US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt on Monday said that Greece is making “great strides towards creating a more welcoming business climate for investors and entrepreneurs,” praising the recently elected government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for “exceeding expectations” and doing “a tremendous amount of work to advance the reform agenda,” the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) has reported.
Greece’s progress “is helping to grow our trade relationship,” Pyatt told the 4th annual ExportUSA Forum in downtown Athens on Monday night, adding that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Greece in early October “reinforced” this notion.
“We consider Greece to be an important economic partner, not just on its own terms, but also as a gateway to the Western Balkans and Southeastern Europe,” he added.
“I am certain that our trade and investment relationship will continue to grow and deepen in the years ahead,” Pyatt said in his closing remarks.
American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce President Nikolaos Bakatselos also hailed the Strategic Dialogue between Athens and Washington, stressing that it sets the framework for Greek-US relations to “gain momentum.”
Bakatselos noted that Greek exports to the US increased by 7.17 percent in the first half of 2019, compared with the same period last year, reaching a value of 673.06 million euros and he estimated that figures can improve even more with broader business plans, more targeting and deeper specialization.
Direct US investments in Greece surpassed 1.2 billion euros in 2018, up 16 percent from 2017, said Bakatselos.