09/12/2012 22:39–The development of Greece-Israel relations is a cause for great satisfaction and offers the potential for wide-ranging synergies, win-win partnerships and significant bilateral advantages. The two countries, though small in size, can have a big impact on regional development and enjoy multiple growth benefits.
The visit of President Simon Peres to Greece last month, at the invitation of his Greek counterpart, Karolos Papoulias, opens the path for a new era of strategic cooperation, collaboration and investment.
Agriculture: a strong focus area
Peres was accompanied on his visit by Agriculture Minister Orit Noked. Some of the most promising areas for cooperation are related to water management, organic farming, applied farm research, land improvement and aquiculture.
Both Israel and Greece face challenges in water management. The arid topography of Israel has spurred Israeli scientists to develop innovative farming methods and desalination technologies. Efficient desalination would be a major boost to many of Greece’s islands that suffer inadequate freshwater reserves and must often rely on shipped water.
Food and beverage, another area under discussion, is the strongest sector in Greek manufacturing, accounting for 25 percent of turnover, 24% of employment, 25% of total invested capital and almost 25% of added value. Foreign companies have experienced high rates of success in this sector, and Greece serves as an ideal bridge to the emerging markets of Southeast Europe.
Abundant opportunities exist in creating added value in many product categories, especially as the global interest in healthy food, snacks and convenience foods continues to rise. Honey- and nut-based snacks, spaghetti products, jams, pickled goods and novel seafood and meat products demonstrate a significant potential in numerous markets. And as consumption of olive oil grows, Greece is ideally positioned to respond in this sector, being the third largest producer of olive oil in the world…Read More>>