Vasilopita Cutting with the AMCHAM, January 26, 2016

Hotel Intercontinental

January 26, 2016

Αξιότιμες κυρίες και κύριοι καλησπέρα σας!

Σας ευχαριστώ θερμά για την πρόσκληση που μου κάνατε να παραστώ απόψε εδω στην κοπή της ετήσιας πίτας.

Είναι μεγάλη μου τιμή!

Καλή σας χρονιά!  Χρόνια πολλά!

This is the third year that I have the honor of cutting the Vasilopita with you, and I appreciate having been included in this wonderful tradition.  Traditions like this emphasize our common interests and shared aspirations for a life of prosperity and happiness.  They also provide an opportunity to come together and reflect on our past, present, and future.

2015 was a year filled with challenges and uncertainty but, throughout the economic crisis, the U.S. has remained a steadfast friend of Greece, a friendship that goes back to the earliest days of the Greek struggle for independence.    It is my sincere hope as we celebrate the start of 2016 that this new year marks a turning point for Greece, and that the country returns to economic growth and job creation.

To realize this goal, adopting strategies to attract and retain foreign companies is critical.  It is the private sector that will create new jobs and reduce Greece’s sky-high unemployment rate.  If the Greek government treats investors and businesses as partners and creates the environment they need to succeed, then economic growth and job creation will surely follow.  Of course, many of the U.S. companies in this room already contribute substantially to the Greek economy and we want to build on those successes.

One important way Greece can stimulate economic growth and create jobs at home is to support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).  It’s important to remember that small businesses on both sides of the Atlantic are still major exporters. Greece will benefit from more efficient border procedures, simpler shipping and paperwork requirements, and easier access to the largest market and economy in the world, the United States.

Exciting business opportunities of the kind Greece needs will be discussed at the HANNOVER MESSE Trade Fair this spring in Hannover, Germany.  This is the world’s largest trade fair for industrial technology, with all sectors of industry and thousands of companies from all over the world under one roof.  The United States has been named the official Partner Country for 2016 and we are pleased to join the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in inviting you to this important event from April 25th to the 29th.  We hope you can join us in learning about the latest product innovations, technology, and investment opportunities.

This year, we will continue to do all we can to sustain and strengthen the ties between Greece and the United States and ensure that Greece emerges from its current difficulties stronger, and playing a stabilizing role in this important region.  By working together, we can encourage Greece’s transformation into a dynamic, open, and competitive economy ready for the 21st Century marketplace.

It has been my honor to represent the United States in sharing this tradition with you today.  On behalf of all Americans, I wish you all the best for the New Year.  Thank you.  Χρόνια πολλά!