Greece is an insular country. The islands of the northern and southern Aegean Sea, the Ionian Islands and Crete form a distinctive part of the European continent with unique geographical and economic features. These features should be taken into account in the overall public strategy for inclusive growth and development. Our Constitution provides in article 101 that the State must take into consideration the special circumstances of the insular areas, taking concrete measures for their development.
Regional disparities trends, also exacerbated by the recent migration shifts and the imposed austerity policies, have particularly affected the local populations throughout the economic crisis. The Greek Government is trying to reverse these negative trends, by consistently supporting insular regions through long-term measures, aiming to highlight and further enhance entrepreneurial potential and thus contribute to local development.
Insular economic activity entails multiple opportunities, which properly developed, have solid, beneficial social and economic spillover-effects. The resource and cultural wealth, the particular natural environment, a range of internationally acclaimed research centers as well as ample energy efficiency and ICT potential are only a few. Greek enterprises, operating in insular and coastal areas are a highly successful template of development, taking advantage of these particular local features.
The Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs is committed to support every extrovert business endeavor that seeks to expand our enterprises’ scope abroad. In this framework, initiatives such as the present guide, is a step forward to connecting foreign and local partners, in the effort to display the advantages and highlight the special features as well as the future potential of insular entrepreneurship.
The current edition of the Greek Exports Guide, by the Chambers Group for the Development of Greek Isles - EOAEN, contains 500 business entries of the 19 Chambers of Commerce of Greek Islands and Coastal Regions. This concise guide, along with an on-line database to be regularly updated, provides an excellent overview of EOAEN and its member-chambers activities as well as a selection of producers and service providers operating in all major sectors of the Greek insular economy.
The promotion of international economic and business relations undoubtedly paves the way for stability and prosperity on all levels. At times like today’s, it is a necessity to support and build on healthy and innovative entrepreneurship. This is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of all complementarities. In this respect, I am confident that insular entrepreneurship can be a key contributor to the promotion of our common interests.
Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs
Professor of Public Law