Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), reaching its 82nd year so far, has to be considered as an event far beyond a typical meeting of economic and trade interest. It stands as an institution of international magnitude, which highlights the important role of the city of Thessaloniki and it gives prominence to the significant growth potential that northern Greece and our whole homeland have, as well.
The upcoming TIF is a special one for another reason. The fact that the honoured country in this year’s TIF is the friend country of China. Now a global superpower, China has strong historical, economical and cultural ties with our country. Both China and Greece are representing today, the great heritage of our ancient civilizations and their most remarkable accomplishments, among others, in arts, science and trade.
During my recent visit to China, we reaffirmed, together with President Xi Jinping, that the cooperation between Greece and China, is a strategic choice for both sides and that there is a huge potential for a much broader and much stronger cooperation on several aspects of our common interests.
Such as in energy, infrastructure, transportation and exports, where there are now certain projects that we are working upon, along with the Chinese side, in order to achieve specific results on those projects, soon.
This is a time in which Greece is moving steadily towards the path of recovery and the end of the cruel era of austerity and fiscal adjustment programs. Therefore, a boost of the growth potential of our country is, nevertheless, vital.
TIF will be another landmark in this effort for recovery, in which every single one of the country’s productive forces can and must be at the forefront.
I am sure that by joining forces, working hard and with vision, we will be able to put ourselves in a position where the next year’s TIF, on September of 2018 – with the end of the period of the fiscal consolidation programmes – will symbolize the dawn of a new era for our country and our society, leaving behind for good, the era of the crisis that has to be gone irrevocably.