Alternate Development and Competitiveness Minister Sokratis Xynidis on Saturday inaugurated Serbia's pavilion at the 76th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), along with Serb Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Water Management Minister Dusan Petrovic. Serbia is this year's honoured country at the 76th TIF.
Some 40 organisations, companies, institutes and chambers of commerce are promoting their products and services at the Serbian pavilion under the banner "Serbia in Thessaloniki in 2011 - Always Together".
In statements as he opened Serbia's pavilion, Xynidis expressed hope that it would help give a powerful boost to economic and trade relations between Greece and Serbia, adding that Greece will provide help so that Serbia can get onto the path for European accession.
He noted that there was significant room for improving cooperation between the two countries in agriculture and banking, tourism and renewable energy resources.
Asked whether the current economic situation in Greece might lead to the flight of Greek investments from Serbia, the minister noted that Greece's problem was low competitiveness and that this was an incentive for Greek businesses to invest in neighbouring countries.
"In my opinion, it is more likely that Greek businesses will increase their investments in neighbouring countries, rather than that these should atrophy or be at risk," he added.
Xynidis said the difficulties faced by Greece will be the start for the rebirth of the Greek economy, adding that this was the "point of the effort we are making with the Greek people".
Petrovic, on his part, expressed confidence that Greece will be able to overcome its problems, adding that this was a difficult year for all countries.
He said that trade transactions between Greece and Serbia the previous year came to 400 million dollars, expressing the opinion that this could be greatly increased.
"We can do much more - mixed companies - we can proceed to make joint investments and exploit the joint opportunities that arise," he said, thanking Greece for supporting Serbia's efforts to join the EU and its policy on the issue of Kosovo.