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Thanks for reading Hellenic News of America

APRIL 6-7, 2002




Paul Kotrotsios


Michael G. Papaioannou






Michael G. Papaioannou



Thomas J. Miller



Michael Bilirakis


John Alexiou


Dean C. Lomis





Anastasios T. Papathanasis


Stavros T. Stavridis


Michael Pappas



Phillip M. Kafarakis


Michael G. Papaioannou


George Aftias



George Aftias

Journalist, Chief of Economic Reportage for Antenna Television

John Alexiou

Former Business and Software Engineering Consultant for IBM

Michael Bilirakis

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

Michael Pappas

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.

Paul Kotrotsios

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







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

respective seminars.

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

Business Opportunities

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 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

democratic principles.

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 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.

Thank you.

3. Political Aspects of the US-Greece Relationship: Peace and

Security in the Region

Michael Bilirakis

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

John Alexiou

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

South Korea.

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

Dardanelles Straits;

! 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.”






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.

Mobile Telecoms

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

Proven Oil


Possible Oil


Total Oil


Proven Gas


Possible Gas


Total Gas


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

other countries.

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

and Europe..

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

neighboring countries.

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.

Further indicators:

! 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.

! Consolidation

! Diversification

! Automation

! 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

! Health

! Environment

V. Private Sector Opportunities in the Greek Market

Opportunities exist for technology transfer to revamp the manufacturing industry,

especially in the following sectors:

! Textiles

! Agricultural Chemicals

! Plastics

! Food Processing

! Wood Products

! Tobacco

! High-Technology

Technology transfer can also improve these sectors of the service industry:

! Banking

! Legal

! Medical

! Tourism

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

Michael Pappas

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

American dream..

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

small business;

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.

Thank you.

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

Greek-American community.

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.

Sectoral Opportunities

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

geographic area.

Ask anyone here from Thessaloniki about a hometown fast food company called

Goody.s. The company.what I would call the McDonald.s of 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

constantly smiling?

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.

Future Prospects

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 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

Balkan economies.

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 below.

Table. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Portfolio Investment (PI) Flows

during 1990-2001

(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

George Aftias

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.



George Aftias 

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

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.

Michael Bilirakis

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

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.

The copyrights for these articles are owned by the Hellenic News of America. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner. The opinions expressed by our authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Hellenic News of America and its representatives.

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