Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting with executives of Inter IKEA and FOURLIS groups for the investment in the construction of an International Distribution Centre in Aspropyrgos

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met this morning at Maximos Mansion with the President of FOURLIS Group Vassilis Fourlis and Andrea Colzani, Category Distribution Manager of Inter IKEA Group.

During the meeting, they announced the decision of the Inter IKEA Group to invest in Greece, in cooperation with the FOURLIS Group, for the creation of a state-of-the-art International Distribution Centre of 50,000 square meters. The new facility, which will be built in Aspropyrgos, will be supplied also through the port of Piraeus and will serve the markets of the Eastern Mediterranean, covering in the first phase the needs of IKEA stores in Greece, Bulgaria, Jordan, Israel and Cyprus. The aim is to serve other countries, such as Egypt, in the future.

Furthermore, they highlighted the advantages that Greece offers as a regional hub, thanks to its infrastructure and its strategic geographical location, while it was stressed that there is great interest abroad for investments in our country in the transportation and storage sector.

The investment in Aspropyrgos has a budget of €70 million. The new International Distribution Centre will create around 100 permanent jobs, including highly qualified positions in the fields of computerisation, data analysis, logistics and artificial intelligence.

“Thank you very much for presenting this very exciting new investment to us. We’ve been trying to make the case that Greece has the opportunity to develop into a regional logistics hub. These types of investments seem to support our main thesis and to take advantage of our unique geographic position, but also of the infrastructure, private and public, that has been built in order to support these types of investments.

And of course, we talk about the port, the strategic importance of Aspropyrgos, the broader area, given its proximity to the port. Rail connectivity, which for us is going to be that more important into the future.

But of course I would like to highlight the two aspects of what you said. First of all, better logistics, better prices. It’s important that the better the supply chain is functioning, at the end of the day this means better pricing for the consumer. At a time of increased cost of living globally, this is an important aspect. And of course, the specialised jobs around logistics, where I think we already have a younger generation of Greeks who decide to make this a career choice, of course, coupled with state of the art technological solutions this also provides a very good career path”, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted.

As planned, construction work will start this year and the Centre is expected to be operational in mid-2025. The Centre will have a zero environmental footprint as it will be equipped with photovoltaic panels.

“This investment is a very positive signal that Greece can play this role. So Greece has a perfect location, we have the right infrastructure, we have a very efficient port. It is the fourth port, the Piraeus port, in Europe. It’s the first port in the Mediterranean Sea. So I think that you can take advantage of the location of Greece in order to increase your business’, stated Development Minister Kostas Skrekas.

The President of FOURLIS Group, Vassilis Fourlis, said: “We are announcing a very important investment, both for Greece and for our group. Inter Ikea has decided to invest in a distribution centre that will service all eastern Mediterranean countries like Israel, Jordan, Greece, Cyprus, of course, and in the second stage, Egypt and probably other countries. More than 250,000 cubic metres of merchandise will be unloaded to Piraeus and then reloaded to distribute to all eastern Mediterranean”.

Andrea Colzani, Category Distribution Manager of Inter IKEA, noted: “The decision on going in this area is very simple for us to say. The inbound perspective, coming from Far East, Asia, with the Piraeus port will be, in a certain way, the best way to shorten the lead time and also to take care about the sustainability aspects. That is part of our, we can say, plan, what we call “People Positive Plan” to arrive, to reduce the CO2 impact and then, from an outbound perspective, of course, as you mentioned, all these countries can be delivered and served in a much faster way. So we needed to come closer to the customer. We know that the infrastructures are very good. The Piraeus port is something that we view as a parameter with other ports and is working quite well. So under this point we are very confident we continue to develop in this perspective”.

The meeting was also attended by the Secretary General of Private Investments Vicky Loizou and the Head of the Prime Minister’s Economic Office, Alexis Patelis.