Euro-Arab business event

The breadth of bilateral agreements between Greece and Arab countries is expanding rapidly and there are wide opportunities for growth in trade and investment, a former foreign minister and honorary chairman of the Mediterranean Cooperation Foundation, Karolos Papoulias, told a press briefing yesterday. The foundation is organizing an ambitious business gathering and exhibition, titled «Building New Bridges: Europe and the Arab World,» at the Piraeus Port Authority exhibition center from November 28 to December 4, aimed at promoting cooperation in investment in Southeast Europe. The event, sponsored by Foreign Minister George Papandreou and General Secretary of the Arab League Amr Moussa, is expected to draw a large number of businesspeople from the EU, the Balkans, the Black Sea area, and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern nations, particularly the Gulf states. Interest is projected to focus on construction, tourism, real estate, banking and new technologies. Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis, who participated in the briefing, noted that Greece is well placed to become a transport link between Europe and Asia within the framework of the European Union’s promotion of inter-European networks reaching to the east, and that Arab consortiums would find it suitable to participate in such projects as the rail line across northern Greece from the port of Igoumenitsa and the sea link from the Adriatic to Cyprus which are to begin in 2006 and 2008 respectively. Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys said the event will give an opportunity for the formation of partnerships with a view to promoting sustainability, the rational use of resources and the upgrading of the quality of farming products.