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Tourism: challenges and priorities outlined by PM George Papandreou

Addressing the 19th General Assembly of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) on 4th May, Prime Minister George Papandreou outlined the priorities, the goals and the successes of the government policy in tourism sector and the promotion of Greece abroad. Papandreou focused on the simplification of the licensing process in tourist investments, stressing that tourism should be one of the basic pillars for boosting the Greek economy.
“In the coming months there will be a licensing simplification in investments and facilitation of visa issuing for nationals of emerging economies such as China and Russia. […] There will also be a reduction in the prices of sea transport tickets, as well as in landing and take-off fees at several airports,” said Papandreou noting that the tourism industry has been reporting positive signs as what is being offered is quality service at good prices.
Referring to the enormous potential of Internet and social networking, Papandreou hailed the online promotion of Greece via the official site of Visit Greece, the newly launched my-greece.gr, and through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.
Prime Minister.GR: Tourism policy – Results (in Greek); YouTube: You in Greece Campaign [VIDEO]
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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New era in Greek-Turkish relations

» High Level Cooperation

Premier George Papandreou and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan expressed their will to take important steps towards the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations, as the Turkish leader wrapped up an official visit to Athens on Saturday.
This was sealed with the opening session of the Greece-Turkey High Level Cooperation Council and the signing of 21 agreements.
George Papandreou met with the chiefs of Turkish media, while Erdogan with the chiefs of the Greek newspapers.
The Greek premier told Turkish journalists that Erdogan’s visit heralds a new era in Greek-Turkish relations, further adding that the two sides had better overcome their differences. He also touched on economic cooperation between Athens and Ankara.

» “We have an agreement”

Twenty-one cooperation agreements in fields as diverse as technology and tourism were signed during the Turkey-Greece High Level Cooperation Council.
Ministers signed agreements boosting trade, investments and shipping and the two countries will hereby extend their cooperation in projects concerning infrastructure works and transnational transport networks.
Relations between the two countries in the field of immigration will be governed by a bilateral agreement which provides for readmission of illegal immigrant flows to Turkey and cooperation in the fight against organized crime, trafficking and civil protection.
Both sides agreed to improve tourism cooperation, aiming at increasing their market share in countries with economic potential such as China, as well as raising global awareness on matters of cultural heritage protection.

Special attention was given to education and synergies concerning research. Environment protection and joint ventures in energy projects including renewable energy sources and the existing Turkey- Greece-Italy gas pipeline were also sealed with respective deals.
In terms of strengthening bilateral ties,  a Joint Political Declaration on the establishment of the High Level Cooperation Council as well as a Protocol on regular political consultations between the two countries’ foreign ministries were signed.

» Signing the Olympic Truce

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concluded on Saturday his landmark visit to Athens by signing the Olympic Truce initiative.

At a brief ceremony in front of the imposing Panathenaic Stadium, Erdogan referred to the “great honour in signing my name in this book; to put my signature for a world of peace.”
Papandreou said that Turkey’s support for the idea sends out a clear message “by Turkey and Greece to the world,” adding that Greece will actively support Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

7th Thessaloniki International Book Fair

The National Book Centre of Greece (EKEBI) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with HELEXPO and the Hellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers are organising the 7th Thessaloniki International Book Fair (TIBF) from April 22 to 25, with “Antiquity and Us” as this year’s theme.
TIBF is the leading cultural event for books in Greece which has managed over the years to become a focal point for the book world in Greece and the wider Balkan and Mediterranean region.
Thirty countries will be represented in this year’s fair which features more than 100 events: Greek and foreign authors as guest speakers, special features, seminars and workshops.
China will be the country of honour. Over 200 Chinese (publishers, authors, artists, government representatives) will be in Thessaloniki to present China’s immense book market but also a country with a rich tradition and history.
Greek News Agenda (30.5.2008) – Special Issue: Thessaloniki – City of Culture

Greek Woman’s Allure in China

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  For those who dream a career abroad Dr. Efstratia Zafeiriou might have something useful to contribute. Born in Greece, she completed her studies in Germany as an engineer.

Specialising in market and trend research, today Zafeiriou is responsible for a leading German car maker’s strategic development in the Chinese market.  Speaking to Greek media in the sidelines of a commemorative event marking 20 years of Thessaloniki University’s Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering – 41 year-old and mother of three – Zafeiriou said she considers her studies in Greece a solid base to start from and she is thankful for the fact that German enterprises value the multicultural features of their staff.  She admits that China is another country that lends itself to rich intercultural experiences, admitting that “my Greek origin has always been a plus abroad.” 

Greek President at the European Academy of Marketing

ceb3ceb9cf89cf81ceb3cebf-aylonitis(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Marketing professor at Athens University of Economics and Business, Giorgos Avlonitis was elected president of the European Academy of Marketing for the biennium 2008-2010. The European Academy of Marketing is considered a prestigious academic network for marketing research and teaching. The institute counts more than 1,000 members and is highly active in the United States, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Oceania, and Israel. George Avlonitis is  Professor of Marketing at the Department of Marketing and Communication, and past president of the Greek Marketing Academy.  

Chinese President visited the island of Crete

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Concluding his visit to Greece, Chinese President Hu Jintao yesterday visited the island of Crete where he paid visits to the archaeological site of Knossos (see picture) and the Museum of Heraklion, capital city of the region. Accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Dora Bakoyannis and Tourism Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, the Chinese President joined the olive harvesting process and stated that “Cretan olive oil has already started entering the Chinese market.”  Kathimerini daily: Cretan olive oil heading east to China; Greek News Agenda: Greece and China Shake Hands  Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece- Export Goods: a new-found emphasis on quality & Agricultural Produce, Greek food, Olive oil

Greek – Chinese Relations Grow

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Chinese President Hu Jintao is scheduled to arrive in Athens on Monday, November 24, and it is expected that this visit will herald a new era in bilateral relations between Greece and China, which date back to 1972. The recent development of Sino-Greek relations has been stunning, especially in the sectors of economy and culture. After Athens hosted the Olympic Games 2004, preparations for the Olympic event in Beijing began, which required officials to meet regularly and discuss everything from know-how to security. These meetings soon expanded to include not only sports, but also trade, shipping and tourism. Discussions have helped China’s Cosco Pacific take over the cargo management services of state-controlled Piraeus port in a 35-year deal assessed to be worth €4.3 billion, and the Chinese president is expected to seal the deal officially during his trip next week. Other sectors of trade include lottery and jewellery: lottery systems supplier Intralot is a Greek company expanding into the Chinese market, and the Folli-Follie group has more than 80 points of sale in China. The population of the Chinese community in Greece – estimated at 20,000 to 30,000 – is not merely interested in commercial relations with Greece, but also in evolving into a prosperous and integrated community, on many levels, throughout the country. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek- Chinese Bilateral Relations; Embassy of Greece in Beijing: www.grpressbeijing.com Mediainfo2004.gr: From Athens to Beijing; InterChina Cultural Centre in Piraeus: www.interchina.gr Secretariat General of Information: Feature Stories-The Greeks and the Chinese: Doing business for aeons (Economist, 21.08.08)