At a time when the credibility of the country and its businesses is in doubt, bringing producers into contact with traders who receive guarantees that a transaction will be completed as agreed could be one of the most important services a bank can offer, besides financing.
That is the objective of Eurobank’s “Go” initiative, which the lender is implementing for the eighth year in a row, putting producers in touch with suppliers and traders around the world for the promotion of Greek exports. Thanks to “Go,” Green Cola, Meligyris Cretan honey and Dear Crete cookies are now available in Canada and the Koukakis farm’s dairy products and Cretel olive oil can now be purchased in the Netherlands, to name but a few.
Manolis Stefanakis, the head of Meligyris (a family enterprise with a beekeeping history that dates back to 1920), was at “Go Athens” in 2017 and met Greek-Canadian trader Steve Kriaris, who imports Greek products through his Toronto-based enterprise, Kolonaki Group. He is also to be credited for the success of Green Cola in Canada.
The “Go” initiative, Stefanakis says, “is not a faceless exhibition where you meet traders whose credibility you cannot check.” That has already been done by the bank, allaying the concerns a producer in Crete or northern Greece might have before sending their produce abroad.
The Dear Crete company produces biscuits made with Cretan olive oil. Its head, Christoforos Kalabokis, who participated in “Go Crete 2017,” acknowledges the significant role of the initiative in the expansion of his company’s exports: “This service is supplier cost-free and constitutes additional assistance for Greek produce in periods of crisis,” he says.
The “Go” initiative has now secured a strong partner in Trade Club Alliance (TCA), comprising a network of some 12,000 corporations from about 50 countries around the world brought together by 13 banks including Eurobank. TCA was inspired by Banco Santander, with Eurobank being the second member of the alliance that allows export-minded producers to find reliable partners abroad, using information provided by TCA member-banks.