Colliers International, Greece welcomed a selective group of more than 30 Dutch real estate professionals last Friday for a single day conference. This initiative was another attempt to introduce the Greek real estate market and potential opportunities to the professionals from Netherlands from a firsthand.

In order to provide a full picture of the Greek investment and business environment, this one day meeting took place at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Athens. His Excellency the Ambassador Jan Versteeg made an introduction about the current situation in Greece also focusing on the economic and business relationship between the Netherlands and Greece.

Followed, Ana Vukovic, Managing Director of Colliers International Greece provided an overview of the real estate market, unveiling lease renewals/lease renegotiations/relocations as the main activity in the office market. In the retail market shopping malls were described as a preferred format of foreign and local retailers and retailers' demand for turn-key delivery conditions and turnover percentage rent as the current ongoing trend in retail sector. Ms. Vukovic continued identifying government taxes, lack of clear land characterizations and time consuming bureaucracy the key inhibition factors that restraint investors' interest and keep transactions at very low volume levels. A more strategic approach from the State regarding real estate frameworks was highlighted as necessary in order to place the Greek market as a competitive market throughout the region.

Taking the lead, Dimitris Zontanos, Country Manager of Lamda Development gave an insight from the perspective of the biggest development and investment company in Greece. Mr. Zontanos went into greater detail on the emergence and opportunities offered by the State via privatization projects. Through the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund which acts on behalf of the State, many assets are ready to be developed, including hotels & second homes, existing buildings, marinas and State used properties.

Following the presentations, the group initiated an active discussion focusing mainly on investment opportunities including ways and procedures as to invest in Greece. The discussion then was continued outdoors on the grounds of Lamda Developments' milestones properties, Shopping Malls "Golden Hall" and "The Mall Athens", to which Dimitri Zontanos himself gave the group a private tour of the establishments.

"Once again it was a pleasure to join forces with Lamda Development in an effort to build networks with the wider region and to strengthen the shy investor peak that has been noticed since early 2013 mainly from foreign investment funds" commented Ana Vukovic, Managing Director of Colliers International Greece. "We were able to present Greece's current situation providing straight-forward local insight through an open discussion."