ECONOMY

Papastratos banking on exports

Leading tobacco firm Papastratos on Wednesday announced that a planned investment of 25 million euros in the transformation of the company’s factory into an exporting center is in the works.

The news emerged following a meeting between Papastratos chairman and chief executive officer Nikitas Theofilopoulos, parent company Philip Morris International’s vice president Massimo Andolina and Development Minister Costas Skrekas in Athens.

The two corporate officials informed Skrekas that Papastratos’s plans include the installation of seven new production lines as well as a new state-of-the-art unit for tobacco processing that will require the expansion of one of the factory’s wings. Upon the investment’s completion, expected by mid-2015, the plant’s total production volume will have doubled while the additional output will be destined for export to more than 30 countries around the world, including France, Italy, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The plan will not only safeguard the jobs of the factory’s 270 employees but it could also create up to 50 new jobs.

Skrekas expressed the government’s support in investment initiatives such as that of Papastratos and Philip Morris, which support the country’s new production model and signal a trend toward healthy entrepreneurship. “I am particularly happy that a company of global stature such as Philip Morris International through Papastratos continues to honor our country and assist in our efforts to emerge from the crisis,” the minister stated.

“Philip Morris International remains steady and consistent with its commitment to the country,” said Andolina, while Theofilopoulos added, “We are securing existing jobs while creating a small number of new ones and we are contributing toward the strengthening of the country’s exports.”