Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department, Jonathan Cohen and Minister Pappas in Facebook campus
Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Information Nikos Pappas recently concluded his visit in the United States (5-9 February) where he had a series of contacts in order to attract investments in the audiovisual sector as well as candidate exhibitors for the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) 2018, where the US will be the honoured country. Nicos Pappas was accompanied by Secretary General for Media and Communication Lefteris Kretsos and Secretary General for Digital Policy Stelios Rallis.

Nikos Pappas’ first stop was in Los Angeles, where he visited large television and film studios. In talks with senior executives at Netflix, Disney and Paramount, the minister and his colleagues presented the new incentives framework that Greece has completed in order to attract major productions of the audiovisual sector around the world. They also presented the recent positive performance of the Greek economy and invited US companies to invest in Greece, starting with their participation in the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) 2018 this September.

Minister Pappas was accompanied by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department for European and Eurasian Affairs, Jonathan Cohen, who stressed the importance the US government attaches to the further development of Greek-American relations, but also to American participation in TIF 2018.

In San Francisco, the second stop of his tour after Los Angeles, Pappas visited Facebook's headquarters, Electronic Arts (one of the largest video game companies in the world), AirBnB and Lockheed Martin, which is constructing the Hellas Sat 4 satellite, to be launched into the Greek orbit zone before the end of the year.

The discussion at Facebook's headquarters focused on the issue of fake news and the Greek side developed the initiatives of the Ministry of Digital Policy to create an Online Media Registry, through which state advertising could be used to set transparency rules in online information. 

At Electronic Arts, Nikos Pappas gave a detailed account of the new incentive framework already set up by the Greek side and of the available funds totaling 450 million euros over the next five years that will fund the subsidy of 25 pct of the selected costs for audiovisual productions - including video games and animation - in Greece.

In discussions with AirBnB, the prospects for the development of Greek tourism and the presence of the group in Greece were explored.The Greek mission also traveled to Lockheed Martin's premises in San Francisco and had the opportunity to see the Hellas Sat 4 satellite shortly before it entered the final test stage.

"We had the opportunity to meet with American companies, which are leaders in their fields on a global scale. We informed their directors that the Greek economy has turned a page and that now Greece is a safe and friendly place for international investors. We explored the prospects of expanding their presence in our country and of further developing collaborations,"  Pappas said.

Minister Pappas in a TIF 2018 presentation in Disney offices

On the third day of his visit to the US, he had meetings in Boston with Acacia Communications (one of the world's largest fiber optic companies) executives, with the Media Lab executives of MIT and with the management of the Cambridge Innovation Center.

Nikos Pappas also met with US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at the Department of Commerce in Washington. During the meeting Pappas briefed Ross on developments in the Greek economy and its future prospects.

"There could not be a better moment for this meeting with the US Secretary of Commerce as it was held on the day that Greece successfully tapped the markets, attracting more than twice the asked sum at an interest that some would not believe we could achieve. It constitutes another confirmation of the already positive course of the Greek economy, the fact that the country has returned to normality and achieved notable performance and that its prospects for the future are even more optimistic," stated Pappas after the meeting. He said that he had briefed the US secretary on the Greek economy's prospects and the friendly climate for foreign investments.

In September 2018, the United States are returning in the Thessaloniki International Fair as the honored country. The theme of the U.S. presence will be “Harnessing the Power of Innovation and Creativity

"The US government and Mr. Ross personally give great weight to the Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), where the US will be the honoured country, and consider it an opportunity for major American enterprises to come to Greece and develop permanent relations with their Greek equivalents and, through them, with the wider region of southeastern Europe. The US secretary assured me that he will visit TIF personally," said Pappas.

Main source: Digital Policy Minister Pappas meets with global giants in the US to attract investments

Read also via Greek News Agenda: One more reason to film in Greece: A new legal framework of economic incentives, General Secretariat for Media and Communication boosting Greek Gaming & Animation, Lefteris Kretsos on bringing Greece on the global map of the Game and Film Making Industry, 10 Reasons to film in Greece, “Filming Greece”: our new series of interviews on Greek Cinema

Why TIF ? Watch Minister Nikos Pappas speaking on the importance of #USATIF2018: