Duties and Responsibilities of the Offices for Economic and Commercial Affairs
The Offices for Economic and Commercial Affairs are part of the diplomatic or consular authorities, their primary responsibility being the protection, support and promotion of the Greek economic and commercial interests abroad. Nowadays there are 52 Offices operating within countries with a particular economic and commercial interest for Greece. There is also an Office operating in the city of Thessaloniki in order to facilitate northern Greece’s entrepreneurs. More specifically, the Duties and Responsibilities of the Offices for Economic and Commercial Affairs are as follows:
To monitor and analyse the overall economic situation and economic developments in the countries that they are established or in their region of competence.
To weigh the production, external trade and international transactions of the countries of their competence vis-a-vis Greece’s respective figures. To continuously and systematically explore the market of the countries of their competence, in order to best exploit any possible opportunity to promote Greek products. To this end, there is a constant effort to look into the prevailing market conditions in each country, the consumers’ habits, preferences and demands, as well as the projected market trends in conjunction with the competitiveness of Greek products vis-a-vis similar products of other countries. To provide every possible assistance for the attraction of foreign investments to Greece and to recommend the necessary measures to that end. To make every effort for the promotion of Greek investments abroad. To contribute to the creation of collective bodies and support groups for the Greek economic interests, as well as to promote the cooperation between Greek and foreign businesses, with a focus on issues of forming and operating joint ventures abroad, technology transfer, subcontracting, co-production, countervailing trade and tourism. To monitor and analyse trends and developments of bilateral trade with the countries of competence. To inform the pertinent authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the economic, commercial or financial measures adopted or even contemplated by the countries of competence, with regard to foreign trade, the conclusion of economic and trade agreements and their customs legislation. To ensure the development of trade with the aim of a continuous and progressive increase of exports of Greek products. To take all necessary preparatory actions for the conclusion of economic cooperation agreements between Greece and the countries of competence, to submit relevant proposals and to participate in trade negotiations with these countries. To organize conferences, symposia and workshops in order to present the possibilities and prospects of the Greek economy, the development of modern forms of investment, technology transfer and business cooperation, as well as the development of business relations with the countries of competence. To monitor, record, and inform those concerned about European and international programs of technical and economic cooperation, humanitarian and development assistance, as well as about public procurement and public works tenders. To provide to Greek companies every useful information on import and export companies of the country/countries of their competence, as well as with every possible assistance for the positioning of the Greek products in the foreign markets. To mediate between the parties for the resolution of trade disputes through the arbitration process of the ICC (International Chamber of Commerce). To organize trade and business delegations to and from the country of competence. To take all necessary action for the protection of industrial and intellectual property of Greek companies and individuals and to facilitate the transactions and technology transfer contracts to the benefit of the Greek economy. To study and make recommendations on the organization of exhibitions of Greek products, on the installation of permanent or temporary stands in the country of their competence, as well as on the most appropriate promotion and advertisement of Greek exportable products. To study, monitor and make recommendations on issues of policy and cooperation in the sectors of agriculture, industry, communications, research and development, tourism, land, sea and air transportation, as well as in other relevant sectors. To monitor and support the overall performance of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans (Law 2996/2002, GGG A 62) and its programs and submit studies and recommendations on further actions concerning development cooperation issues and special financing programs. To support the Agency for International Development Cooperation (Hellenic Aid), established under Article 18, par. 1 of law 2731/1999 (GGG A 138), in carrying out its programs and to submit studies and recommendations on further actions concerning development cooperation issues and special financing programs.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Offices for Economic and Commercial Affairs work closely with all relevant agencies: bodies responsible for the promotion of foreign trade, the productive sector organizations, and enterprises not only within Greece but also in the countries of their competence. In this way, they manage to communicate on time the market signals and the emerging business opportunities to all sides, thus raising the policymakers’ awareness vis-a-vis these new data. In this context, the Offices for Economic and Commercial Affairs, meeting the modern standards, are providing those concerned with any necessary information via the MFA new web portal.