Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE) General Assembly

Ambassador Pyatt delivers remarks at SFEE

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt
Concert Hall Megaron Thursday

March 22 2018 at 19:00

As American Ambassador to Greece, I understand that one of the key challenges facing your sector is the pull that some of your best minds feel to live and work abroad, especially when they can immediately succeed in a dynamic research and investment environment like we enjoy in the U.S.

One thing I constantly admire, though, is how the Greek diaspora, remain deeply connected to their πατρίδα. Dr. Mantzoros, for instance, came back several years ago to receive the key to the city of Nafplio. These strong people-to-people ties offer an important platform for Americans and Greeks to share best practices in research and technology. And so, in this spirit, I’m going to share what I hear from American pharmaceutical companies interested in doing business in Greece.

The United States has one of the most supportive domestic environments for the development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals with minimal market barriers, and U.S. companies seek similar environments for partnerships here. One piece of advice I continually hear is for the Greek government to open a broader and more frequent dialogue with industry and civil society on health care issues.

Another important strength of the U.S. industry can also be found in our intellectual property system, which rewards innovation through patent and data protection, a science-based regulatory system that is considered the most rigorous in the world.

American pharmaceutical companies have very high ethical standards for transparency and compliance that they are bound to comply with wherever they operate, including regulations like the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Securities and Exchange Commission oversight (SEC), and by internal Codes of Conduct and Ethics.

Here in Greece, U.S. companies are also active participants in Corporate Social Responsibility programs that engage their employees in activities that have important and positive public health impacts.

We also seek opportunities to deepen our economic relationships and connections to international companies, including from Greece. For example, every year through the U.S. Government’s SelectUSA program, we welcome Greek companies that want to expand globally through investments in the United States and through collaboration with American companies and research institutes.

Last year, AmCham Greece helped assemble an impressive delegation of Greek companies to SelectUSA, including many from the pharma sector. We look forward to similar collaboration on the next SelectUSA Summit, and so for those companies in Greece interested in exploring the U.S. market as a place to invest and grow, please — “Save the Date” – and join me in Washington June 20-22, 2018.
I also want to highlight another opportunity, this year’s Thessaloniki International Fair where the United States will be the honored country. The theme of TIF will be harnessing innovation. We expect a large showing from many of the U.S. companies already doing business in the Greek pharmaceutical sector. So I encourage you all to attend TIF this year and use this opportunity to make deeper connections with American firms.

But most of all, I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you this evening. Your industry is a critical one for Greece and I wish all of you continued success improving healthcare for Greece’s economy and society.