The 1ST Greek Power Summit took place in Athens on June 14th and 15th with over 200 international and local participants who discussed and proposed ways Greece can attract major foreign investments, reenter the path of growth, and create jobs. The suggestions included a flat tax, restructuring of the debt, privatizations, addressing tax evasion and corruption, and the opening of the economy.
The Presenting sponsor of the 1st Greek Power Summit was Elena Ambrosiadou,
Chairman and CEO of IKOS Group.
Steve Forbes, President and CEO of Forbes Media and publisher of Forbes Magazine, headed the group of international business leaders for the 1st Greek Power Summit which took place in Athens on June 14th and 15th. Despite the adverse and difficult times, prominent business people of the Greek Diaspora such as Elena Ambrosiadou, John Calamos, Nick Lazares, George Koukis, Con Makris, Andreas Pittas, and Nikos Gitsis were in attendance. They were joined by Stephen Cucchiaro, Windhaven Investment Management (U.S.), Stephen Kinnock, Director, Head of Europe and Central Asia, World Economic Forum (Switzerland) and Krzysztof Walenczak, Secretary of State and Finance Ministry (Poland).
In a closed Round Table Discussion on June 14, these international financiers and entrepreneurs exchanged views and shared experiences with prominent Greek representatives from key sectors of the Greek economy including tourism, construction, banking, commerce, industry, shipping, energy and technology and explored potential ways of cooperation.
Significant guideposts for the future of the Greek economy were discussed by Dr. Haralambos Ziogas ( MFS Shipping Management), Mihalis Madianos (Global Finance), Aris Kefaloyiannis ( Gaia) and Mihalis Pagidas ( EASE), George Vernicos ( Vernicos Yachts) and Aris Karytinos (National Bank of Greece), Professor Vassilis Makios (Corallia) and Christos Tsangos (Junior Achievement Greece). More than 50 renowned business people from Greece and abroad contributed their views to the discussion which was moderated by journalist. Pavlos Tsimas.
“Scrap your tax system and put in place a new and simpler one” said Steve Forbes in his keynote speech at the Gala dinner of the 1st Greek Power Summit, while he stressed the” need for a holistic economic policy where growth measures will play a decisive part so that Greece can become the Hong Kong or New Zealand of the Balkans.”
“It is very easy to criticize” said Elena Ambrosiadou, President and CEO IKOS Group, in a discussion panel on the 2nd day of the Greek Power Summit. “Growth and progress is a process that needs to start in each and everyone of us”, and she called for “the reform of the tax structure, for the abolition of the archaic forms of companies which keep Greece small minded and corruptible, for the restructure of the IT plan of the public sector to make it more efficient and to allow it to reduce its workforce, for a regulatory framework for the financial services sector to allow it to grow with credibility and quality, and for the changes in the constitution which would support the investment of private capital and the participation of private enterprise in government projects and initiatives, as well as those measures that would allow the repatriation of Greek capital from abroad”.
Discussing “Capital goes where it is treated best”, John Calamos, President of Calamos Investments (USA) insisted that the measures being taken are not enough for development and growth. “Culture needs to change, Greece needs a New Deal”, said Mr. Calamos.
“Dignity and solvency are Greece’s two basic problems that keep investors away” stated Stephen Cucchiaro, CIO of Windward Investment (USA), and he gave an idea on how to finance business plans: “Many US based companies have cash in Europe which they want to use. Find these companies and take advantage of them.”
Krzysztof Walenczak, Secretary of State and Finance Ministry offered his experience in privatizations in Poland, while Mihalis Pagidas, President of the Association of Chief Executive Officers, discussed the views of the Greek business community on the current situation. INSEAD Emeritus Professor Spyros Makridakis moderated the panel discussions.
Panos Georghiades, CEO of Southern Bulk Carriers stated “in such difficult times, its great see such a diversified group come together and share ideas to mark the path forward.
The 1st Greek Power Summit was organized by Honeystone Limited publishers of the Greek Rich List Magazine, and International Advantage Corporation (IAC).
Savvas Pavlou of Honeystone and publisher of the Greek Rich List magazine said: “We were overwhelmed by the response from successful Greeks from around the world. They came from USA, UK, Australia, Cyprus, Switzerland, Canada and the Philippines to name a few. The Greek Power Summit will be an annual event aiming to attract industry leaders globally to share their knowledge and ideas in hope to make Greece great once again”.
Georgette Alithinos, of IAC stated: “We are very happy that in spite of the difficulties, we attracted so many important professionals from around the globe in a two day gathering to share knowledge and experience that will be invaluable for the creation of a new Greek economy and the entrepreneurship needed to make it a reality”.
The lead sponsor of the Greek Power Summit was Elena Ambrosiadou – IKOS Asset Management. Other contributors John Calamos-Calamos Investments, Nicholas Lazares-Admirals Bank, Alki David-Film On, and Panos Georghiadis –Southern Bulk Carriers.