Greek exports to the US increased by 7.17 percent in the first six months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 to 673.06 million euros from 628.06 million euros demonstrating the positive climate in bilateral trade between the two countries, said American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) President Nikolaos Bakatselos during the 4th annual ExportUSA Forum held in Athens, on Monday.
Speaking at the event titled “Exporting in a Shifting World” and organized by AmCham, Bakatselos went on to refer to the importance of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ visit to Greece this year, which he said demonstrate the American government’s commitment to the strategic dialogue between Athens and Washington, adding that it sets the groundwork for stronger Greek-US relations.
Bakatselos went to note that the value of Greek exports in 2018 reached 1.37 billion euros, while Greek imports from the US market fell to 689.34 million euros, marking an 8 percent decline.
Greek export activity has picked up significantly since 2002, growing by as much as 115 percent through to 2018. Greece is currently ranked 68th among US trade partners in the value of imports, he said.
Meanwhile, direct US investments in Greece exceeded 1.2 billion euros in 2018, up 16 percent from 2017, said Bakatselos.
“The US is the sixth most important investor for Greece in the last decade, with large and significant investments,” said Bakatselos, urging Greek entrepreneurs to upgrade their services and products with a focus on “extroversion and on maximizing the momentum”.
On his part, US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt added that the country was making “great strides towards creating a more welcoming business climate for investors and entrepreneurs”.
Greece’s progress “is helping to grow our trade relationship”, Pyatt added.
“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.