Interview with Mr Christos Folias

Face2Face
Mr Christos Folias
Mr Christos Folias
Minister
Ministry of Development – Hellenic Republic (Greece)
Ministry of Development – Hellenic Republic (Greece)

Supporting competitiveness within the Greek Textile Industry, what all provisions are made by your ministry to upgrade the industry in terms of technology and workforce?

We continuously promote favorable measures for entrepreneurship in the textile industry. Businesses of all sizes discover needs that constitute eligible costs such as the following:

•Know-how, Vocational Training, Education •Modern equipment •Product promotion •Name promotion •Studies and consultation by experts •Quality system implementation •Branded products for specialized markets and applications •Specialized fabrics by natural or synthetic fibers for applications of high tech requirements •“Smart” clothing made by advanced fabrics at reasonable prices •Sector restructuring for the mass production of high specification raw materials (e.g. fabrics or fibers)

The state steps in to provide aid for all of the above. Aid that is addressed to businesses of all sizes in Textiles-Clothing-Footwear-Leatherwear (KEYD) manufacturing and services that place emphasis on design, branding, exhibition participation, organization and realization of fashion shows and seek access to sector's know-how or even seek to create a research laboratory, product and design quality control, etc.

Aid, more specifically, concerns: --creative design and production of dress pattern, --promotion and movement of products domestically and abroad, --research on new methods or materials etc, on account of major businesses in the area, --specialized facon, --production of goods having a new or novel nature for both Greek and international requirements, --change of production orientation

The aid rate is determined at 45-55% of the total investment plan, while the possibility of the following is under examination:

--Implementation of cost categories free of quota restrictions on the budget, and --Aid for specialized consulting beyond the time of completion of the rest investment plan.

Moreover, as far as infrastructure is concerned, two institutional bodies: ELKEDE (Hellenic Leather Centre) and ETAKEI (Clothing Textile & Fiber Technology Development Company) provide, at horizontal basis, the following services to businesses in the Textiles-Clothing-Footwear-Leatherwear (KEYD) sector:

•Promotion of planning and innovation – transfer of know-how – good practices – promotion of research and exploitation of its results •Establishment of a fashion observatory – recording of market trends and developments – timely planning and response of domestic Textiles-Clothing-Footwear-Leatherwear (KEYD) •Executives’ training (planning, promotion and export issues), employers’ vocational training •Issue of journal – information leaflet •Organization of exhibitions •Support of business restructuring in Textiles-Clothing-Footwear-Leatherwear (KEYD) through the provision of specialized consultancy and study elaboration •Clustering promotion

Finally, the promotion of Greek fashion and its imposition to the public’s conscience is a very serious factor for promoting Greek Textiles-Clothing-Footwear-Leatherwear (KEYD) products.This factor is able to counterbalance in many aspects the lower cost of imported products.

The Greek Fashion Week even though established only a few years ago, is an important biannual event with great participation, wide coverage and significant entrepreneurial interest.

Sir, a few words for our over 2 million visitors/members/investors-

Greece offers a stable environment for investment. For instance, the Greek market for Venture Capital has recently expanded due to new financial market and product needs that have led to the creation of new firms providing these services. Furthermore, the government has focused on the simplification of business start-ups and development, by taking measures to encourage Foreign Direct Investments and supported R&D initiatives.

Fund capital is preferably invested in companies active in key “new economy” sectors such as Telecommunications, Information Technologies (IT), e-commerce, Biotechnology and new materials. Moreover, Greek venture capital companies qualify for special fiscal incentives under the most recent legal framework.

Interested parties will find the Hellenic Centre for Investments (Invest in Greece Agency, E.L.K.E) an important ally for gathering information. ELKE is a private organization supervised by the Hellenic Ministry of Economy, which plays a key role for attracting FDI in Greece. Indian companies which plan to invest in Greece could contact the Centre in order to receive information regarding investment opportunities.

The Indian-Greek strategic partnership, originally established during the visit of the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis to India in January 2008, reflects the political and cultural binding between two of the oldest civilizations in human history. I believe that our PM’s visit to India reflects Greek interest to further cooperation with your country. Synergy is the key to a successful investment momentum for both our countries.

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Published on: 29/09/2008

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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