Major opportunities for US firms


US Ambassador in Athens Geoffrey Pyatt discerns huge opportunities for American companies in Greece, mainly in tourism, energy and startups.

Addressing a press conference in Athens on Thursday on the US being the honored country at this September’s Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), he constantly repeated that “the strategic commitment of the US administration is to assist Greece march forward.”

“Investors follow growth,” Pyatt stated, explaining that US companies have major openings to discover in Greece – following years of US divestment from the country – as “uncertainty has been reduced, the Grexit risk is banished and there is stability in the credit system.”

The US diplomat also referred to recent investments by Avis in Greece, with the takeover of Avis Greece by the Avis Budget Group, the strong activity of US enterprises in the tourism sector, and the participation of ExxonMobil in the hydrocarbon surveying south and west of Crete.

Furthermore, he expressed hope that in the next few weeks there will be an announcement about the Alexandroupoli natural gas terminal station, saying that he was encouraged by the signs from the latest meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov regarding the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria pipeline.

Pyatt also referred to the depth of Greek-US relations, saying they stretch far beyond trade, but stopped short of commenting on how Washington’s new tariff policy will affect bilateral trade.

According to the ambassador, this year’s TIF is the vehicle for Greece to gain attention in the US and for American companies to take note of the Greek economic recovery. The US pavilion at TIF will cover 6,000 square meters and host the representatives of 52 major US companies and educational entities, ranging from pharmaceuticals and food to defense systems and consultancies.

“This fair could be the landmark for the future,” said Simos Anastasopoulos, the head of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, who stressed that TIF will take place just 20 days after the bailout program expires.