ECONOMY

Philip Morris to set up logistics hub in Western Greece

Tobacco giant Philip Morris International told the Greek government on Thursday it is setting up its sole logistics hub for Europe in western Greece.

“For us, Greece is of strategic significance as regards Oriental-type tobaccos,” Nikitas Theofilopoulos (photo left), CEO of the global company’s Papastratos Greek subsidiary, told Prime Minister Antonis Samaras (right).

The plan foresees tobaccos from Greece, Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia being stored at Papastratos’s hub in Agrinio, before being sent to Philip Morris’s factories in other European Union countries, as well as Russia and Ukraine.

Samaras noted that the plan would entail important benefits for the Greek economy, in terms of new jobs and exports. “This expansion of activities, along with Philip Morris’s new investment, constitutes a powerful vote of confidence in the Greek economy,” he said.

The Agrinio hub covers an area of some 15 acres and received the first 500 tons of tobacco from Bulgaria this week. It is expected to be in full operational mode next year, when it will be handling about 15,000 tons. Philip Morris has invested about 600 million euros in Greece in the last 10 years and is committed to expanding its purchases of Greek tobaccos.