ACE Best Practice Sharing Conference 2023 – Greece in its Best Light: Economic Return, Networking, and Hospitality

The Best Practice Sharing Conference organized by AmChams in Europe (ACE) and the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Greece) was an outstanding three-day event featuring discussions, enlightening insights, and valuable connections.

AmCham Bulgaria was represented by Olivier Marquette, President, Ivan Mihaylov, CEO, and Daniel Kiryakov, Communications and Public Affairs, who actively participated in all of the scheduled activities of the very well-packed agenda.

Three Days of Insight, Innovation, and Collaboration

The remarkable conference in Athens underscored our collective purpose of improving transatlantic ties and speaking on behalf of our members and the American business in Europe. More than 60 individuals from over 35 AmChams gathered at Athens, Greece to reunite after the first-after-the-pandemic conference in Sofia in 2022. This year there were high expectations due to many occasions. In 2023 AmChams in Europe celebrated its 60th Anniversary and AmCham Greece took the challenge to co-organize it in style and to build-up our relationship and to foster cooperation.

This year, the conference welcomed some of the AmCham presidents who had a dedicated panel discussing AmCham topics and focus on the countries’ developments. They also attended some of the activities, including the Gala Dinner. AmCham Bulgaria was represented by Olivier Marquette.

ACE 2023 Briefly

There were 49 AmChams from 47 countries presented in Greece. An enriching part of the overall agenda was the presence of the executives of the AmChams of Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Thailand.

The ACE agenda included a Welcome and Brainstorming Session, in which participants should work in groups and image what will be the future of AmChams in 2035. All the ideas elaborated how our chambers should sustain and what kind of benefits they would bring to the members, societies, and its relevant countries and to Europe. ACE Best Practices is always dedicated to present how – idea-wise and data-wise – our organizations can progress. The Breakout Sessions addressed Organizational Sustainability, Member Engagement, Economic Challenges, Accountable Business, and other topics.

During the ACE Agenda there was a regular Board meeting that presented the current development of our network.

Greek Ingredients in the ACE Agenda

We had the privilege of gaining insights from Dimitris Fragakis, the Secretary-General of the Greek National Tourism Organization, who demonstrated the resilience of Greece’s tourism industry. Today Greece is in Top 5 global tourism destinations aiming to reach Number 1 in five years’ time. Their efforts resulted and multimillion tourism inflow, part of which comes from the 63 weekly flights from the North America. The ACE delegation was hosted at a reception at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence, reinforcing AmChams’ contribution to promoting cooperation between the United States and Europe.

The ACE Group was given an exclusive tour of The Ellinikon Experience Centre, where they presented an ambitious sustainability-focused urban development project at Athens’ former airport.

The ACE 60th anniversary gala dinner marked a significant occasion with a fireside chat featuring Dr. Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, creating a perfect blend of networking opportunities and reflection on six decades of AmCham collaborations.

On the third day, we started with the ACE Presidents & CEOs Breakfast Briefing with Industry & Investment Leaders, where industry leaders examined the optimistic opportunities for the future. The Creative Network presentations showed innovative ideas from various AmChams worldwide, featuring projects that advance economies, improve corporate governance, foster digital education, and strengthen resilience. At the Creative Network Awards Ceremony, AmCham Ukraine received recognition for their outstanding contributions and constant commitment to innovation.

The Executive Director of Enterprise Greece and the Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group in Greece gave a thorough perspective on how the country is developing over the past ten years. For example, back then Greece was second last in terms of GDP growth, compared to present days when Greece is second best EU-member state with that regard. The country has managed to attract major investors from the United States, Germany, China, other countries. Key to this success is the solid economic reforms and business plans developed jointly by the private and public sectors, as well as the role of the Greek diaspora.

The conference ended with a dinner hosted at Athens City Hall by Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, concluding three enriching networking, education, and collaboration days.

The group was awarded by a private tour at the Acropolis and the Parthenon, and at the Acropolis Museum making a little touch with the Ancient Greece history and heritage.

Cross-border topics

AmCham Greece took the opportunity to raise the awareness of the upcoming the EU Pharma Package and explored the challenges and opportunities in the European pharmaceutical sector. Industry experts provided valuable insights, and appealed to a common action to address the identified issues and potential hurdles of the Pharma Package is accepted could create.

Not as The End

The ACE Best Practice Sharing Conference was a great success and increased the bar of excellent performance for such kind of events. Indeed, for three days it built inspiration, gave much insight, and motivated the participants to continue strengthen transatlantic relations and promote innovation within the business environment. They also have the task of ACE-tourch-berries among their national business communities and members.

This event would not be possible without the organization of AmCham Greece led by Elias Spirtounias and the great Greek Team. A special thanks go to Susan Danger, Chair, AmChams in Europe, Ajša Vodnik, Vice-Chair, AmChams in Europe for their leadership and constructive governance.

This story was based on the AmCham Bulgaria’s impressions, and on AmChams in Europe article.