By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, 1st June, 2022 (WAM) -- Greece is keen to present "significant progress" of its media and entertainment industry that offers "big opportunities" for foreign investments and collaboration with international media, at the Global Media Congress to be held in Abu Dhabi in November, a top official told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
"Greek media have made significant technological progress in recent years. The media and entertainment industry is already expanding beyond the Greek borders. Based on their ever-increasing dynamics, adapting to the demands of our era, I strongly believe that there are big opportunities for their further development in the coming years," said Ioannis Dimitriou Oikonomou, Deputy Minister to the Greek Prime Minister and Government Spokesperson.
Huge opportunities in digital media
In an email interview with WAM from Athens, he underscored the increasing investment opportunities in digital media sector in Greece. "The investments [opportunities] are not limited to the traditional media [newspapers, radio, television etc.], but also extended to the digital sector whose potential seems inexhaustible based on the technological achievements in recent decades," Oikonomou said.
Greece is clearly interested in attracting foreign investments in all sectors, especially in media and entertainment industry, the minister asserted. Investments in audio-visual media get cash rebate and tax relief. "Greece already has a network of film offices, while the central axis of our government is the upgrade of infrastructure [for entertainment industry]," he said.
The minister made these comments while talking about the Greek participation at the first edition of the Global Media Congress, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 15th to 17th November 2022 and organised by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in a strategic partnership with the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
Oikonomou said, "I think it is very important that a Congress like this will be held in Abu Dhabi. It is a good opportunity for all of us to discuss the modern challenges facing the media. Greece is trying with targeted initiatives to take the lead internationally in the media environment and it would be an honour for me to be present at the Congress."
Global Media Congress
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the Global Media Congress will include a media conference and exhibition, which will enable various media organisations to discuss partnership and cooperation agreements.
Prominent media leaders and global influencers, in addition to academics and students, will attend the Congress, which will discuss several key topics such as digital communication, artificial intelligence, advanced technologies and innovation in the media sector.
The event will serve as a platform for international companies interested in engaging in media markets in the Gulf region, the Middle East and North Africa.
Digitalisation, government's support to media
The Greek minister continued that digitalisation is an integral part of the Greek media, which have managed to incorporate the latest technologies. Artificial intelligence, automated or robot journalism, the internet of things, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are a key part of the daily operation of Greek newspapers, radio channels, TV stations and websites, he explained.
The Greek Government is trying its best to help develop the media industry. "It is not only about the technological support, the training opportunities, but also about the effort to support them with the sole aim of maintaining the job positions," Oikonomou said, adding that such efforts are not limited to the media companies based in big cities but across all regions.
Partnership with Global media, UAE media sector
The Greek media have clear-cut strategies to strengthen their collaborations with foreign media, the minister pointed out. "That's why many Greek media, in the context of their cooperation with European and international media, exchange best practices and ideas, republish content, and cultivate strong interaction between them."
Likewise, the strong diplomatic relationship between Greece and the UAE can be extended to the media sector as well, he emphasised.
Oikonomou pointed out the meeting between President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Abu Dhabi in early May, in which they commended the strong bilateral ties between the two countries, as well as the bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) agreed upon in November 2020, which gave new impetus to the relations.
"The strong ties between our two countries, at all levels, demonstrate the excellent status of our bilateral relations and the common understanding we have on a wide range of issues. This, of course, can also be applied in the media sector."