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Visit of Greek President to strengthen bilateral trade
15
Oct '08
The President of Greece, Mr Karolos Papoulias is on a state visit to Vietnam. As part of his program, he attended a business forum held between business delegations of both countries. The forum is expected to bring a momentum to trade and commercial development between Greece and Vietnam.

While addressing the forum, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Doukas said there were many promising areas of cooperation for bilateral trade development, of which textiles and garments were two amongst many.

Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vice President, Eleftherios Kourtalis said, "Bilateral economic co-operation is steadily and continuously developing, but is obviously lagging behind the potential of our two countries, despite good and amicable relations.”

He said he believed that the forum would lay the foundations for launching a coordinated effort to explore new areas of cooperation. He also stressed by saying "In this information age, geographic distance separating our countries should not be a barrier.”

Mr Konstantinos Antonopoulos, Chairman of Greek Business Council said “there exists a lot of opportunities for Greek businessmen in Vietnam as the Vietnamese economy was well on its way to a multi-sector model operating on market mechanisms.”

He added by saying that “As a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam could be a gateway for Greek enterprises to access one of the biggest markets in the world, with a population of 600 million.”

The Deputy Minister of Industry & Trade of Vietnam, Le Danh Vinh said “the economies of the two countries complimented each other and Greece could prove to be a potential partner of Vietnam”.

Earlier in June, during the visit of the Vietnamese President to Greece, a MOU on modernizing the lottery system in Ho Chin Minh city was signed between the lottery operating company and Intralot SA Group of Greece.

Mr Konstantinos Antonopoulos hoped that there would be more such bilateral cooperation between companies in the future. The Vice-Chairman of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Doan Duy Khuong urged businessmen from both countries to exploit untapped potential between the two countries.

Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US $90 million in 2007 of which $82 million worth of shipments were made from Vietnam which included textiles, garments, footwear etc.

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