Greek Australian businessmen expressed their disappointment about the decision of the Australian Minister of Trade Craig Emerson to halt the operations of the Austrade Trade Office in Athens.
The Australian government, providing 200 million dollars annually to promote its products abroad, decided to close its trade office in Athens and “focus on other markets.”
At the same time, Austrade reports that Australian exports to Greece amounted to 40 million dollars. Besides, less than a month ago, the Australian representatives announced the establishment of a new Hellenic-Australian Chamber of Commerce in Greece to improve commercial relations between Greece and Australia.
President of the Hellenic-Australian Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne, George Iliopoulos, stated that he feels disappointed about this development which will be trailed by negative results for Greek trade in its wake. “It is a very important office,” he said, “it has offered us many valuable services. That’s why we will ask the Minister to review this decision.”
Austrade has trade offices in 100 different cities of 55 different countries. As an end note, Australian imports from Greece amount to 151 million dollars per year.