Young Greek enterpreneurs looking towards Asia

There is a large interest by Greek entrepreneneurs and professionals to establish a network of co-operation with China. On various occasions such as the events organised by the Greek-Chinese Chamber they attempt to explore business opportunities.  During a recent talk made by the Commercial Attaché of the Greek General Consulate in Shanghai  had the opportunity to meet some of them and present their thoughts on how they might co-operate with Chinese partners.

Claire Perifanou , Technomep

Claire Perifanou

Claire Perifanou

Ms Claire Perifanou is the CEO of Technomep. Technomep was established in 1972 in Piraeus and since 2008 works in new modern facilities in Schisto Industrial Park . The company’s core operation is engineering and machining processes but it has also developed a specific activity in the sectors of metallic construction, heavy metal surfaces (corrosion protection), defence equipment and all types of welding (aluminum-stainless-special alloys). According to Ms Perifanou, ‘ship repair services had extensively taken place in China but – due to the crisis of the maritime industry – these services have been limited in recent years. We now want to revive the process. There is good expertise from the part of Greek companies but this expertise has to be utilised in a more efficient way’.

As the CEO of Technomep explains on ‘many Chinese companies want to become active in Europe. We can offer them this opportunity via our certified technicians and inspectors who can test their produsts, mainly metallic constructions. In other words, we can act as a means to help Chinese companies further invest in Europe and the USA by providing them with the necessary certificates to proceed. We also hope to establish partnerships in the sector of ships repairs and inspections’.  Within this context, Ms Claire Perifanou considers the presence of COSCO in Piraeus Port Authority as highly important as ‘COSCO will bring some new, large tanks as the existing ones are old and cannot be used’.

Christos Goulas and Rania Markou, Ius Laboris

Constantinos Kremalis and Rania Markou

Christos Goulas and Rania Markou

Mr Christos Goulas and Ms Rania Markou  from Ius Laboris law firm are also interested in investigating whether Chinese investors are interested in buying Greek properties. ‘Our law firm is active in many areas such as insurance and employment law but also in real estate where we work in co-operation with foreign citizens who want to invest in Greece.As this interest is developing, we plan to expand our services’, they both say on

‘Asia is gradually becoming an even more important economic centre and therefore the need of a better understanding between Asian and Western differences in labor law and rules governing economic activity has increased. We believe, we are well-qualified to successfully manage cases dealing with that kind of differences. In that regard, we have established a partnership with a law firm operating in China. This gives us the opportunity to use their expertise and provide immediate solutions’, Mr Christos Goulas and Ms Rania Markou assert. In their view a stable taxation system might facilitate Chinese investments in Greece along with an efficient bilateral approach.

Antonia Katsiaganni, Hellia

Antonia Katsiaganni

Antonia Katsiaganni

Ms Antonia Katsiaganni is marketing and communication manager  in Hellia company, exporting quality products of the Greek land to central Europe and the Middle East. ‘We are a customer-oriented company and we select  products with unique nutritional taste and value aiming at boositing the Greek nature of the Mediterranean cuisine. But we are at an early stage in approaching the Chinese market because we lack the experience and practices of relevant Italian and Spanish companies’, she admits on

The good news, however, is that ‘Chinese customers become gradually interested in quality food and are willing to pay more in that regard’. According to Ms Antonia Katsiaganni Hellia has already made  some steps approaching the Chinese market but negotations have not yet brought positive results. ‘The lack of trust and correct information as well as legal obstacles, high competition and bureaucracy have played a negative role. But Hellia is continuing its effort to approach Chinese customers and arrange face-t0-face introductory meeetings’, she says. ‘We now know they are absolutely typical and pay high attention to the exisiting law framework’, she concludes.

Sotiris Skouloudis