There are diverse opportunities to expand Qatar and Greece’s shipping industry that could lead to investment prospects in sectors like energy and tourism, a top official of the Greece-Qatar Business Council (GQBC) has said.
“The economic chain is so intertwined that one sector affects the other, and is dependent on the other. The Greek economy has built this shipping industry, which is an extremely vast trade that encompasses everything,” according to GQBC chairman Panagiotis G Mihalos.
Mihalos noted that Qatar and Greece “currently have a successful partnership” in the LNG sector, “which is something that we are expanding in terms of the shipping industry to further connect the two countries.”
He also pointed out that Qatar and Greece have “tremendous synergies and opportunities” in the Greek region’s liquefied natural gas industry.
“Greece has become an energy hub for Europe and West Europe, as well as North East Europe and other areas. There is a major pipeline being built for Europe and is almost complete from Azerbaijan through Greece to Italy, transferring 10bn cubic meters per year with a capability of reaching 20bcu m by 2030,” Mihalos told Gulf Times.
“As a hub, there are a lot of tenders coming up for the exploration upstream of oil and gas in the territorial waters of Greece, the most immediate are the fields south of Crete, which should be tendered soon. There are also fields in the Ionian Sea, which, I believe, will be tendered by the state quite soon. There is a major state LNG terminal that has a significant overcapacity, so, in other words, it can store LNG for transportation," he added.
“And there is one project with the participation of the public sector for a floating LNG reclassification unit
being planned, which would need a supply of LNG, so there are opportunities for the supply of LNG and joint ventures, as well as exploration projects in the energy area.”
Aside from the energy sector, enhancing the shipping industry would also create a positive investment climate on the tourism sector, particularly in the operation of cruise lines, Mihalos said.
“In terms of tourism, there are also plans to enhance the cruise ship sector; one of our members is a major cruise ship operating company, and to that end, I believe we are working very well. Qatar has opened up to this industry, so more and more people will see many cruise ships tying up at the Qatar ports,” Mihalos said.
“Tourism is a major industry, representing 25% of Greece’s GDP, so shipping and tourism, as well as agriculture are the three major industries in Greece, and we have an extremely high know-how of the tourism sector because we are a touristic destination, so there is a lot of know-how to give to Qatar in the touristic sector,” he said.