As the year comes to a close, we all reflect on what went well and what didn’t, wonder what the new year will bring, make resolutions and set goals, and allow ourselves a shot of optimism for what the future holds. The pandemic continues to be one of the biggest issues of our time, especially as new variants of the virus prevent us from returning to the sense of normalcy that we all so eagerly crave. On the eve of the festive season, this can seem particularly worrying, but medical science has made tremendous advances in the fight against Covid, and I believe that we will soon find our way out of this crisis. Until then, it is up to us as a society to show the necessary maturity and responsibility and not fall prey to misinformation, unproven rumors or conspiracy theories.
We must also keep our eyes on the ball as soaring energy and raw materials prices drive up inflation, further complicating the impact of the pandemic crisis and causing governments around the world to take further action to support their economies — action that comes at the expense of burdening national debts with whatever that means for the future. In this context, all the relief and aid packages in play are crucial to keep economies afloat until the situation turns around.
For its part, Greece is expected to close the year with high positive growth and very encouraging projections for 2022 — and prudent management of the Recovery Fund is key to helping the country recover lost ground and hit the ground running on its way to achieving substantial and sustainable growth. But what does “sustainable development” actually mean? Both in Greece and internationally, it is high time to reflect on this and to acknowledge and address the key issues that stand in our way to achieving it: the widening wealth gap, tax inequality and evasion, undeserved privilege and entitlement, ongoing discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability or other grounds, the rampant environmental destruction and degradation that threatens our future, and the systematic undermining of our democratic institutions, values and principles.
Understanding the importance of all the above in achieving the future we are working toward, the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce continues to organize a wide range of activities and initiatives focusing on and addressing these issues. In 2021, this effort is culminating in the 32nd Greek Economic Summit, held in December, which is dedicated to redefining growth for a truly inclusive and sustainable future.
As we all get ready to usher in the new year and renew our efforts for a better tomorrow, we at the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce would like to thank our members and friends for their continued support in all our efforts. Stay safe and well.