HEMEXPO: The rise of the Greek Marine Equipment Manufacturers

 

July-August 2022 Greek Business File, Issue No 138

Interview

by Eleni Polychronopoulou, HEMEXPO President
to Symela Touchtidou

 

At the urging of Captain Panagiotis Tsakos and with the important support of the Greek Shipowners, a group of Greek companies specialised in manufacturing marine equipment determined to invest in extroversion. Without shipyards and with the crisis plaguing the country, they had to turn to foreign markets. HEMEXPO’s first steps took part in exhibition Posidonia 2014.
“The aim was to create from scratch a strong brand name for Greek Marine Equipment and promote it to foreign shipbuilding markets,” HEMEXPO President, Eleni Polychronopoulou, tells Greek Business File. “At the time, our mission may have seemed challenging, but we have succeeded in achieving our goals and have established ourselves as reliable partners in both European and Asian shipyards.” Which are the main fields HEMEXPO members specialise in? What are their main markets?

HEMEXPO companies manufacture innovative, patented and awarded products, certified by International Classes and implementing in-house R&D for marine equipment, which is related to environmental protection systems, digital systems — artificial intelligence, aluminium, smart colours, lights, electronic and electrical systems, ship furniture, elevators and so on. Our target markets are the largest shipbuilding and ship repair companies in Europe, Asia and the USA. Of course, we always aim to be a reliable partner to Greek and foreign shipping companies.

Is it possible to have a strong marine Equipment Manufacturers & Exporters community without shipyards in the country?

In another country, it might be considered impossible to expand without having shipyards. However, through our country is managed the largest fleet of the world by the Greek Shipowners, while at the same time Athens is the world capital of ship management. The Greek shipowners stood by us from the very start; after testing our products, they were convinced of the quality and promoted HEMEXPO products to other foreign shipping companies. I am proud to say that today many HEMEXPO companies have contracts with some of the biggest international shipping companies in the world.

What are the perspectives and conditions for the further development of HEMEXPO companies?

Regarding the future of the industry, this will be based on broader collaborations. In this context, HEMEXPO has signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), most recently with the Dutch shipbuilding group DAMEN and with the Association of Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material – SEKPY. In the case of the latter MoU, both parties recognised that the shipping and defence industries and associated activities provide a strategic development opportunity for the country. The aim is to develop synergies that will strengthen export capabilities and increase competitiveness and penetration in foreign markets. Another important factor that will provide a competitive advantage is the revival of the shipbuilding and repair industry in Greece. When the Skaramagas and Elefsina shipyards reopen, we will have another pillar of development at our disposal. We will also be able to run various programs related to the green transition of the shipping industry.

The full interview is published in the July-August 2022 Greek Business Filehere.