Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Mardas met, at their request, with the Ambassadors to Athens of the countries of the ASEAN Committee in Athens (ACAT): the Ambassadors of Vietnam, Tran Thi Ha Phuong; Indonesia, Benny Bahanadewa; the Philippines, Nestor Ochoa; and Thailand, Joompol Manaschuang.
During the meeting, which took place in an excellent climate, the ASEAN-country Ambassadors briefed Mr. Mardas on the current developments in ASEAN economies (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar), underscoring the significant and increasing economic weight they represent, as the total GDP of the top ten countries stands at some $2 trillion, while the total population of the ASEAN countries is about 625 million.
With regard to bilateral economic relations with Greece, the Ambassadors briefed Mr. Mardas on the Committee’s activities here (participation of National Stands in international exhibitions, such as the TIF; presentation of the economic environment of their countries at workshops, including at the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises [SEV]; organization of business missions, etc.) and underscored the need to deepen economic cooperation. They highlighted the major potential for trade cooperation between Greece and ASEAN countries, mainly in the sectors of shipping, food and beverages, transport, and tourism, while they also noted the increasing interest of their enterprises in being informed of the growing potential for investments in Greece.
Mr. Mardas, too, underscored the need to strengthen economic/trade cooperation between Greece and ASEAN countries, stressing that, beyond any initiatives on the diplomatic level, an important role can be played by the bilateral chambers of commerce and the bilateral business councils, which can be used as a tool for cooperation between entrepreneurs and as a means for carrying out specific actions.