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Greece seeks Qatari help to 'reverse economic crisis'

Maneesh Bakshi


DOHA Forum is proving itself to be a fruitful platform providing opportunities to its participants to meet and discuss directly with people who are in a position to make decisions thus making an important political, economical and social impact, according to Dimitris Mardas, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece.

Talking to Qatar Tribune on Saturday, the Greek minister said,"Qatar can be an important partner of Greece since we enjoy excellent diplomatic, political and cultural relations with each other. We look forward to Qatar as a brotherly country with many opportunities in the field of business, trade and investment. Besides attending this conference, my objective during this visit is to explore the areas of economic cooperation that exists between Qatar and Greece."

The Greek minister is in Doha to take part in the 16th edition of Doha Forum, which opened at Sheraton Hotel on Saturday under the theme 'Stability and Prosperity for All'. Mardas will address the conference and is expected to meet Qatari Minister of Economy and Commerce and others during his stay in Doha.

According to the visiting minister, Greece is targeting an investment of 80 billion euros in the next six years in the form of tradable goods and services to reverse its economy from the ongoing debt crisis to the path of recovery.

Talking about the current economic scenario in the country, he said,"Greece will see the positive signs of recovery in 2016 since we consider that the worst phase of our economy has passed and despite the presence of small negative points, Greek's economy is likely to see a positive reversal."

"Immediately after the approval of the review of the bailout programme, Greece is likely to get about 6 billion euros from its creditors. Besides this, we can grab another 6 billion euros this year from the regional development fund of European Union (EU). That makes 12 billion Euros which can perhaps reverse the recession in the Greek economy," he said.

He added,"We are looking for foreign investments to be ploughed in the sector of tradable goods and services in technology, tourism and agricultural products, joint ventures to generate returns and opportunities for employment and drive the economy on the path of recovery."

According to the minister, the country's focus is not on the infrastructure sector."We are not looking for investments in the field of infrastructure since Greece already has well-developed roads, hotels and telecoms services. There are, however, good number of investment opportunities in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector where Qatari investors can form joint ventures for long-term returns," said the minister.

Mardas is likely to meet Qatari Minister of Economy and Trade as well as Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs besides meeting other national and international dignitaries during the visit.


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