7th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum focuses on Maritime Development and Opportunities


An invitation for entrepreneurs from the Arab world and Greece to take initiatives and explore business opportunities in both sides was the focus of the 7th Arab-Hellenic Economic Forum which took place at the Divani Caravel Hotel, in Athens, on November 27 and 28, 2018 under the title “Greece and the Arab World: A New Agenda for Development”.

The forum gave priority to the maritime and port industry, energy and construction, with the cooperation of relevant professional organizations, as 130 Arab businessmen representing 15 Arab countries, along with 110 Greek business executives from 80 Greek companies participated in the event, making presentations, having business to business meetings, consultations and networking as well as signing various agreements and memoranda of cooperation.

The opening ceremony began with a welcome speech by Mr. Haris Geronikolas, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development, while the depth and the long history of Greek-Arab relations were stressed in the speeches of the main speakers, Tawfic Said Khoury, Executive Vice President of the Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), who was the Strategic Sponsor of the Forum, Thamer Al Ani, Director of Economic Relations Department of the Arab League, Mohammad Abdo Saeed, President of the Association of Arab Chambers in Lebanon, Marwan Emile Toubassi, Head of the Council of Arab Ambassadors and Ambassador of the State of Palestine, and Mr. Markos Bolaris, Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece.

During the first and second sessions, the Forum focused on the maritime and port industry, and the business relations and investment opportunities on these sectors, as experts and senior officials of shipping companies and port organizations from the Arab countries and Greece delivered speeches and presentations, on a wide range of issues.

These topics were of great interest to the representatives of the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT): Dr. Mohamed Dawood, Vice President; Dr. Mohi Elsayeh, Dean, College of Maritime Transport Technology; Dr. Ahmed Kassar, Dean, Postgraduate Studies Institute; and Dr. Ahmed Youssef, Director, International Maritime Forum. The Hellenic Arab Maritime Academy (HAMA) was represented by Mrs. Argyro Manoli, Director of Academic Programs.

Dr. Mohamed Dawood exalted the quality of Egypt – Greece relations and the two countries cooperation in economy and trade, highlighting Greece’s high profile in the international maritime stage as well its important and active role in safe, secure and efficient shipping. Dr. Dawood also underlined the importance of the human element at sea, which has become the critical factor in ensuring safe, secure, clean and efficient operations, with shipping being a top service industry.

He hailed the collaboration between AASTMT, an institution in the forefront of maritime education, and HAMA, in an effort to strengthen maritime cooperation and transport in the region, and to enhance the strength and development B2B among the maritime stakeholders.

Finally, he called for further consolidation of cooperation and coordination between the Arab and Hellenic Maritime stakeholders towards achieving an enhanced maritime development, and stability in the region, by establishing an EU Arab Maritime Committee in addition to the Regional Maritime Career Center, that can be initiated by Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, while EU and Arab countries would be invited to join.

For the 1st and 2nd year students of HAMA their participation in the Forum in the context of their academic and professional training on maritime management issues (project management, b2b agreements, career opportunities etc) was a great opportunity to get a taste of the world they would be called to serve after completion of their studies.

Another important point of HAMA’s involvement in the event was the signing of two Agreements of cooperation.

The First Agreement, was signed among the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport, the Universita Degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi and the City Unity College, for the Development of joint maritime academic programs and courses both in Rome and Athens and offering an MBA in Maritime and Shipping Management in Egypt, in Rome and in Athens.

The Second Agreement, was signed between Norsafe Academy Hellas and City Unity College / HAMA. Norsafe Academy Hellas, part of Norsafe Group the world leading manufacturer of marine life-saving systems, offers training services with regard to safe operation, maintenance of lifesaving appliances, safety of life, emergency preparedness and response at sea. HAMA students will be privileged to receive their practical training in marine safety equipment at Norsafe Academy premises in Greece.

Mr. Ioannis Georgiadis, General Manager of Norsafe Hellas, accompanied by his colleagues Mr. Ioannis Grivas and Mrs. Irene Fountoradaki, signed the Agreement on behalf of Norsafe Academy Hellas and Mr. Harris Geronikolas, signed as President of City Unity College, and the Arab Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development.

Our special thanks and gratitude goes to Mr. Rashad Mabger, General Secretary Arab Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development and the Staff of the Chamber for their arrangements and warm hospitality.

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