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Swiss Minister Guy Parmelin Praises Greek Business Environment and Cultural Ties in Athens Visit



Switzerland‘s Minister of Economic Affairs, Guy Parmelin, commended the thriving Greek business landscape and celebrated the deep-rooted cultural connections between the two nations during his recent visit to Athens, as reported by Kathimerini.

In 2023, Switzerland emerged as the third-largest foreign direct investor in Greece, a testament to the appeal of the Greek business climate. Parmelin highlighted Greece’s revival of international trust through wide-reaching reforms that have fostered an attractive investment environment, simplifying procedures, cutting taxes, advancing digitalization, and stabilizing public finances. These efforts have propelled Greece towards an encouraging growth trajectory.

The Swiss-EU Next Generation Fund plan implemented by Greece, focusing on sustainability, environment, education, and health sectors, coupled with structural reforms for enhancing export capacities, has bolstered confidence and lured Swiss businesses to explore opportunities in the region. The imminent establishment of the Swiss Hellenic Chamber of Commerce further underscores this burgeoning enthusiasm among Swiss enterprises.

During his Athens trip, Parmelin is set to meet Swiss and Greek entrepreneurs who kickstarted their ventures in Greece with Swiss government support, showcasing the success stories emerging from the bilateral cooperation. Switzerland acknowledges Greece’s strides in cultivating an innovation-friendly ecosystem, with recent reforms like tax incentives for research and innovation investments paving the way for collaborative ventures. Success stories such as startups U-blox and Bota Systems AG in the electronics sector exemplify the flourishing business partnerships.

2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the Swiss mission’s archaeological excavations in Eretria on the island of Evia, underscoring the enduring cultural alliance between the two nations. The archaeological discoveries, including the Temple of Artemis, serve as milestones in unraveling their shared historical heritage. This rich cultural partnership, epitomized by the Swiss School of Archaeology, not only enriches the understanding of ancient Greek culture but also strengthens bilateral ties.

Parmelin also reflected on the robust philhellenism in Switzerland, tracing back to historical figures like Ioannis Kapodistrias, a key player in both Swiss and Greek nation-building. The Swiss advocacy for the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures, led by Professor Dusan Sidjanski, signifies Switzerland’s commitment to cultural diplomacy and cooperation in preserving cultural heritage.

Looking ahead, Parmelin envisions further deepening Greek-Swiss relations in the realms of business, culture, and innovation. With Greece’s evolving business landscape and Switzerland’s sustained engagement, the strategic partnership is poised for continued growth, buoyed by mutual trust and shared values.

Rachel Adams

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