Deputy Foreign Minister for International Economic Relations, Dimitris Mardas, accompanied by the CEO of Enterprise Greece and executives of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), was in Paris on 17 and 18 February for meetings with French officials and entrepreneurs, with the aim of promoting Greek-French cooperation, in implementation of the Joint Declaration of the Greek Prime Minister and French President regarding the upgrading of bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership.
In his capacity as coordinator for the development of Greek-French economic relations, Mardas met with L. Schweitzer, Inspector General for Investments and coordinator for the French side, with whom he reviewed bilateral economic cooperation and exchanged views on the Road Map for the Economy and Culture, which is a component of the Greek-French Strategic Relationship and is expected to be signed during the upcoming visit of French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to Athens. Also discussed was the visit of French Economy Minister E. Macron to Athens, which is being scheduled for early April. The Road Map for cooperation with France is expected to serve as the “pilot” for the signing of similar agreements with other European countries.
Mardas’ meeting with his French counterpart, Matthias Fekl [photo] focused on the strengthening of bilateral economic relations, mainly in the sectors of tourism, infrastructure, transport and attracting French investments to Greece.
Within the framework of his visit to Paris, Mardas also met with the Europe Director of MEDEF, the French association of employers and industrialists, with whom he exchanged views on the preparation of French Prime Minister Valls’ upcoming visit to Greece, which is expected to include a large delegation of French entrepreneurs.
He also raised the issue of industrial subcontracting and how it can contribute to the recovery and strengthening of Greek enterprises through French industries’ outsourcing portions of their production to Greek companies. Emphasis was put on the start-ups market, and it was agreed to set up meetings in the coming time between Greece and French start-ups, with reciprocal visits to Greece and France.
Also discussed was the French proposal for the presentation of French expertise in new models of funding for SMEs in the tourism and infrastructure sectors, along the lines of the funding mechanism of the Juncker Plan.
Finally, Mardas attended an event for the presentation of the Greek privatization programme, which was held at the Greek Embassy in Paris and attended by French companies and agencies that have shown interest in our country.