Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Spyros Kouvelis on Thursday officially declared the start of a Greek-Egyptian business forum in Cairo, in which more than 100 business people from Greece and Egypt participated.
Kouvelis said his visit to Cairo was important because it was taking place at a time full of hope, when Egypt was in the process of changing and recreating itself. He expressed the opinion that the changes would soon be followed by growth, especially in industry and tourism.
"We have come to build new bridges of cooperation between our two peoples and to boost enterprise between the two states," he said.
Kouvelis referred to tourism as an area with high potential for cooperation between Greece and Egypt. He also noted Greece's satisfaction that, throughout the period of the Egyptian revolution of January 25, Greek businesses based in Egypt had been very well treated and had remained in the country, supporting the Egyptian people.
Referring to Greece's economic problems, Kouvelis said an immense effort was underway to rebuild the Greek economy and that as many reforms had been carried out during the past year as in all the previous 30 years put together.
There is an estimated 1.0-1.4 billion euro of Greek capital invested in Egypt, with 120 Greek companies operating in the country. According to the Greek statistical authority ELSTAT, Greek exports to Egypt in 2010 increased by 31.3 percent relative to 2009 and came to 208.66 million euro. Greek imports from Egypt increased 16.2 percent and the trade deficit was reduced by 10 pct. Egypt's ranking as a customer for Greek products rose two places to 19th and its ranking as a supplier of Greece also rose to 31st from 34th in 2009