I have just returned from the annual AmChams in Europe conference in the United States, whichthis year brought together delegates from American Chambers across Europe for meetings in WashingtonDC and Seattle.
In Washington, we participated in a series of meetings at the Department of Commerce, the StateDepartment, the Pentagon, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Atlantic Council. Key topicsincluded the unfavorable developments in trade relations with the growing imposition of tariffs andthe ensuing risk of collapse of global trade institutions, the geostrategic relations between the UnitedStates, China and Russia, and the overall course of transatlantic relations. There was consensus on thevital importance of the close, long-standing relationship between Europe and the United States andon the need to reach an agreement that will safeguard and preserve our shared institutional values.In Seattle, we enjoyed the opportunity to visit Accenture, Amazon, BCG, Boeing, Microsoft, andthe University of Washington and attend exceptional presentations and creative discussions on keytechnological developments, particularly on AI and the catalytic impact it will have across all areasof lives—not least business.
Returning to Greece in the midst of a polarized pre-election period, I was struck by our collective insistenceof dwelling on the past even as exciting developments are taking place at incredible speed allaround us. It is clear to me that we must stop using the language of the past to address critical issuessuch as entrepreneurship, education and healthcare, and that we must urgently address the strikingabsence of young people in public affairs, using relevant language and working to restore their confidencein the political system. After all, they are the future of our country.
The recent European elections should also serve to remind us of the importance of creating solidpolitical structures based on common values and common orientation, and of championing transparency,inclusive communication and clear decisionmaking processes that do not lend themselvesto being misrepresented and exploited by opportunists.
Closer to home, this summer, our Chamber will also hold elections for the appointment of a newPresident and Board of Directors to serve for the coming three years. Our incumbent President,Simos Anastasopoulos, will be stepping down having completed a very successful six-year term. Onbehalf of all of us at the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, I thank him and the members ofthe Board for their contribution to the Chamber’s work and their valuable support to all the actionsand initiatives during these years.