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September 29, 2022

Food and beverages account for 20 pc of trade between Greece and Romania

The commercial exchanges between Greece and Romania were estimated at EUR 1.2 bln last year, down 20 per cent over 2008, on the background of the economic and financial crisis, and this year the value could remain the same or grow slightly, the president of the Hellenic-Romanian Chamber of Trade and Industry (HRCCI), Konstantinos Tsoukalidis (photo), declared yesterday in a press conference which announced also the organization of a business forum and an exhibition of food and beverages during February 24-25. The HRCCI official also said that around 20 per cent of the total commercial exchanges are represented by the food and beverage sector. “The food and beverage sector demonstrated an exceptional dynamism in both countries, because both countries have a very long tradition and a rich variety of products. This fact creates the appropriate context for the development of constructive bilateral relations,” he also added. Tsoukalidis estimates that the Greek investments in Romania will rise to around EUR 400-500 M this year.

“Although the total Greek exports dropped 20 per cent in 2009, the food exports remained at a stable level,” the general manager of Greek International Business Association (SEVE), Anastassios Alexandridis said. Over 800 companies with Greek capital are active in Romania, and the Hellenic investments in Romania since 1990 rose to EUR 4.56 bln. Romania exports to Greece mainly cereals and imports chiefly frozen food.

The Romanian companies from the domain of food and beverages will have the opportunity to meet their counterparts from the 38 top Greek companies from this sector which will participate in the exhibition and work out a strategic platform for the future business partnerships. The total revenues of the Greek companies which participate in the Business Forum exceed significantly EUR 300 M. The Forum is organized by SEVE at the Palace Hall, in collaboration with the Chamber of Trade and Industry of Romania, the Hellenic-Romanian Chamber of Trade and Industry, and also with Bancpost.

Bancpost wants to go on crediting, turning towards the food sector

In his turn, Theodore Karakassis, deputy general manager of the group Eurobank EFG, majority shareholder of Bancpost, estimates that the foreign direct investments will not increase considerably in 2010, because there is a strategic change between Greece and Romania. In order to go on granting credits, Bancpost chose to turn to certain sectors less affected by the financial crisis, such as food and beverages, which had a sustained activity even in period of crisis. He pointed out that the bank will turn also to other sectors of this type, without however mentioning them. Furthermore, Bancpost president also stressed that the interest rates for credits could not decline in the coming period, because of the high credit risk which has not yet stabilized. The deputy general manager of Eurobank EFG states that the strategy of the group is to continue the banking activity in Romania and to grant credits, but only to responsible clients.

“At the end of 2010, GDP will probably be at the level of that from 2007. Crediting could rise to EUR 46-47 bln at the end of 2010. There is in this context an over-indebtedness, further to which crediting should normally decrease. But nobody wants this, neither the state, nor the banks or the clients,” Bancpost president explained.

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