ECONOMY

SEV sees a more outward-looking economy and society

The Federation of Greek Industries(SEV) considers the staging of the Athens Olympics as «a first-class opportunity» for the progress of the national economy, provided it is approached with vision, entrepreneurship and in a spirit which favors economic growth. According to a statement, the Games constitute an historic event for the country, repositioning it on the world map, projecting a new profile and enabling the international business community to see Greece in a new, positive light as a place for the development of new activities. SEV sees the main significance of the Games mainly in the long-term effect they could have on the Greek economy and society. It takes the view that the strong impact expected on the sports sector will in turn set in motion productive sectors of the Greek economy, while it is very likely that the Games will mark a turning point in demand in the tourism sector, accelerating the upgrading of service quality. SEV considers that, along with the impressive enhancement of the country’s infrastructure in preparation for the Games and its indirect impact on all sectors, Greece’s upgraded international profile should help in the acceleration of the rates of growth and its becoming a «choice destination» not only for tourism but for commercial activity and investment. SEV also sees the experience of the Games leading Greece to become more outward looking, bolstering all manner of contact with other nations. «After the Games, Greece will definitely be a more open society,» says SEV. The statement notes the serious difficulties involved in the preparation for this global event which added burdens for its public finances. Nevertheless, SEV considers that the benefits offered by the Games in the long term can serve as a springboard for sustainable growth on a sound base, provided opportunities are tapped. This is the main challenge the country will face after the Games. SEV is one of the major Greek institutional organizations and agencies sponsoring the Athens Business Club (ABC) 2004 initiative, a business matchmaking and marketing service designed to tap the potential for the promotion of foreign investment and trade during the Olympics. The project is organized under the auspices of the Hellenic Center for Investment (ELKE), seeking to enhance the «outward looking dynamics» of the Greek economy. Prospective members may register online at www.abc2004.gr.