German-Greek Chamber: More German enterprises are expected to come to Greece for commercial and investment cooperations in 2017

More German enterprises are expected to come to Greece for commercial and investment cooperations in 2017, particularly in the sectors of tourism, food manufacturing, IT & communications and services, on the preconditions that political, economic and tax stability prevailed in the country and that specific counter-incentives will be scrapped, Matthias Hoffmann, director of Northern Greece department of the German-Greek Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Tuesday.

In an interview with ANA, Hoffmann said that the number of German businessmen contacting the Northern Greece department of the Chamber, seeking to examine potential cooperations, has increased significantly in the second half of 2016, compared with the same period last year, when concern over a poll, the imposition of capital controls and fears of a Grexit had almost frozen such contacts.

“There is interest from German enterprises on the Greek market. What we do not want to see, on investment level, is a repeat of what happened with photovoltaic enterprises which were burdened at a later stage. The state must ahdere to its pledges towards investors, by implementing and not amending laws. Additionally, improving a national regulatory framework on investments and funding opportunities from European programs could have a positive impact, along with political and tax stability,” he noted.

“Investment interest is focused on sectors, such as tourism, food manufacturing and IT & communications. This interest could start initially through small investments and through Greek-German joint ventures. For example, investments on energy saving in hotels could be offset in two to four years. In general, there is investment interest as long as a good climate was safeguarded for foreign investments and investors. Until this happens, I think that German businessmen will wait,” Hoffmann said.

The German-Greek Chamber of Commerce and Industry has launched a platform to help promote business cooperation between the two countries. “There’s mobility lately as several Greek enterprises offered their products. It was difficult to promote marketing in Germany with Grexit still on the table. Lately, however, investment interest restarted,” Hoffmann said, noting that around 1,000 enterprises participated in the platform in May 2016.

He noted that German enterprises are seeking cooperations also in other sectors, such as services (architecture) given the fact that there was a large number of specialized workers who have studied in Germany and were affluent in German language.

The German-Greek Chamber in Thessaloniki organized a seminar on energy saving and renewable energy sources in the tourism sector in Greece. During the seminar, seven German enterprises (GeoClimaDesign AG, PBW, Spenso GmbH, Steinel Vertrieb GmbH, Ship & Industrie Service UG, Terra Tec-Geotermie GmbH and ΜELA Industrieprodukte GmbH), will have more than 100 B2B meetings with Greek enterprises. “The meetings are carefully planned to have focused contacts, with around 20 Greek enterprises,” Hoffmann said.