The most important Arab county for Greek business interests is EGYPT, where the totality of Greek investments amounts to 650 million US dollars. The investments are in areas such as: food industry (Edita/ Chipita), irrigation systems (Eurodrip), cement (TITAN), paints (Er-Lac), paper and its products, car radiators (Olympus Rad Egypt), construction materials, commerce of oil products, oil extraction, chartering (Vardinogiannis Group), construction projects (Latsi Group, Archirodon Group), bank sector (Pireaus Bank, National Bank of Greece), natural gas (Copelouzos Group), hydrocarbon exploitation (Hellenic Oils S.A.). The next most important trip is LIBYA, where the following construction companies are active (they are officially registered): ETEP, SIKELIS, J&P (JOANNOU -PARASKEVAIDIS), Archirodon, TERNA, ATHENA, AKTOR and MARITECH. Also, in the hydrocarbons sector, “Hellenic Oils S.A. and ASPROFOS S.A.” and in the telecommunications sector, INTRACOM. Other investments have taken place by Green Oil S.A. of the INTEMACO Group, while recently, has taken place the first significant Greek investment outside the oil sector in the country. (Establishment of a common Greek-Libyan enterprise (A LAMAR SA – Production and Stock Joint Company), in the sector of aluminum founding.
The activity of Greek companies in TUNISIA is not significant. Greek presence in the country includes a small number of businesses (5-6), mostly in the sectors of handcraft, foods and import of minerals.
In ALGERIA, MOROCCO there are no individual Greek investments. The most important business activities of our country in those countries have to do with companies participating in joint ventures with Arab partners (Algeria: “KAPNIKI A. MICHAILIDIS S.A. – FINALEP, Corinth Pipeworks – Sonatrach”.
B. GREEK INVESTMENTS IN MIDDLE EAST COUNTRIES
In JORDAN, although there are no individual Greek investments, many Greek businesses are active, mostly study and construction companies (AEGEK, J&P and J&P/ Avax), that participate with joint ventures in infrastructure construction works in the framework of the country’s public works. Also, in the sectors of: water supply and process of drinking water (Exarchou – Nikolopoulou, Eurodrip), telecommunications (OTE, Intracom), information systems (Intracom Jordan), projects (LDK-Consultants Engineers and Planners) etc.
Greek investments in LEBANON are limited and do not exceed 4-5 million euros, while in the past three years a tendency to disinvest has been noted, taking the form of transferring companies of Greek interests or part of the stock capital of joint companies to Libyan partners. The below mentioned Greek technical companies are active, through cooperation with Lebanese and foreign companies, by undertaking small technical projects and subcontracts: Edrafor S.A. (joint company Edrasi – Psalidas & Lebanese FOREX, Exarchos – Nikolopoulos (projects and supervision of works in the sectors of water supply and drinking water process), Knauf-Hellas (construction material). In commerce, production and supply of services, the following are active: Papathimiopoulos Bros (marbles), INTRALOT (under the name LEBANON GAMES S.A., lucky games).
In IRAQ, SYRIA there are no individual Greek investments. The most important business activities of our country in those countries have to do with companies participating in joint ventures with Arab partners (Syria: INTRACOM – Syrian Telecommunication Establishment (STE), etc).
Finally, in ISRAEL Greek investments are particularly limited, almost null. The few expatriates business men there have small companies that are mostly active in the sectors of food, drink, clothing, lights and tourism. However, we are optimistic that the positive atmosphere created after the conclusion of the recent business delegation in Tel-Aviv (June 2007) will favor Greek investment initiatives to this country in the future.
C. GREEK INVESTMENTS IN GULF COUNTRIES
In SAUDI ARABIA, the following Greek interest companies are active in the sector of construction projects: ARCHIRODON CONSTRUCTION OVERSEAS CO, SETE TECHNICAL SERVICES of the Latsi Group, JOANNOU & PARASKEVAIDES (OVERSEAS) LTD., AL QURAISHI MARKETING & DEVELOPMENT EST. In the commercial sector, the following companies are active: TAREK TRADING EST., ALPHA TRADING AND SHIPPING AGENCIES LTD. The number of Greeks living and working in Saudi Arabia has been significantly reduced in the past few years, and it is now estimated to be approximately 500-600 persons. OMAN is a new market on the rise (great infrastructure works, tourist destination, etc) where today is taking place the greatest construction work ever to be undertaken by a Greek construction company abroad (the construction of a city for 250,000 people –Blue City- in the area of the capital, Muscat, by ELLINIKI TECHNODOMIKI TEB, which will take a total of fifteen years).
The Greek investment presence in KUWAIT is very sparse, with the exception of the technical-construction sector, where significant Greek companies are active, such as AKTOR, EDRASI/ SIGALAS S.A.
In the other Gulf countries (QATAR, United Arab Emirates, YEMEN) the Greek investment presence is almost non existent or insignificant.