ECONOMY

In Brief

PSA and Fiat turn to Turkey to make small low-cost vans PARIS (AFP) – Three European Automakers – French PSA Peugeot Citroen, Fiat of Italy and Turkish Tofas – signed an agreement yesterday to develop and produce small, low-cost commercial vans for the European market. The total investment, including research and development and production start-up costs, is estimated at 350 million euros ($453 million), the companies said in a statement. The vehicles, which will be available from 2008, are to be built at a Tofas factory in Bursa in northwest Turkey. Annual production is expected to be about 135,000 units of the new model, described as compact, cheap and versatile, with two-thirds for Peugeot and one-third for Fiat including Tofas. Tofas, owned by Fiat and Turkey’s Koc Group, already makes several Fiat models. Minister draws attention to missing link between research and industry Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said yesterday that although Greece has considerable potential in biotechnology and food technology research, the link between research and application in industry is largely missing, with adverse implications on production and economic growth. He said that as scientists cannot prove that products such as genetically modified food are harmless in the long term, the state has to be reserved regarding GM food cultivation and consumption. «We have to protect society and the environment from any negative applications of these technologies,» he stated. Development forum With a view to promoting entrepreneurship and employment in a series of national priorities, the «Entrepreneurship and Employment without Discrimination» forum starts today and concludes tomorrow at the Helexpo ground in Maroussi, under the auspices of the Labor Ministry. The forum will include a national intervention titled «Entrepreneurship in the Sports Sector,» organized by the «Sports Entrepreneurship Cooperation» development partnership, with state gaming company OPAP as its coordinating partner. Spider-Zastava Listed metallic products firm Spider is considering bidding for the 67 percent stake of Serb vehicle industry Zastava Kamioni due to be put up for sale soon by the Serbian government. The Greek company already cooperates with Zastava-Kamioni in fitting a series of metallic superstructures on Zastava heavy-duty vehicles sold in Greece and Serbia. Goldair Goldair Handling has won an international tender to be the ground handling service provider at the state airports of Rhodes and Corfu. Already active in the Athens, Thessaloniki and Iraklion airports, Goldair announced it will begin immediately to operate at the two island airports, with clients including Aegean Airlines (one of its shareholders), Aeroflot, GB Airways, DBA and Monarch. Intrasoft Software firm Intrasoft, part of telecom equipment maker Intracom, said yesterday it was awarded a 12-million-euro contract for the European Union’s Excise Movement Control System. Intrasoft said the three-year EMCS customs contract will involve the movement and transportation of refined tobacco, alcohol and spirits products within the EU, aimed at helping combat fraud and tax evasion. (Reuters)