Geoffrey Pyatt stressed that the US supports the growth of the Greek economy and Greek entrepreneurship, in remarks to an event organised by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

The US Ambassador, speaking at the presentation of his initiative to bring together the Chamber and the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) in a collaboration on a new programme called “Roots” to support startups and small-and-medium-sized businesses.

Extolling the history of close US-Greece ties, Pyatt said that US businesses are ready to support Greek ones, as was evidenced by the plethora of US companies at September’s Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF).

The new program aims to bolster the growth prospects of innovative small-and-medium-sized businesses and facilitate their access to funding, by mobilising the broader ecosystem of the Greek Stock market. It will support innovation and help ambitious entrepreneurs to prepare for the next stage of growing their businesses, with a transfer of knowledge and of best practices.

The programme offers access to an international network of experts, and will offer opportunities for training and guidance that will allow small-and-medium-sized businesses to achieve investment readiness. This will be done through a platform that will allow businesses to draw funding, and through advisors.

Strategic partnership, investment

Pyatt also underlined the importance of the upcoming US-Greece strategic dialogue on 13 December, when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will hold talks with Alternate Foreign Minister Yorgos Katrougalos in Washington.

“Looking forward, we are also building on this positive momentum with the launch of the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue on December 13. This Dialogue will be led by Secretary of State Pompeo and Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Katrougalos and will include the participation of senior officials from agencies and ministries across both our governments, several of whom, as I mentioned, were at TIF. And in this regard, I am greatly impressed by the seriousness that the Greek government is bringing to preparations for the Strategic Dialogue and the focus, as Minister Katrougalos put to me, on keeping alive the small miracle of TIF,” Pyatt said.

“The Strategic Dialogue reflects the U.S. decision to make a significant investment in our relationship with Greece and reflects our view of Greece as a pillar of regional stability. We’ll work to lock in and expand the important gains in our relationship across six main pillars – including on our bilateral energy cooperation and our trade and investment relationship. And I will have more to say on the broader agenda for the Strategic Dialogue in a session later today with Simos and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Brachos,” the Ambassador noted.