The conference entitled “Export Summit VIII – Awareness: a Key Factor to Success”, organised by the Greek Exporters’ Association (SEVE) on Thursday, 17 June 2021, was a resounding success. The Association pioneered by organising for the first time in Greece a conference in a three-dimensional exhibition centre, the SEVE LiveOn Expo Complex. The 8th Export Summit was implemented in a hybrid format with the majority of speakers participating in physical presence and more than 1,500 delegates attending digitally and browsing the 3D exhibition centre.
At the same time, visitors to the SEVE LiveOn Expo Complex were able to interact with other visitors (peer-to-peer networking) who appeared to be live and online, browse the sponsors’ booths in the virtual Sponsors Hall, where they could collect their digital information material and hold scheduled B2B business meetings with them in specially-designed digital spaces with video call and/or chat, and create their personal digital information “bag”.
Greek economy in the post-COVID era
The Conference started with the welcome address by the President of the Association, Dr George Konstantopoulos, who focused on the “empathy” that Greek exporters must cultivate in order to perceive in time the developments in international trade and enhance their international competitiveness. “If we want to remain competitive, we need to have increased ‘perception’ in order to take advantage of the opportunities presented to us and to be aware of the problems we will have to face,” he stressed.
Right sfter, the Secretary General for International Economic Relations and Extroversion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ioannis Smyrlis, addressed the Summit, focusing on the extroversion of the Greek economy in the post-COVID era. In his presentation, Mr Smyrlis referred to the mission of the Ministry, which is to reform economic diplomacy in line with the standards of developed economies, while he referred extensively to the “Extroversion Gateway”, a new unified and coherent structure set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that integrates all the organizational units responsible for economic extroversion.
Among the political figures who took the floor, was the Minister of Environment and Energy, Mr Kostas Skrekas, who said, inter alia, “Strengthening the competitiveness of Greek businesses is our main priority. For this reason, we are actively involved in shaping the European cross-border carbon adjustment mechanism to protect businesses from unfair competition from countries outside the EU.”
Extroversion, key to the future
Keynote Speaker of the Conference was Mr Georgios Hadjinicolaou, Chairman of the Board of Piraeus Bank and the Hellenic Banking Association, who spoke extensively on the importance of extroversion for the Greek economy, stressing that exports were the only sector that resisted the economic crisis and the pandemic, while at the same time shows strong growth prospects for the future. He then spoke about the Recovery Fund and the importance of digital and green transformation for the Greek economy, underlining that Piraeus Bank essentially supports the export orientation of its customers and in this context is expected to provide loans amounting to €22 billion until 2024.
This year’s Export Summit was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, as well as the General Secretariat for International Economic Relations and External Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.