On October 21, Greek senior executives of large multinational companies from various parts of the world will gather in Athens.
The first Conference of the “GREEKS ARE BACK” initiative will take place.

“GREEKS ARE BACK” seeks to revive history.

Just like Greeks abroad had a strong presence in the struggle for Greek independence, 200 years ago, Greeks living and working abroad are called up. This time for a different but still crucial cause: making the country an attractive destination for foreign investment.

“This conference will carry symbolic weight, as it will take place in a very symbolic year, 200 years after the Hellenic Revolution, but primarily aims to produce substance” Andreas Yannopoulos, CEO of the organizing company Public Affairs and Networks told BUSINESS FILE.

We are sceptical, though. We mentioned to A. Yannopoulos that this is not the first time Greeks from are called to contribute to the national recovery. But results so far have been poor. So how “GREEKS ARE BACK” is different and how will it secure tangible results?

The Greeks Are Back is a new initiative and has as its centerpiece an annual conference of Greek senior executives working abroad, in which they will discuss and put forward specific proposals for the improvement of the attractiveness of Greece as an investment destination.” Yannopoulos notes.
“Our ambition is to create a platform of dialogue and exchanges with very concrete objectives such as:

• To provide the Greek state with direct knowledge of how the leadership of multinational companies evaluate Greece’s policies to attract foreign investment.

• To enable Greece to adopt best practices of other countries in attracting foreign investment, through the knowledge and experience of Greek senior executives working abroad.

• To enable the state to mobilize Greek senior executives abroad and provide them with the appropriate policies and tools to promote Greece within their companies as an investment destination.

• To enable Greek senior executives of multinational companies abroad to submit policy proposals to the state, in order to improve the attractiveness of Greece as an investment destination.In a nutshell, the annual Greeks Are Back Conferences will not be a theoretical discussion, on the contrary it can only be – I would say by default – a forum of concrete proposals for efficient public policies with the aim to attract more foreign investments in Greece.”

 

These executives always have their hearts and souls in Greece”, A. Yannopoulos, Public Affairs and Networks CEO

Question: How will the initiative track down and follow the progress made for the specific proposals? Will it be able to follow how Greek bureaucracy responds to the proposals?

“Each year, there will be a kind of monitoring on which of the submitted proposals has been implemented or not. We would like to also have key ministers present at the Conference in order to share with the Greek senior executives what they have done and what they are planning to do. We also explore the possibility of a more thorough analysis with credible external stakeholders.

The idea behind the GREEKS ARE BACK initiative is simple and promising: mobilize the forces of Hellenism all over the world.

“Everywhere you look, in any country of the world, you will find hundreds of Greeks excelling in senior positions in large multinational companies” Yannopoulos says. “While developing their impressive professional careers abroad, these executives always have their hearts and souls in Greece. From their international vantage point, they can more clearly see both the positives and the negatives of their homeland. They cheer the successes of Greece, and yet feel discouraged by the shortcomings, especially when those shortcomings persist.
Greek executives abroad are eager to put their knowledge and experience at the disposal of Greece, so the country can overcome hurdles and shortcomings impeding its attractiveness as an investment destination.
The Greeks Are Back conference will draw on this expertise to contribute to the production of effective public policies for attracting foreign investment in Greece.”