Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen
Mr. Koutsianas thank you very much for your kind words
It gives me great pleasure to be here today at the premises of APIVITA.
APIVITA is a model business. It is a company that uses innovation and creativity in a most traditional setting, in the context of a traditional sector. Companies need to continuously reinvent themselves especially in those sectors where global competition is fierce and leaves few margins for new entries.
Innovation today is becoming the watchword for success. And success, in this business setting depends on your ability to change your business model and to adapt to changes in your environment in order to deliver better products.
APIVITA must be praised for building scale and international acclaim while remaining close to nature and tradition with a particular respect for both.
APIVITA is the type of business that makes me proud to be able to present.
Given these difficult times I must say it is not the only one but is one that should be a beacon and an example to emulate. There has been a brand of innovators in business who have persevered this hard recession and have continued to produce and to lead their industry with an orientation towards export.
It has been a firm conviction of this government that export oriented growth would spearhead development for Greece. And I am pleased to say that economic diplomacy has been both a goal and a deliverable of this government.
Over the past months I have travelled accompanied by leading Greek business people in trade missions abroad. I have tried to match their dedication and resolve with this government’s dedication to export promotion.
There is a lot to be said about the economic slowdown during these recent years. I do not want to refer to this today. It is visible that change is taking place.
Greece has achieved a primary surplus of €2.5 billion, or 1.4% of gross domestic product, between January and September this year.
According to the annual World Bank report, Greece gets the award for the country with the greatest financial improvement, rising by 48 places from a dismal ranking back in 2010.
Greek banks received what amounts to a virtually clean bill of health from the European Central Bank.
Not everything is positive. Unfortunately the value of Greek exports is beginning to decline. This is not only due to internal reasons. For example, the consequences of the Russian embargo on European Union products quickly became clear in terms of Greece’s exports.
We believe we are the right track to further enhance our export performance as a country. And what better way but to rely on businesses like APIVITA.
I have talked to Mr. Koutsiana’s about his business model and about his approach. I am sure we will soon be enlightened on the particulars of his remarkable company.
Let me say how impressed I am with a company that has managed to achieve scale and growth with a respect for the natural environment.
A company with a dedication to the notion of quality and a business ethic that brings out the best of traditional quality standards through research and innovation.
A company that embodies our priorities and sets standards to be followed.
This is the type of brand that we hope will lead our exports.
Thank you very much