Last year, when I was re-elected as President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, I promised to maintain the momentum we had achieved and to continue building on it, in line with our vision and our mission to foster a strong and competitive business environment, support growth, and promote ever-stronger ties between the US and Greece as one of the largest, most active and most dynamic American Chambers in Europe. True enough, we finished 2022 strong, and 2023, so far, has been full of wins and exciting developments.
We kicked off 2023 with a fantastic party to celebrate the New Year and then hit the ground running as proud co-organizers of NBG Business Seeds’ Innovation in Greece initiative, which has since been hosted in Athens, Heraklion, Patra and Thessaloniki, promoting innovative entrepreneurship around the country.
We have organized numerous working breakfasts and luncheons with senior members of government, including Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias and Deputy Minister of Mental Health Zoe Rapti, to advance the interests of our member companies.
We’ve worked closely alongside and signed MoUs with key business organizations, public agencies and academic institutions in Greece and the United States to better address key issues and create synergies in key areas. These partners include the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EVEA), the Office of Private Sector Exchange Program Administration at the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the Public Employment Service (DYPA), Purdue University, the State International Development Organizations (SIDO), and the University of Piraeus.
We have actively pursued a strong international presence, taking part in events in the USA with our partners ACG and as part of the AmChams in Europe (ACE) network, participating in the Transatlantic Conference, and supporting the Transatlantic Economy 2023 Report and the Empower Her initiative.
Closer to home, we’ve worked beyond Greece’s borders to promote Greek business and strengthen the country’s economy and position as a leader in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, most notably through our recent business mission to Egypt that allowed select Greek companies to meet with top government and business representatives in Cairo and through our work with regional chambers—including AmChams Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Serbia—to explore ways to strengthen growth and development across the region as a whole.
And of course, we have continued working through our dedicated committees, organizing various high-profile events and special-focus workshops in key areas including agrifood, culture, education and leadership and organizing USA Pavilions at major trade exhibitions such as Thessaloniki International Book Fair and DEFEA 2023.
And we are not even at the halfway mark yet. Stay tuned for more, including ACE’s 60th anniversary celebration that we’re organizing this coming September in Athens.