reminded of the extraordinary resource of Greek
scientists and technologists now living in the US and elsewhere, who can help if given
the opportunity. This is a community of expertise none of Greece’s neighbors can match,
and are trying furiously to replicate.
Researchers must evaluate their work in a realistic setting, to determine if it will be a
success or not. Researchers must not begin to find out what worked for someone else,
attempt to clone it, and use it in a different situation. Each problem should be regarded as
unique. Research should begin with a clear plan for how it will end. Develop things that
can be delivered on time and within budget. Anything else will result in financial loss,
and Greece cannot afford to lose time or money. Research teams must develop industryspecific
solutions, built as “first of a kind” projects and tested directly in industry.
However, establishing small businesses or importing them from the US or EU will not
advance Greece industrially. That will only put a few people to work. Repatriation of
Hellenic scientists and engineers is not the answer either. There is no modern industrial
infrastructure, and existing laboratories have undetermined scientific and commercial
Potential and Prospects
Greece, by entering in the EMU as a full member in 2001, has the opportunity and the
ability to become a major force in the European marketplace. There are no guarantees,
and Greece may prove to be its own worst enemy as it strives to build its industry to the
European standard. We have yet to see whether a country with a stifling bureaucracy
dominated by government-owned public sector companies can nourish the
entrepreneurial spirit seen in Silicon Valley or certain Asian countries. Greece does have
small successful industrial companies, but it remains to be seen whether under
government control it will spawn the kind of industry we see in Germany, Hong Kong or
Greece can achieve overwhelming industrial success in a relatively short period of time
by allowing a totally free-enterprise market-driven economy, privatizing all publicly
owned companies (most of them operate in deficit), and inviting American corporations
to establish businesses. The issue here is not to stay abreast of the latest technological
developments, but to exploit them in order to excel in creating new industry. Retrain the
work force, and make them compete against each other if they are to have any chance at
winning. Employees should be compensated according to their performance,
productivity, and quality of work. We must take charge of our own lives and accept
responsibility for what we are and what we will become, because if we do not shape our
own futures, someone else will.
5. Greece.s Relevance in the Economic Development of the
Dean C. Lomis
This morning.s topic, “Greece: A Faithful Ally and the Frontier for Peace, Security and
Economic Development for Europe and the United States,” is of major significance in the
improvement of commercial and, thereby, political relations between Europe and the
United States, with special emphasis on the Balkans, the republics of the former Soviet
Union, and the Middle East and Africa, due to Greece’s commercial involvement and
investments in all these regions.
Greece’s importance in economic development was recognized soon after the Gulf War of
the early 1990s. On June 7, 1991, Anders Bjork, then-President of the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly, stated:
.Greece can function as a link between the Balkans and the EC (now EU) due to
its geographic position, and its cultural and economic ties with many Balkan
states. Greece is the appropriate country to play this role. The demands are great,
but Greece can play that role..
Greece’s economic importance was reiterated on July 29, 1993, by Emmanuel Lechpre in
the French weekly economic review .La Vie Francaise.:
.Greece is Europe’s bridgehead to the Balkans, Asia Minor and North Africa, and
does not lack for economic opportunities. An analysis notes looming new
prospects for Greece in the Balkans, and that Greek businessmen are already
among the biggest investors in such countries as Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.
New joint businesses are being established continuously with continued
increasing exports to Balkan nations, noting that a drachma zone was being
created in the region..
It must be added that Greek economic involvement and investments have since expanded
to Albania, Poland, Russia and the Ukraine, among others.
At the same time, the United States began to acknowledge Greece’s important role and
position. On December 14, 1993, Andrew Borowiec’s Washington Times article “Greece
may be best US hope for bringing stability to Balkans” announced that:
.Out of the chaos and uncertainty of the Balkans, Greece is emerging as the
Clinton administration’s leading partner in the area.and possibly even its proxy.
. Administration officials are said to be convinced that given the area’s
fragmentation, Greece represents the best available influence for stability.
Washington is viewing Greece as a key element in the Balkan tangle..
All these statements clearly depict Greece’s long-term record of loyalty to Europe and to
the United States, as well as European and US confidence in Greece’s capabilities.
Greece’s vital importance can be summed up as follows:
! Greece is strategically important because of its geographical location as .the key.
of access to and from the Middle East, the Suez Canal, Turkey and the
! Greece is militarily significant even in the post-Cold War era because of its
possession of the Souda Bay naval base in Crete, which (next to Pearl Harbor) is
the finest natural harbor in the world, and is relied upon heavily by the United
! Greece is commercially important because, as an EU member, it serves as a
conduit for American products to the European market in an era in which
American exports are confronted with intense global competition, including
competition from Europe;
! Greece is of investment value because of its proximity to and its excellent
relations and business ventures with the Balkan countries in particular and with
eastern European countries in general;
! Greece is of significant interest because of its long-standing good relations with
and commercial investments in the Middle East and Africa, where American
exports may be introduced and merchandized through Greek commercial houses;
! Greece is politically viable because of its excellent relations with the Arab world
and with African nations; and
! Greece is a true democracy!
In closing, perhaps US Admiral Gene LaRoque, director of the Center for Defense
Information in Washington, put it best when he said on June 22, 1984: “The Greeks have
always been our allies. Always. They certainly have never been a problem for us.
Nothing but cooperative friends.”
CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF BUSINESS AND
CULTURAL COOPERATION IN VIEW OF THE ATHENS
2004 OLYMPIC GAMES
6. Greece in the Euro Zone: Current Conditions and New
Anastasios T. Papathanasis
I. Greece in the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)
Prior to Greece.s joining the EMU in January 2001, a variety of favorable economic and
fiscal trends emerged. As is well known, Greece was accepted into the euro zone only on
its second try, having fallen short of the convergence criteria for entry in 2000. Greece
was able, however, to join the EMU in the beginning of 2001, because the convergence to
European averages and the continuing improvements in several crucial indicators.
Among the most important trends:
• Annual GDP growth increased, from below 2% in 1995 to 3.7% in 2000;
• Public deficits as percentage of GDP decreased, from 10% in 1994 to 1.2% in
• Public debt as percentage of GDP decreased, from 109.3% in 1994 to 103.9% in
II. Contributions to Greece.s GDP growth
A. Notable Sectors: Banking and Finance
Over fifty banks and other financial institutions operate in Greece. About twenty of these
are subsidiaries or branches of foreign banks. At least ten are privately-owned, while the
rest are state-controlled. Three state-controlled banks command about 70% of the
banking sector, with the National Bank of Greece alone claiming a 40% market share.
In very short order, the Greek mobile telecoms market has become one of the most highly
saturated in Europe. While domestic market penetration by 2002 has far surpassed 50%,
Greek mobile telecommunication service providers have expanded across national
borders and are quickly dominating the mobile telecoms market elsewhere in the Balkans
(e.g., Cosmote dominance in Bulgaria).
Growth of the Mobile Telecoms Sector in Greece
1997 1998 1999 2000
Total Subscribers 800,000 2,000,000 2,600,000 2,900,000
Market Penetration Rate 6.0% 10.0% 20.0% 25.0%
New Subscribers 286,591 1,200,000 600,000 300,000
Yearly Growth Rate 57.1 84.1 35.8 33.3
B. Public Spending: Infrastructure Projects
The public sector.s contribution to the GDP and to economic growth (in the form of
Greek and EU funds as well as investments by public-private consortia) is manifested
most visibly through the massive undertaking of infrastructure projects.
The grand projects that are nearing completion, or are already complete, include:
• Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport at Spata, eastern Attica, which
replaced Hellinikon in March 2001;
• Attiko Metro, with two new subway lines already in operation, represents the first
major improvement of Athens rail transit since 1904;
• Egnatia Odos, the modern motorway connecting Epirus and Thrace in northern
Greece, is due for completion in 2003;
• Attiki Odos, due for completion by early 2004.before the Olympics.will
connect Elefsina to Spata by way of the northern suburbs of Athens, thus relieving
the city of much traffic congestion while facilitating access to the new airport via
the Imittos Western Peripheral extension;
• The Rio-Antirio Bridge, connecting the Peloponissos with northwestern Greece,
is the most significant improvement in the road communications system in the
western part of the country.
III. Future Prospects in Other Sectors: Greece as Potential Energy Hub for Europe
In a recent report, the U.S. Department of Energy called Greece .an important potential
transit site for energy exports from the Caspian/Caucasus regions, with limited energy
reserves of its own..
U.S. officials regard a Greek transit route as a potential relief valve for excessive reserves
of gas in Turkey, which has signed import agreements with six countries. According to
recent figures from the Turkish state pipeline company Botas, the country.s gas supplies
will exceed demand by six billion cubic meters, or 25 percent, in 2002.
Gas deliveries from both Iran and Russia are now flowing into Turkey when its economy
is stuck in recession, raising the importance of transferring the gas to other countries. The
European Union has long envisioned a tie-in to Greece as part of its Interstate Oil and
Gas Transport to Europe, or INOGATE, project.
Greece could benefit significantly by exploiting its potential role in this, given the
quantity of the resources at stake:
Caspian Sea Region Oil and Natural Gas Reserves
Azerbaijan 3.6-12.5 BBL1 32 BBL 36-45 BBL 11 Tcf2 35Tcf 46Tcf
Iran* 0.1 BBL 15 BBL 15 BBL 0 Tcf 11 Tcf 11 Tcf
Kazakhstan 10-17.6 BBL 92 BBL 102-110 BBL 60-70 Tcf 88 Tcf 153-158 Tcf
Russia* 2.7 BBL 14 BBL 17 BBL N/A N/A N/A
Turkmenistan 0.5 BBL 80 BBL 81 BBL 101 Tcf 159 Tcf 260 Tcf
Uzbekistan 0.6 BBL 2 BBL 3 BBL 66 Tcf 35 Tcf 101 Tcf
TOTAL 17.5-34 BBL 235 BBL 253-270 BBL 243-248 Tcf 328 Tcf 571-576 Tcf
• Billion barrels
• Trillion cubic feet
* Includes only those regions near the Caspian Sea.
(Source: U.S. Department of Energy website)
Furthermore, Greece and Russia have discussed increasing natural gas supplies through a
pipeline operated by Russia.s Gazprom, and the completion of an overland pipeline to
carry Russian oil from the Bulgarian port of Bourgas to Alexandroupolis. Gazprom holds
contracts for delivering over six billion cubic meters of gas to Greece annually, far
exceeding domestic demand and thus suggesting that Athens may have plans for transit to
During a visit to Greece in December 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin deepened
his country.s involvement in the energy sector. According to the Russian investment firm
Troika Dialogue, Putin sealed an agreement to set up a Gazprom joint venture known as
Prometheus Gas for marketing in the country.
.In cooperating with Russia, Greece will not only be self-sufficient in the energy sector,
but can also become a partner with Europe in the energy sector,. Putin stated. Greece is
keen on participating in future energy-related projects in the Balkans, and both countries
have discussed increasing natural gas supplies through a pipeline operated by Russia.s
Gazprom since 1999.
Finally, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh also visited Athens, and met with
President Costis Stephanopoulos, who expressed Greece.s strong determination to
expand cooperation with Iran in all possible fields, including oil and gas distribution.
Stephanopoulos evaluated Iran.s role as .extremely sensitive and important. in all
regional issues of top importance and said that .Greece can serve as a bridge joining Iran
The Iranian minister expressed satisfaction with the two countries. political and
economic ties, adding that .Iran has the second place in liquefied natural gas (LNG)
world reserves, and since Iranian technicians are highly experienced in their fields of
expertise, Iran is not only well-capable of fully providing Greece.s demands, but also to
meet all of Europe.s needs. for LNG as well. Stephanopoulos further expressed hope that
the Tehran-Athens cooperation in LNG projects would yield satisfactory results.
IV. Conclusions and Forecasts
Many of the most promising opportunities, both within the EMU as well as in non-EU
markets in southeastern Europe, remain less than fully exploited by Greek enterprises.
However, if Greece continues to take advantage of these sectoral potentials and continues
to meet the obligations entailed by its EMU membership, then the prospects for continued
economic and social growth will increase. Greece.s convergence with the EMU will then
consist not just of economic indicators but of greater prosperity among the Greek
population at large.
7. Greece in 2002: Comparative Advantages
Stavros T. Stavridis
I. Stable Political Environment
Greece benefits from a stable political environment with a government that understands
economic and other realities, responds to national priorities, is flexible and has adapted to
the requirements of the new world order. The government is contributing to economic
growth in a number of ways, with decisive implementation of realistic plans for
sustainable growth. These include:
! Deficit reduction through spending cuts, privatization, and fair taxation;
! Public investment programs, as well as tax incentives for private investment;
! Trade promotion through staunch support of the WTO, Maastricht, longestablished
guarantee of profit repatriation, and the opening of trade relations with
II. Business Environment (Macroeconomic)
Economic stability is reflected in all macroeconomic indicators. The budget deficit has
diminished as a percentage of GDP, while the public debt to GDP ratio continues to fall
and has steadily dropped from 111.5% in 1995 to 103.9% in 2000.
! The rate of growth of GDP has increased to 3.7%, higher than the EU average for
the fifth consecutive year;
! The unemployment rate is 10.7%;
! Inflation has fallen to 3.4%;
! Interest rates have fallen steadily;
! Greece is a member of the EMU, and the euro has become Greece.s national
! We now have a favorable, solid labor agreement which we can build upon, as well
as a highly skilled labor force.
III. Favorable trends
! Privatization of banks, telecoms, oil refineries, electrical power generation, water
supply, exhibition organizations, port authorities, etc.
! Technological Innovation
! Public Infrastructure
Gross fixed investment growth has increased to 12%, while fixed investment as a
percentage of GDP has also increased:
! 1994: 18.6%
! 1995: 18.5%
! 1996: 19.3%
! 1997: 20.0%
! 1998: 21.6%
! 1999: 22.5%
! 2000: 23.3%
! 2001: 24.5%
Exports as a percentage of GDP have increased:
! 1995: 17.6%
! 1996: 17.8%
! 1997: 18.6%
! 1998: 18.7%
! 1999: 20.2%
! 2000: 22.9%
! 2001: 23.5% (est.)
The credibility of Greece has improved as a result of major ongoing infrastructure
investment projects, several of them in northern Greece:
! Port of Thessaloniki;
! Macedonia Airport;
! The Egnatia Odos Motorway:
! The Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki-Evzonoi National Highway network;
! Railroad System improvements;
! The Thessaloniki underground train;
! Natural gas network.
IV. Public Sector Opportunities in the Greek Market
V. Private Sector Opportunities in the Greek Market
Opportunities exist for technology transfer to revamp the manufacturing industry,
especially in the following sectors:
! Agricultural Chemicals
! Food Processing
! Wood Products
Technology transfer can also improve these sectors of the service industry:
VI. Northern Greece (Macedonia & Thrace)
The region produces 25% of Greece.s GDP; employs 23% of the labor force; boasts
27.2% of industrial companies, 14.5% of commercial companies and 13% of service
sector companies; 35% of the country.s agricultural production (including cereals, dairy,
fruits and vegetables); and 30% of the country.s industrial production (including textiles,
foodstuffs, beverages, furniture, chemicals, metal products and machinery).
VII. Thessaloniki: Your Headquarters in Southeastern Europe
Thessaloniki is the most advanced financial centre in the region, comprising the largest
exporting port, as well as the largest industrial area, in the country. The city enjoys the
further advantages of:
! Two internationally recognized universities.Aristotle University and the
University of Macedonia;
! The biggest international trade fair;
! An advanced financial sector including all major European and American banks, a
stock exchange center, the Black Sea Trade Development Bank, a Euro-Info
Centre, and the European Centre for Training Development (CEDEFOP).
Due to its comparative advantages, Thessaloniki has been chosen as the location for
offices or headquarters of:
! the European Agency for the Reconstruction of the Balkans;
! the representative office of the Stability Pact;
! the World Bank.
VIII. Strategic Geographic Location
Greece is the only European Union state in this part of the continent, enjoying access to
vital new emerging markets and development funds.
The country.s infrastructure comprises established and rapidly expanding networks of
airports, highways, major commercial roads and navigation routes, and offers easy access
to information through LANs, WANs and internet capabilities.
IX. A Foot in the Door
Besides being the most developed country in the region, with a market of 11 million
consumers with per capita income of $12,000, Greece also provides immediate access to
over 60 million consumers in the Balkans and southeastern Europe. Greek investment
activity in the region is already substantial:
! Bulgaria: USD 75 million
! Romania: USD 450 million
! Albania: USD 100 million
! FYROM: USD 230 million
Foreign investors can use our cultural bridge to the larger southeastern European region,
without taking the risk of losing time and money in the no-tech to high-tech gap. We
understand the people and the market needs of the region. Why compete if you can be
creative in your marketing strategy? Combine Greek entrepreneurship with modern
technology and management.
We can help you find a good match!
8. Small Business and International Trade
A primary mission of the Small Business Administration is to increase the ability of small
businesses to compete in international markets. America.s economic growth depends
heavily on exports, and the ability to create future exports will depend heavily on small
! Small businesses export nearly $300 billion worth of goods and services each
! Between 1987 and 1997, the number of US small business exporters tripled from
65,000 to 202,000, with the fastest growth in businesses with fewer than 20
! Exports have accounted for 70% of the growth in our economy since 1989;
! For every $1 million made available to finance exports, 20 new jobs were created,
with a seven-fold return to the American economy;
! Because small businesses are so important to the US export market, the SBA has
a variety of programs to help small firms develop their international trade
capabilities, and each of the SBA.s 70 district offices has international trade
officers to assist with finance and trade promotion;
! Increased trade will help our farmers and our economy by creating jobs, opening
more markets to American goods and services, and increasing choices and
lowering costs for consumers;
! Small businesses are big players in trade and even bigger players in our national
! And small business is big business in the United States.
Consider this: Small business is the largest employer in the United States, accounting for
99% of all US businesses; creates the vast majority of new jobs; and employs 53% of the
private work force. The SBA.s Office of Advocacy recently reported that for the first
time, small business share of the private, non-farm economy has increased to 52% over
the last decade. In other words, small business now represents 52% percent of the GDP.
President Bush was right when he said .the role of government is not to create wealth.
The role of government is to create an environment in which people can realize the
And part of the American dream is to be able to own your own business, to be able to
say, .I want to start my business, I want to grow my business.. The SBA helps achieve
this dream for over one million businesses annually by providing access to capital and
credit, by expanding federal procurement opportunities for small businesses, by providing
a wide range of counseling and education programs for small businesses, and by serving
as a voice for small business in national policy-making.
Last year, the SBA provided record levels of loan guarantees under the 7(a) and 504
programs — $12.2 billion . and record levels of venture capital financing — $4.45 billion.
The SBA supported more than $40 billion in federal contracts to small businesses. And
we provided business counseling, training, and education services to more than 1.3
million small businesses.
As I mentioned, the president believes the role of government is to create an environment
in which people are willing to take risk. The president wants to eliminate the roadblocks
to realizing the American dream of small business ownership. So a few weeks ago, in a
Rose Garden ceremony, the president announced five initiatives to stimulate small
business formation and growth in America:
i. Lift unfair regulatory burdens on small business;
ii. Encourage additional cash flow by passing additional investment incentives for
iii. Ensure small entrepreneurs have access to government contracting;
iv. Eliminate the estate tax;
v. Propose measures to make health care more affordable.
First, with respect to lifting the regulatory burden on small business, the president has
directed every agency to comply with the current law that requires an impact analysis of
new regulations on small businesses before issuing them. The president himself
recognizes that federal regulators don.t care that this law already exists. Well, now they
will! If an agency.s proposed regulation provides a hidden cost on small business, it will
not pass through the Office of Management and Budget. It.s that simple.
Second, because the economic stimulus package the president recently signed only has a
three-year life to it, the president believes Congress ought to pass additional incentives
for small businesses to invest in plant and equipment. Presently, firms with up to
$200,000 in new investments can immediately expense (rather than depreciate) the first
$25,000. Under this proposal, firms with up to $325,000 in new investments could
immediately expense the first $40,000. Tax deductions are limited to a certain amount of
money on an annual basis for small businesses, and the size of the purchase is relatively
small. The president believes we ought to increase the size of the purchase of plant and
equipment, as well as increase the deductions for small businesses, in order to enhance
cash flow, which will make it easier for more people to find jobs in America.
The Treasury Department will shortly announce final rules to allow service-oriented
businesses with less than $10 million in gross receipts to use cash accounting rather than
accrual accounting. This change will allow these businesses to immediately deduct the
cost of supplies and to defer paying taxes until income is actually received. The president
has also instructed the Treasury Department to conduct a study on additional ways to
simplify taxes on small businesses.
Third, the president believes that government contracting must be more open and fair to
small businesses. But there are some large hurdles for small businesses. One major hurdle
is that agencies often issue only huge contracts with massive requirements, and they tend
to go to the same group of large corporate bidders. This is called .bundling,. and it
effectively excludes small businesses. The president has ordered a review of the federal
government.s contracting policies to make sure that they encourage competition and to
make sure that the process is open. Wherever possible, agencies will be told to break
down large federal contracts so that small businesses have got a fair shot at government
Fourth, the president believes that if you are a small business owner and you build up
your business and build up your assets through years of hard work, you ought be able to
deicide who gets to own that business after you die. But the estate tax made it awfully
difficult for small business owners to make that decision, because if you are a privately
held company the estate tax would cause your heirs to have to liquidate the assets that
you built up over a lifetime. The estate tax has been eliminated as a result of the new tax
reform. But because of a quirk in the law, the estate tax will not be totally eliminated
until 2011. The president has called upon Congress to make the repeal of the estate tax
And finally, the president has proposed measures to make health care more affordable. It
is hard to attract and retain good workers if your health care costs are going sky-high.
That.s why the president supports association health plans, through which small
businesses will be able to pool together and spread their risk across a larger employee
base. It means that a local small business can insure its workers through the National
Federation of Independent Business or a local chamber of commerce. The president.s
proposal would allow association groups to write health care plans across jurisdictional
boundaries to the benefit of not only the small business owners but also of those who
work for small businesses.
The president.s proposal would provide substantial levels of credit, capital, procurement
and entrepreneurial assistance to small businesses. The president.s budget would provide
more than $16 billion in small business loans, loan guarantees and venture capital and
nearly $800 million in new funds for victims of natural disasters and the September 11
Despite the effects of September 11, there are signs the economy is beginning to turn
around. Three weeks ago, the president signed an economic stimulus plan that provides
short-term help to workers who have lost their jobs, and provides long-term stimulus to
create more jobs across our country. Some key provisions of this important piece of
legislation include the extension of jobless benefits by thirteen weeks and even longer in
states with high unemployment rates, and tax incentives for companies to expand and
create jobs by investing in plant and equipment. This measure will mean more job
opportunities for workers in every part of our country, especially in manufacturing and in
high tech and for those who work for small businesses.
This bill will also stimulate economic growth by extending net operating loss rules and
by granting some alternative minimum tax relief. The city of New York suffered a great
tragedy on September 11, and still faces major economic consequences. The bill signed
into law by the president provides over $5 billion in tax relief to aid in the recovery of
lower Manhattan by helping businesses to get back on their feet so they can start hiring
For its part, the SBA is providing economic assistance through both its conventional
lending program and its disaster assistance program. Thousands of lenders work with our
SBA offices nationwide to provide SBA financing to America.s small businesses.
Our principal objective is to create an environment where small businesses can grow and
prosper. The tax relief President Bush signed into law in 2001 was an important first step.
The economic stimulus plan recently signed by the president will also spur economic
expansion and fuel this nation.s recovery.
9. Greece: An Emerging Entrepreneurial Partner and an
Incubator for Growth in the Balkans and Beyond
Phillip M. Kafarakis
Thank you, Mr. Kotrotsios, for the invitation to add my entrepreneurial voice to this
distinguished panel. Congratulations on another fantastic venue that brings together our
A quote from Demosthenes is the basis for my remarks this morning. Demosthenes said:
.Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.. It is just as true today
as it was approximately 300 BC, and it is very much the case where Demosthenes once
lived and taught.Athens. Greece is emerging as an incubator for resourceful
entrepreneurs with sound business plans and practical management expertise. Despite the
more publicized challenges that always grab the domestic as well as global headlines,
there are core economic reforms taking place producing exceptional business
opportunities. There are great enterprises being built and taking shape, going beyond just
the core Greek marketplace.
It is no surprise that due to its modest size (a population of 10.6 million; GDP of $181.9
billion, with per capita parity at $17,200) the Greek economy is not one that lures global
industrialists looking for scalable mass consumption of goods or services, or wealthy
capitalists looking for high rates of return. In this era of instant consumer satisfaction and
immediate return on investment, investors and creditors are not interested in pilot
projects, incubators, and long periods of research and development. This rather basic
economic premise is what I believe makes Greece a very appealing economic
environment for today.s emerging small- and mid-sized business entities. The
enterprising firms being built in Greece have an understanding of the economic
foundation that is being built by government policy and the .reach. of free-market
dynamics in the eastern Europe region (the Balkans, Cyprus and Turkey). More
importantly, operating in such an environment allows firms to focus and allocate
resources on opportunities rather than on competitive threats.
My company.s two-year experience in this .eastern European enterprise zone. has been
positive due to the surprisingly abundant resources now becoming available to domestic
as well as global firms. The Greek government is diligently developing fiscal reform,
promoting regional peace and political stability, as well as investing in crucial
infrastructure conducive to businesses growth. It is my observation that the government.s
actions are allowing it to go from being a .provider. to being an .enabler.. The result is a
free-market environment that is energizing new ventures and stimulating profitable
growth. Large private companies are growing and allowing smaller firms to emerge as
outsource providers, assisting them in meeting deadlines and sharing in revenues.
As you tour this Expo over the next few days you will be exposed to examples of this
emerging stealth economy. Visit the kiosks of the Greek prefectures represented here and
take the time to better understand the impact that Greece is making on the surrounding
eastern European trading area. I encourage you to see for yourselves the improvements in
infrastructure. It is the development of the country.s transportation network that allows
new business convergence and expansion to occur.
The energy sector is one that is benefiting the most; the Prometheus Gas venture, a
collaborative project between Greece.s Copelouzos Group and Russia.s Gazprom, is a
great example. Legislation that recently deregulated the country.s energy sector allows
the construction of a gas pipeline that runs from Thessaloniki to Komotini in Thrace. The
gas powers the first privately owned Greek gas plant, which not only will supply Greece
but more importantly will make gas available to an entire new marketplace.the Balkans.
The Copelouzos Group has taken the lead in this sector; a second joint venture with
Italian firm Enel and Turkish construction giant Gama will produce a $500 million
natural gas-fired power plant that is being built in northeastern Greece near the Turkish
border. In the not-so-distant future an abundance of new energy sources will be flowing
into Turkey and the Balkans, which will allow new companies to power their operations
across a greater marketplace.
In the middle of all this investment activity is our beloved Thessaloniki. It is not too hard
to imagine now what Alexander was thinking as he ventured out to conquer the world
from this majestic northern port of Greece.location, location, location. The city.s
geographic location makes it a reliable crossroads into a new economic frontier. The road
to 400 million people, a population forty times that of Greece and equal to 87% of the
EU.s population, is being built through Thessaloniki. The southeastern European
countries and the Black sea region north of Greece will be exposed to new energy
resources due to the .enabling. efforts that funded the infrastructure. The construction of
the Egnatia Odos Motorway across Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace, with access into the
north and south sections of the Balkans, prompts companies to make investments of great
magnitude in northeastern Greece.
As the Greek government forges bilateral trade agreements with neighboring countries,
the investment in infrastructure becomes more practical and allows for enterprising
companies to take calculated risks that they once would never have considered.
Advances in the telecommunication sector also play a significant role in capturing the
tremendous business opportunities that exist within the region. Privatization efforts
similar to the OTE campaign and the fierce competitors of the Greek telecommunications
sector are facilitating the economic reconstruction of southeastern Europe.
A country such as Romania, with twice the population of Greece, has only 3.7 million
phones and over 645,000 cell phones. That is to be compared with the nearly 5.4 million
phones and more than 1 million cell phones in Greece.
Don.t think that Greek companies like Telestet are not positioning themselves for these
ripe markets. The once antiquated networks are being upgraded and more consumers will
be connected to the global marketplace. There are over thirty-eight internet service
providers in Romania serving approximately 600,000 internet users, compared to twentyseven
in Greece serving over 1.3 million users.
The potential for cost-effective internet access in a country of more than 22 million
people is astounding. Forget about making them consumers.we all recognize they have
limited resources.think about the opportunity for these people to be exposed to greater
learning and to become more productive. Even a small country like Slovenia with a
population of 1.9 million has figured out a way to connect 24% of its population to the
internet; eleven ISPs put 460,000 users on line. Technology will evolve once the
telecommunication infrastructure is connected, and privatization is just one step in that
direction. Meanwhile, this relatively small free-market environment quietly creates
amazing new entities that will satisfy demands, create jobs, and produce badly needed tax
revenues for countries to invest in their infrastructures.
Initiatives in Eastern Europe
.Enabling. strategies require cooperative efforts and in this region there are many
examples. The Balkan Stability Pact and the European Agency for Reconstruction are
products of Greek and Czech cooperation. These agencies along with the EU are seeding
the economic fields of a marketplace inhabited by millions of prospective consumers.
The EU has already spent 1.1 billion euro and has appropriated another 2.4 billion euro
for reconstruction of the eastern European trade zone. Liberalized trade policy and lower
tariff barriers are attracting companies to the region.
The privatization of state-run businesses has also contributed to reinvestment efforts
through increased lending by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Greek banks.
When organizations like the Federation of Northern Greek Industries (SBBE) are
organizing trade-relations missions to Kosovo to explore collaborative ventures between
private companies, you begin to understand the magnitude of the opportunities in this
Ask anyone here from Thessaloniki about a hometown fast food company called
Goody.s. The company.what I would call the McDonald.s of Greece.is rapidly
expanding into the Balkans and opening new stores throughout the region. This great,
entrepreneurial, family-run company, pioneering the fast food sector, is an excellent
example of success for small companies making it big.
Are you starting to understand why our friends representing Thessaloniki at this Expo are
You probably thought it was because of the Greek government.s recently announced
effort to fundamentally reform the tax system. Well, that could be something everyone in
Greece is feeling pretty good about; but it is still too early to tell. It is, however, another
indicator of the country.s willingness to reform itself. If you look beyond the skepticism
surrounding the preparedness for the Olympic Games you will find a genuine attempt to
take a leadership position in an economic revolution that is emerging in eastern Europe.
The following recent developments illustrate my point and continue to fuel my
• President Stephanopoulos is scheduled to travel to Kazakhstan this month for
talks on the operation of an oil pipeline from Bulgaria to Greece, with the
Russians as intermediaries (it will be Russian oil flowing our way);
• Development Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos presented to the Western Policy
Institute in Washington the Greek vision for the future, which includes becoming
an energy supplier and distributor, connecting energy resources from the Caspian
basin and the Middle East for growing markets like western Europe and the
Balkans. The following were three examples given:
o The natural gas pipeline project as an indication of Greece.s ultimate
ability to connect Iranian gas supplies to western Europe;
o The Burgas-Alexandroupolis petroleum pipeline going from the Black Sea
in Bulgaria through northern Greece to western European markets;
o The expansion of Greece.s electricity grid across the southern Balkans,
north to Croatia, west to Italy and east to Turkey.
• Tsochatzopoulos has unveiled the Technology Foresight project, which will
examine the role of knowledge, technology and research in the country.s
evolution, with a goal of shaping enlightened long-term policy plans. The private
sector and academia will be involved in the process.
Even though you and I may believe that all of this is not happening fast enough, I would
argue that our country is positioning itself for prosperity in the future. We all have been
frustrated by the public sector bureaucracy and are very impatient with the underlying
corruption. But we must take the time to study the facts, and contribute to the efforts
being made toward free-market principles.
There are warnings that the Greek economy is slowing and there is concern that the labor
market must use restraint by negotiating wage increases that are relative to productivity.
Higher prices will add to worries of inflation, and runaway government deficits would
strain the economy. But for a country that met EMU requirements, is preparing for the
Olympics and is rebuilding from an earthquake, fears of economic failure are not likely to
stop progress from being made.
The level playing field created by the euro economy requires strong fiscal practices, and
all sectors of the Greek economy must compromise some individual success for a greater
collective gain. Many sacrifices were made and failures were overcome; the Athens
Stock Exchange is an example of the turbulence already endured. But Greece has proved
worthy of its EU membership and has shown that it is striving to be a leader in a region
that most have forgotten. The economic challenges are the same across the EU, and
Greece is not alone in its quest to maintain growth.
Cautious optimism and prudent planning are required, but the time for ironic dismissals
of the progress being made must come to an end. I encourage you to explore the
opportunities and look to the future. There is a lot to gain! More than what we.ve talked
about today. A new Golden Age is emerging, and the question is whether it will pass you
by. Invest in Greece and be part of it.
Thank you for your attention, and enjoy the Expo!
10. Investing in Greece: Advantages, Challenges, and Prospects
Michael G. Papaioannou
It is a great pleasure to be here, and to moderate these seminars. First, I would like to
thank Mr. Kotrotsios for his kind invitation and to congratulate him for such a terrific
My comments will deal with the advantages and opportunities that are now offered to
American companies investing in Greece, the prerequisites for a sustained and growing
cooperation between the businesses and financial organizations of the two countries, and
the prospects of such a Hellenic-American cooperation for Greece and the Balkan region.
My comments relate personal views, and should not in any way be interpreted as
representing the views and positions of my employer, the IMF.
I. Greece And The International Environment: Relative Advantages
Let me start with a brief overview of the world economy and the available business and
financial opportunities. After the tragedy of September 11, the world economy is growing
at a slower pace than one or two years ago. US economic activity has recently shown
signs of recovery, manifested by some increase in employment and the small rise in the
stock market. In tandem, the US dollar remains relatively strong. In contrast, western
Europe exhibits relatively faster economic growth, but not anything exceptional. The
structural, mainly labor-market rigidity, problems prevent Europe from any strong
economic performance. The depreciated value of the euro is the evidence. In Japan, the
looming banking problems continue to be the stumbling block for any significant
economic recovery. And, as long as Japan is weak, the rest of east Asia will suffer the
economic consequences (Lee, 1993).
Under these international economic conditions, business and financial investment
decisions are difficult and opportunities remain relatively scarce in most countries.
Export and import activities, as well as direct investment decisions, face a growing
degree of hesitation, and financial transactions are encountered with high levels of risk.
Most trade and investment activities are constrained by the reduced income imposed by
the downturn in the world economy. However, in this environment, there are countries
and sectors in many countries that offer great business opportunities. One of these
countries is Greece.
Greece, being a European Monetary Union (EMU) country, offers the certainty of its
currency and the credibility of its monetary and fiscal policies. The discipline imposed by
the European Central Bank.s policies and the Fiscal Stability Pact ensures Greece.s
financial stability. Also, as a member of the EU-12 community, Greece can become the
gate for trade relations and advancement of non-member countries. In addition, Greece
offers tremendous trade and investment opportunities owing to its geographic location,
level of development, and the need to undertake major projects ahead of the Olympic
Games of 2004.
II. Investment Opportunities In Greece and Potential Cooperations
Investment opportunities in the form of business cooperation between the US and Greece
can be envisioned in the areas of (1) commercial trade, (2) business infrastructure, (3)
public infrastructure, (4) financial intermediation and infrastructure, and (5) financial
investments. For commercial trade, Greece can be a prime candidate for development and
better marketing of its agricultural and mining products, its manufacturing products.
mainly light appliances.and its potential for biotechnology and biomedical products
given the availability of specialized personnel (Universities of Crete and Thrace). For
business infrastructure, investments in the telecommunications, energy, and real estate
sectors are very promising given the immediate needs for the Olympic Games. Especially
attractive are also investments in hotels, both in Athens and in resort areas.
For public infrastructure, participation in major public works, defense and aerospace
industries, building private education and vocational institutions, and health sector
facilities should be explored with Greek authorities. For financial infrastructure, I believe
that participation in bank mergers, insurance companies, trust funds, and investment
houses can be worthwhile projects. And, for financial investments, the Greek equity and
bond markets offer good opportunities for portfolio diversification purposes. Cooperation
in these areas with Greek entities can prove very fruitful.
III. Challenges In Investing In Greece
For all countries, prerequisites for investment growth are considered the following: (1)
development of credibility of a country.s policies, often measured by the frequency of
changes in policies; (2) establishment of international investors. confidence in the
soundness of a country.s fundamentals, measured by the country.s public debt to GDP
ratio and/or its external position; and (3) adaptation of a country.s trade policies and
institutional quality to international standards (Rodriguez and Rodrik, 1999).
A sustained investment path also plays a very crucial role in the process of a country.s
economic growth (Edwards, 1998). For a viable investment program, one should
particularly take into consideration the economic change in the forms of economic
institutions (Rodrik, 1996; Sachs, 1995). That is, we have to integrate institutions into the
analysis, because it is institutions that are the fundamental structure of economies and it
is the way they evolve that shapes the performance characteristics of economies (Drobak
and Nye, 1997; North, 1994).
For a sustained Hellenic-American cooperation in the investment area, the main
prerequisites are a stable macroeconomic, financial and business environment, mutually
beneficial business conditions, reduced political uncertainty, transparent rules of the
game, an efficient and expedient legal system, adoption of internationally-accepted
accounting rules, and avoidance of red tape and bureaucratic delays. Provided that these
prerequisites are in place, the prospects for such an investment cooperation seem to be
excellent and the development of bilateral business and financial relations to be evergrowing
(Warcziarg, 1998). Growth of such Hellenic-American business relations could
also be the catalyst for further economic and institutional development with the
neighboring countries of Greece as they now undertake massive privatization and
growth-oriented programs themselves. In this way, I think that Greece can play a very
important role, could be the link, for American business and financial enterprises in the
IV. Medium.Term Prospects
The more these investment prerequisites are satisfied, the better the prospects become for
investment capital inflows to a country. These investment funds come mainly in the form
of either foreign direct investment (FDI), i.e., foreign capital to be invested in new
companies, or portfolio investment (PI), i.e., foreign capital that is mainly directed in
buying stocks and bonds of existing companies. The level and stability of these voluntary
capital inflows determines the medium-term sustainability of a country.s current account
deficits and the extend of the necessary external borrowing (Rodrik, 1996).
In the case of Greece, the FDI and PI flows over the previous decade are shown in the
Table. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Portfolio Investment (PI) Flows
(in millions of U.S. Dollars)
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
FDI 1,005 1,135 1,144 977 981 1,053 1,058 984 … 567 1,083 1,585
PI — — — — — — — — … 6,754 9,262 9,012
Source: IMF, International Financial Statistics Yearbook, 2002.
These figures indicate that there has been a relatively steady pattern in both the FDI and
PI over this period. Moreover, it is worthwhile to point out the sharp increases in PI in
2000, mainly as a result of Greece.s prospect to join the EMU in 2001, and in FDI in
2001, as a direct consequence of the realization of this event. For the coming years, it is
safe to expect that Greece will be the recipient of more investment flows from abroad,
judging from the experience of countries that have gone through similar policy
developments, e.g., Ireland, Portugal, Spain. This will be attained as credibility in
Greece.s macroeconomic policy setting is enhanced and confidence on the viability of its
investment projects is solidified.
V. Concluding Remarks
In the present situation, Greece offers the appropriate investment environment in terms of
economic circumstances, including the EMU membership, institutional infrastructure,
including the legislative framework, and the prospects of the 2004 Olympic Games for
attracting foreign investors. For Greece.s part, attention to more flexible trade and
investment policies and to greater institutional quality would help in a faster growth of
the country.s capital formation and, ultimately, to higher sustainable economic growth.
I thank you for your attention, and wish you every success in your business endeavors.
And, to the Hermes Expo, many happy returns!
Drobak, John, and John Nye, 1997, The Frontiers of the New Institutional Economics
(San Diego: Academic Press).
Edwards, Sebastian, 1998, .Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really
Know?. The Economic Journal, Vol.108 (March), pp. 383-398.
North, Douglass C., 1994, .Economic Performance Through Time,. American Economic
Review, Papers and Proceedings, Vol. 84 (June), pp. 359.68. Available via
Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993, .International Trade, Distortions and Long-run Economic
Growth,. IMF Staff Papers, Vol. 40, No. 2 (June), International Monetary Fund,
Washington, D.C., pp. 299-328.
Rodríguez, Pedro, and Dani Rodrik, 1999, .Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A
Skeptic.s Guide to the Cross-National Evidence,. NBER Working Paper 7081.
Rodrik, Dani, 1996, .Understanding Economic Policy Reform,. Journal of Economic
Literature, Vol. 34, pp. 9-41.
Sachs, Jeffrey D., and Andrew Warner, 1995, .Economic Reform and the Process of
Global Integration,. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 1995, Vol.1, pp.
Warcziarg, Romain, 1998, .Measuring the Dynamic Gains from Trade,. World Bank
Working Paper 2001, November, World Bank, Washington, D.C.
11. Greece, Europe, and the Euro
It is now a fact that all of Europe is living a new reality. The euro, which is now
dominant in financial transactions throughout the European Union, including those
countries which initially had many reservations regarding the change, constitutes the
guiding force of this new era.
Greece, which has been steadfast in its dedication to the new currency, is undergoing this
fundamental change which the new currency has effected. Even with the inevitable
difficulties this implies, Greece is strengthening its position within the European realm in
a way never imaginable, not even to the most optimistic, because at this moment the
Greeks hold in their hands the same currency as the Germans, the French, and the
Italians, all of whose economies are stronger and more advanced.
The volatile economic indicators, and the extreme economic situations which today.s 40-
year-olds have lived through, with the three drachma devaluations of the 1980s and the
subjective assessments of the economy, are consigned to the past. Already, and without
difficulty, the Greeks can discard the unhealthy economic elements of the past, can move
more productively within the new economy of Europe, and can create.via the euro.
new protections against extreme economic fluctuations.
The new currency is not a dull, abstract economic theory; nor does it constitute a means
of escape from the hard reality of international antagonism. It is the boundary line
between yesterday.s Europe and today.s. The euro shines light on the economy of
Europe, and elevates and disciplines economies such as that of Greece by precluding a
return to the policies of previous eras. It will achieve this by enforcing adherence to the
common European frameworks.
The Greek economy must now become more competitive in order for Greek wages to
reach the European average within the next decade. Greek products no longer enjoy the
possibility of benefiting from devaluations of the drachma, but in compensation, they
have gained the advantages of access to the larger European market. And Greek
enterprises do have reason to be hopeful, as they now are located in a common market of
three hundred million consumers.
The euro represents a change in the substance and essence of the economy, and not a
short-lived or superficial change impinging only on perceptions. The euro lays the
foundation for future ventures, without the emergence of primitive mistakes which in the
past led to economic tragedies. The new era of the euro is relentlessly demanding. It
renounces with disgust the inadequacies of the political excuses and evasions of the past,
while building a foundation for a new international economic mindset.
It is a great fortune that the euro will find itself beside the international economic force
which goes by the name dollar. Continuing developments will be of fascinating interest,
as all of Europe is hoping for the full recovery of the American economy which itself
constitutes the basis of the international economy. The American and European
economies represent the triumph of the free market system. They are the most impressive
achievements of human history. America and Europe can be expected in the future to
achieve rapid growth, because free peoples always look forward.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
George Aftias is a journalist and chief of economic reportage for ANT1 television in Athens (1992 to
present). He is also the presenter and contributor for a number of broadcasts on ANT1 Satellite and ANT1
Radio; a contributor on economic themes to several newspapers and magazines; and a participant at
conferences in Greece and abroad. After completing his studies in economics and political theory at the
Law School of the University of Athens, he specialized in finance at the Institute of Economic Theory,
under the aegis of the then-EEC. In 2000 he was honored by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Costis
Stephanopoulos, with the award for best economic writer of the year.
John Alexiou is a former business and software engineering consultant for IBM, where his assignments
included work with MIT to develop business forecasting and planning systems for clients. Mr. Alexiou has
also been a member of Carnegie-Mellon University.s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) metrics
measurements committee, which was engaged in research of advanced computer techniques for the
Department of Defense and NASA. He has written many technical articles, as well as books and manuals
published by IBM. Mr. Alexiou is a member of the Association of Computing Machinery and other trade
associations. He attended the George Washington University, where he studied mathematics.
Congressman Michael Bilirakis represents Florida.s Ninth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He was first elected to Congress in November 1982, and has been reelected to each succeeding Congress.
His committee assignments in the 107th Congress include membership on the Energy and Commerce
Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, as a member of the
Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, and as a member of the Subcommittee on
Oversight and Investigations. Congressman Bilirakis is also Vice-Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs
Committee and a member of the Oversight Subcommittee. He co-founded the Congressional Hellenic
Caucus, which strives to foster improved relations between the United States, Greece and Cyprus; the
Caucus now has more than 120 members. Congressman Bilirakis was instrumental in awarding His
Eminence, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Congressional Gold Medal. He holds a law degree from
the University of Florida, and a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
Phillip M. Kafarakis
Phillip M. Kafarakis is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Commerce Group,
Inc. The New York City based firm, with offices in Athens and operations in Tokyo and Hong Kong,
provides global business development, executive education and outsourced business services to a variety of
international clients. Mr. Kafarakis has over twenty years of international business, brand-management and
strategic planning experience in the food and beverage industry. He has held various executive
management positions at Oscar Mayer Foods, Kraft USA and Jones Dairy Farm. He serves as President of
the Industrial Products Division of Aqua-Novus Corporation, a venture capital-funded environmental
solutions company. Mr. Kafarakis holds a BS in business administration/marketing management from
Northern Arizona University and is a certified IFSC Serve Safe Instructor. He is a frequent speaker at
various industry conferences and has presented business perspectives at several European and Asian
Dean C. Lomis
Dr. Dean Lomis is director emeritus of the University of Delaware International Center and professor
emeritus of foreign languages, communication and education (1969 to present). Dr. Lomis was elected to
four two-year terms as National Chairman of AHIPAC (American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs
Committee) (1982-1991). He served as a US Air Force Intelligence Officer (1955-1960) and was assigned
to the US Embassy in Athens from 1957 to 1959. Dr. Lomis holds a Ph.D. in higher education
administration from Texas A & M University and an M.A. from East Texas State University. He has
authored numerous articles in the area of international education and on Hellenic affairs.
Thomas J. Miller
Thomas J. Miller is the United States Ambassador to Greece (2001 to present). Ambassador Miller joined
the State Department in 1976, and has served as the US Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina (1999-2001);
Special Coordinator for Cyprus (with the rank of ambassador) (1997-1999); and Deputy Chief of Mission
at the US Embassy in Athens (1994-1997). During the 1980s and early 1990s he served twice on the Israeli
Desk (once as Director); headed the Office of Maghreb (North African) Affairs; and acted as Director of an
office on counter-terrorism. He served in the Embassy’s political section in Athens from 1985-1987.
Earlier, Ambassador Miller served as an analyst for Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia (1976-1977); as Special
Assistant to the Undersecretary for Political Affairs (1977-1979); and as Deputy Principal Officer at the
U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai, Thailand (1979-1981). He has taught courses on diplomacy and
international relations at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and has initiated Model United
Nations programs at three Washington, D.C., inner-city high schools and replicated this program during his
service in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ambassador Miller has received the Department of State’s Equal
Opportunity Award, its Superior Honor Award (5 times), its Meritorious Honor Award, the State
Department’s Senior Performance Pay, two Drug Enforcement Administration awards, and many others
from the U.S. Government. In addition, in 2001 the Government of Bosnia-Herzegovina accorded him the
honor of .Honorary Citizen.; at the same time, the City of Sarajevo made him an .Honorary Resident..
Ambassador Miller holds a Ph.D. in Political Science (1975), and two Masters Degrees (in Asian Studies
and Political Science), from the University of Michigan. He received his B.A. in political science from
Michigan in 1969. Ambassador Miller speaks Greek, Spanish, Thai, Indonesian, and Japanese.
Michael G. Papaioannou
Dr. Michael G. Papaioannou is a senior economist in the Western Hemisphere Department of the
International Monetary Fund (October 2000 to present). He is the desk officer for Panama and oversees the
monetary and external sectors of Suriname. Previously, he was a senior economist in the Treasurer.s
Department, Financial Relations Division (November 1990 to October 2000). He was a principal member
of the Secretariat for the Quota Formula Review Group (QFRG) of external experts, and has been involved
in the policy work for the Eleventh General Review of Quotas (member countries. capital subscription to
the IMF). While at the Fund, he served as a Special Adviser to the Governing Board of the Bank of Greece
(September 1993 to August 1995). Prior to his employment with the IMF, Mr. Papaioannou was a Senior
Vice President and Director of the Foreign Exchange Service of The WEFA Group (Wharton Econometrics
Forecasting Associates) (1986 to 1990). He has served as Chief Economist of the Council of Economic
Advisors, Ministry of Finance of Greece (1987 to 1988). He has taught at Temple University, School of
Business and Management, Department of Finance, as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Finance (1989.
90). He was a Principal Research Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Economics,
LINK Central (1983 to 1986), and a Summer Intern in the World Bank , Development Economics
Department (1978 and 1979). He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an
M.A. from Georgetown University. He has published numerous scholarly articles in the area of
international finance and is a member of many professional associations.
Anastasios T. Papathanasis
Dr. Anastasios T. Papathanasis is professor of economics at Central Connecticut State University. His
special interests include industrial organization, antitrust/regulation, history of economic thought,
economics of health, and contemporary economic issues. He has published numerous scholarly articles, and
has had other articles published in large-circulation newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and the
Hartford Courant. He has participated in over forty professional conferences and symposia. He holds a
Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in economics, all from the University of California.
Michael Pappas is regional administrator of the US Small Business Administration.s Region II (2001 to
present). As regional administrator, Mr. Pappas is responsible for the delivery of financial assistance,
management counseling, business development and minority enterprise development services in New York,
New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, with a staff of 150 employees in five district offices
throughout his region. Prior to joining the SBA, he was the director of development for Pillar of Fire
International, an educational and charitable association, where he managed development and public
information for its branches and campuses in various parts of the world. Mr. Pappas was a member of the
US House of Representatives (1997-1999) where he served as a member of the Small Business, National
Security and Government Reform committees and as Assistant Majority Whip. Prior to his congressional
service, Mr. Pappas was a member of the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and served for
two years as director of the board.
Stavros T. Stavridis
Stavros T. Stavridis is a member of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Thessaloniki, the
Association of Commerce of Thessaloniki and the Association of Economists of Thessaloniki. He has
worked as a stock broker with the Karamanof investment firm in Thessaloniki (2000-2001), and as a sales
representative with Thessaloniki-based import-export concern Gloria S.A. (1994-1998). Mr. Stavridis
served as an infantry officer with the Hellenic Army (1998-2000). He is an International MBA graduate of
the Temple University Fox School of Business and Management (2002), as well as a graduate of
Macedonia University of Thessaloniki.