Greece to build on new economic diplomacy

After becoming the only Balkan country so far to join the European Union, Greece is now shifting its weight to economic diplomacy in an effort to further develop its role in the region and feed its companies with high growth rates. Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis said yesterday that Greece will more actively involve its embassies in the region and around the world in the promotion of Greek products and exports. There are more than 3,500 Greek businesses in the Balkans which have invested more than 6 billion euros, Stylianidis said. These investments have created 200,000 jobs, he added. Greece is the top foreign investor in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Albania and Serbia and Montenegro. It ranks among the top few in Bulgaria and Romania. Political volatility, however, remains an issue for businesses looking to tap strong growth in the region. Despite the expansion of Greek banks in the region, none has entered Turkey so far due to Greece’s sensitive ties with the neighboring country.

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