“The Hellenic Foreign Trade (OPE) moves on to a new planning so as business actions become more efficient. In order to achieve this aim, new ideas will be exploited”, underlined to “In-On” magazine the CEO of OPE Mr. Alcibiades Kalambokis.
Question: Which are the plans of the new board of directors regarding the development of OPE?
Answer: The aims of the new, restructured Hellenic Foreign Trade are clear:
• The promotion of the quality of the Greek products with modern tools and proper communication.
• The design and implementation of effective actions, which will benefit as many enterprises as possible.
• The exploitation of new or tested ideas.
• The establishment of OPE as a modern and efficient association.
• The collaboration with every relative association in order to achieve the greatest participation on behalf of the businesses regarding the actions of the organizational chart of the Association.
• The mobilization of all powers either of the state or of the market, so as finally our products find the place they deserve in the international market.
We wish OPE to become a meeting and creation point concerning internationalization. In layman’s terms to become “The house of the Exporter” with all that this implies. Therefore, in the Association the Greek export companies can find a structured plan to promote their products and services along with experienced workers to implement it.
In view of the new organizational chart of the Association, attention is paid on OPE’s operational backbone with the ultimate aim to focused actions in the markets-targets and implement a realistic business plan for the next two years 2012 – 2013, enriched with innovative actions so as to reinforce Greek internationalization.
The strategic design of the Organization is based on:
1. The increase of the qualitative exhibition action emphasizing on the penetration in new markets- targets so as to project Greek products and services. The change of the presence of our country in commercial fairs with a new, modern and functional look.
2. The exploitation of new or tested ideas.
3. The cooperation with new fields such as renewable sources of energy– the environment, technology intensive etc.
4. The reinforcement of buyers-journalists invitations from abroad, an action that special emphasis should be put on.
5. The organization of activities with the collaboration of the Presidency of the Greek Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chambers and the Export Associations of Greece.
The above aim at the increase of the Greek exports provided they are aided by the state, ΟPΕ and Greek enterprises.
Question: How can enterprises be reinforced at these times of financial crisis?
Answer: The enterprises have already benefited and also reinforce their action through the services of the Association in various levels. Within the framework of the reconstruction of the Association every effort will be made so as OPE’s traditional actions like the organization of the Greek participation in selected international fairs and business missions along with the preparation of promotional activities and road shows, be enhanced and therefore become efficient to the Greek exporter. Special emphasis will be given to the reinforcement of actions that concern the invitations of foreign buyers to Greece with the primary target to promote the exporting products of the Region.
Furthermore, through various finance tools such as the “EXTROVERSION – COMPETITIVENESS OF ENTERPRISES” among others that the Association collaborates with the Ministry of Regional Development and Competitiveness and the Ministry of Rural Development and Food that are shortly expected to be announced, are expected to constitute a great help to the Greek enterprises that suffer so much due to the crisis.
Question: Tell us some countries that positive prospects exist in order to develop exports.
Answer: The first 10 countries that in 2010 we already have a satisfying export presence, yet we hope to increase our shares more through the focused actions of the Association follow.
These countries are Germany, Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the U.S.A, France, Romania and Albania.
The main new markets – targets are the Arabic countries, the U.S.A for food and beverages, Russia for many fields (building materials, fur, selected food categories) the countries of the former Soviet Union such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan etc and China.
Additionally, it is estimated that our efforts should focus on new big markets which develop rapidly and through the exploitation of the rise of the International Trade, orientate our export activities in countries such as Canada, Korea, Brazil and India.
In any case, the success of our attempt in the field of exports depends on the coordination of our efforts and the avoidance of negative experiences of the past when there was fragmentation of the financial recourses resulting in the lack of efficiency.
Question: Tell us about OPE.
Answer: The Hellenic Foreign Trade (ΟPΕ) S.A. is a non-profit organization that operates for the public interest, is supervised by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and its mission is:
• The implementation of the National Policy regarding exports and Foreign Trade in general
• The development and promotion of the exports in products and services
• The orientation, the encouragement and the guidance of the export activities of the Greek enterprises
The strategy of the Hellenic Foreign Trade includes:
• The creation of an image for the products and services of the country
• The projection and promotion of products and services
• The information – Business support
• The cultivation of the internationalization of business
• The development of Greek exportation to new markets
The Hellenic Foreign Trade with a variety of activities that methodologically develops around the axes of Product – Enterprise – Market responds to its developmental role and broadens the horizons of the business activities of the Greek companies.
Client-orientated with modern marketing tools, a complete approach of the markets–targets and the exploitation of every promotion method, are the ways the Greek exporting enterprises are supported to promote their products no matter how far their client or the final consumer is.
OPE provides the dynamic Greek enterprises –no matter what their size is- with the boost to survive in the international markets supporting them so as to reveal the competitive advantages of their products and services.
It trains the new generation of export managers in the modern practices of export marketing, so as to gain expertise and exploit the opportunities given in the international markets.
Question: Tell us about ΟPΕ’s fair schedule till the end of 2011
Answer: The following fair schedule proves OPE’s constant activities regardless the economic crisis. Particularly, in the field of food and beverages ΟPΕ will participate in Koln (Germany) on October 8th 2011, in Sofia (Bulgaria) on November 9th 2011 and in Bucharest (Romania) on October 19th 2011.
Regarding the field of cosmetics OPE will participate in Milan (Italy) on September 24th 2011 and in Hong-Kong on November 9th 2011. Regarding the field of clothes – shoes – leather OPE will participate in Moscow (Russia) on September 6th 2011. Regarding the field of jewelry OPE will participate in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) on November 22nd 2011. Regarding the field of furniture- interior design OPE will participate in London on September 22nd 2011 and in Dubai on November 7th 2011 (ΗΑΕ). Regarding the field of building materials OPE will participate in Paris on November 7th 2011 and in Dubai (U.A.Ε) on November 17th 2011.
Regarding the field of electrical equipment OPE will participate in Moscow on November 11th 2011. Regarding the field of foodservice equipment OPE will participate in Milan (Italy) on October 21st 2011.
Alcibiades Kalambokis is the new CEO of OPE (Hellenic Foreign Trade). He is knowledgeable of the market and is actively involved in the field of Greek exports. He has been elected Chairman of the Exporters Association of Crete for three consecutive years and Chairman of the Management Body of Reputation of the High Quality of the Cretan products CRETACERT for two years.
He has participated in various international commercial fairs and business missions all over the world (Europe, America, Far East, United Arab Emirates etc.). He has also organized the multi-faced participation of a lot of Greek enterprises in the biggest fairs of food and beverages in the world (ANUGA, SIAL, GULFOOD, FOOD & HOTEL and IFE etc.) with remarkable results.
He has realized many presentations at conferences and taught at various seminars relating to Greek products, packaging and regional marketing. He has participated in International fairs for the promotion of Greek products etc.
He is a graduate of the Faculty of Management and Economics in Crete and speaks English and French.
Source of publication 14th edition In-On