ECONOMY

Raising the profile of Cypriot products in Greece

A new campaign appealing to Greek consumers to purchase Cypriot products has been launched, continuing the success of a similar drive in Cyprus for the promotion of Greek products, both organized by the Cyprus-Greece Business Association (CGBA).

Under the motto “We buy our OWN products,” the campaign is a two-pronged appeal to consumers: It intends both to remind consumers of the quality of Cypriot goods that come to Greece (and vice versa) and to appeal to people’s sentiment, saying on its poster: “We support our producers and economy, we strengthen the enterprises and the workers.”

“We are relying on the exquisite quality of Cypriot products to overcome the crisis, but we are also asking everyone to lend a hand in order to support our economies that at the end of the day will benefit us all,” the chairman of the CGBA, Akis Pigasiou, told Kathimerini English Edition.

In a presentation on Thursday at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was held with the support of the Cyprus Trade Center in Athens, the CGBA highlighted the potential for closer cooperation between the businessworlds of Greece and Cyprus, after the turnover of Greek imports to Cyprus in 2011 came to 1.3 billion euros while the figure for Cypriot imports to Greece was 300 million euros.

“With unemployment at 15 percent in Cyprus, which a few years ago would have been unthinkable, and 26 percent in Greece, it is imperative for us to help each other, as that would create a virtuous circle of greater turnover, a drop in prices, an increase in employment and disposable incomes and more consumption taxes paid into the state coffers,” explained Pigasiou, who is also the chairman of the Cypriot subsidiary of Hellenic Petroleum. “The economy needs the help of industrialists,” he stressed.

The campaign, which started in December in Cyprus and will continue throughout 2013 in both countries, also targets enterprises such as Greek hotels – which Pigasiou says the CGBA hopes to persuade to switch to Cypriot wines instead of foreign ones for their functions – as well as supermarkets, restaurants and so on in an effort to bolster the availability of Cypriot imports such as halloumi cheese, potatoes, wine and much more.

The campaign is sponsored in Cyprus by most of the island’s major companies, half of which are Greek subsidiaries, such as National Bank, Alpha Bank, OPAP, Hellenic Petroleum and Eurobank among others, and is now aiming at securing the support of Greece-based enterprises too, as well as a strong presence in the country’s mass media. Notably, the successful “Think Greek” campaign in Greece is now likely to incorporate Cypriot products as well, Pigasiou told Kathimerini.

He also cited previous examples of cooperation agreements struck between Greek and Cypriot companies, such as the introduction of Cyprus’s vastly popular Papafilipou ice cream by the Carrefour supermarket chain in Greece, and the import of AB Vassilopoulos products in Cyprus through the local Alphamega retail chain.

“We are trying to get producers in one country in contact with supermarkets in the other, in a bid to maximize cooperation and improve consumer access to products that are our own,” added Pigasiou.

He also revealed that a well-known supermarket chain in Greece is in talks with a major food producer in Cyprus for the production of a series of own-label products to be sold across Greece.