In the context of the Thessaloniki Balkan Forum and on the occasion of his position as coordinator of one of the thematic units, Mr. Spyros Ignatiadis, General Director of SEVE, gave an interview, referring to the collaborations and transactions carried out by Greece with other Balkan countries inside and outside the EU, giving basis to the Greek activity in the field of exports, but also of imports, in the modern business sectors that have appeared.
As General Manager of SEVE, how do you think that businessmen from Greece can establish any collaborations with other Balkan businessmen?
First of all, regional co-operation is an important area for promoting entrepreneurship and economic and trade cooperation between the countries of the Balkan Peninsula.
Entrepreneurs such as SEVE are key players in this direction to promote international cooperation and enhance the competitiveness of their member companies.
It is now understood that for companies to succeed in the internationally competitive environment they must be ready and capable in this direction. The tools for their development abroad are well known and one of the most important tools is the cooperation between entrepreneurship and networking bodies such as the Exporters Association (SEVE) and the chambers, which aim to help Balkan companies and strengthen them to network and finally take their first steps in export trade and international activity. Businesses through their cooperation with the respective bodies gain access to know-how, networking information and also become recipients of high-quality services that minimize the risks of their expansion into new markets. Also, their participation in cross-border cooperation programs, as you can see from the ones we presented, which concern institutions, but also concern companies, are the main tool in this direction. So here’s the best for a business. To get in touch, to network in exhibitions, in trade missions so that she can listen and observe how she can expand.
Which are the countries in which Greece could enter into cooperation? For example, we have seen examples of Greek companies supporting markets such as Bulgaria
Greece has very good relations with many countries. However, this is not the only criterion for the international expansion of companies.
Every company, understanding the market data and the sector in which it operates, must choose the appropriate export marketing mix in this direction, analyzing and targeting the points that have the strategic advantage.
Our member companies export to many countries across the globe depending on their size and industry, promoting Greek products and services in several countries. At the same time, we find that in terms of size, small and medium-sized enterprises are now taking their first steps, mainly in EU countries. and this is very important. The role of SEVE is to strengthen these companies and to establish links with other companies and other countries.
There are projects implemented by SEVE in cooperation with other Balkan countries. Do you think that exports to these countries can be made more efficiently?
Of course, there are cross-border projects such as Interreg, which aim to add value to the businesses of the participating countries. Interreg projects are usually projects carried out in the Balkan and Black Sea regions. They are projects that promote business and their strategic development in new areas such as the circular economy, green entrepreneurship, areas that will occupy businesses and will be a criterion for maintaining their viability. Also one of our goals is to prevent intra-regional disparities and the creation of a gap between the regions of the European Union due to lack of know-how, innovation, and new production methods. By participating in these programs we try to strengthen Balkan companies to meet international competitiveness challenges.
About the interviewee:
Mr. Spyros Ignatiadis is the General Manager of the Association of Greeks Exporters. Has experience in organizing and managing national and European research programs. He has also been involved in many European Informatics Projects and Conferences, funded by European Commission and other institutions. He is also a member Hellenic National Public Relations Company as well as various others social actors and organizations. Finally, Mr. Ignatiadis was Vice President of the HELLENIC SOCIETY LOGISTICS (Hellenic Company Logistics) of Northern Greece.
SEVE (EXPORT ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN GREECE) was founded in 1975 as a non-profit organization and today is the largest association of export companies in Greece. SEVE represents 725 companies and business groups throughout Greece. The base of SEVE includes 520 active and dynamic export companies with 41,000 employees and an export turnover of 8.5 billion euros, which corresponds to 40% of Greek exports.
The above action, project, or interview took place in the context of the Balkans in-site informal youth group of which Theodora Vounidi and Annia Korneeva were co-founders. This has been granted with common consent to the Balkan Youth Cooperation since it has been carried out by its founders and volunteers.