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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 September 2014
SATURDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2014 23 BUSINESS FINANCIAL WEEK House prices second highest in the world Australian house prices are among the world's most expensive when measured against in- comes and rents, accord- ing to the Bank for In- ternational Settlements (BIS). According to the Basel- based BIS's latest quar- terly review of global housing, Australia was the second most expen- sive market on a season- ally and inflation-adjust- ed index of advanced economies, behind Nor- way and ahead of Great Britain and Sweden. On a price-to-rent ratio, which assesses the the- oretical ability of rent- al yield to cover mort- gage costs, Australia is also among the world's highest-cost housing markets. The same goes for the price-to-income ratio, which reflects afford- ability. Source: Fairfax Media News to rev up CarsGuide CarsGuide, a joint ven- ture between Newscorp and a group of major car dealers, is reinventing it- self for a renewed assault on the dominant online auto industry site Cars- sales.com.au CarsGuide.com.au un- veiled this week a new business model based on location-based search and pay-per-view, in- stead of the current ap- proach where dealers are charged for leads. Through a location- based search function and trip-planner func- tion available from Oc- tober, buyers will be able to see car locations, plan a route to visit the cars that interest them, and only contact dealers if they are really genuine- ly keen to buy. Instead of charging dealers for leads re- ceived, CarsGuide is pro- posing to charge for car views. The other new as- pect is that private sell- ers would not be charged to list their cars. Source: The Australian Greek exporters struggle to break Aussie market The Greek stall at the Fine Food Australia trade show was half the size of last year’s HELEN VELISSARIS A modest but quietly posi- tive group of Greeks exporters filled the Fine Food Australia Greek stand this week, hoping to garner some interest and gain some local importers. The exhibition, one of the largest trade shows for the foodservice, hospitality and retail sectors in Australia, gives international and lo- cal distributors and import- ers the chance to mingle with the industry's best and hope- fully create long-lasting busi- ness deals. At the Flavours of the World section, a small Greek and Cypriot contingent set up shop at the four day show in Melbourne. Finishing on Thursday, only nine Greek exhibitors and eight Cypriot exhibitors made the trip, about half the amount that came last year and the year before. The Greek contingent has companies that specialise in everything from olive oil, feta, dairy products and alco- hol, while the Cypriot stalls included things like flour, pas- ta and ice cream. The Cypriot stall even had ice cream for dogs, a new product brought out by Max & Frida under the umbrella of Cypriot ice cream giant Panayiotis Ice Cream. They have to compete against 1,000 exhibitors from all around the world to get the Australian importers’ in- terest, something even the best products might not be able to do. The reality is the Austral- ian market is a challenging landscape. The Greek state commis- sioner for trade in Australia, Vaianos Oreopoulos-Kele- nis, who has been the ex- hibitor's Australian contact, says Greek companies face fierce competition from local brands and well-established international brands. "The biggest challenge is the Australian market itself, it's a peculiar market, it's not an easy market at all, because Australia has developed to the maximum, to an optimum level," he tells Neos Kosmos. Greek brands are fighting to be heard. Even those that have been established here for years are having trouble holding on. "An exhibitor here at the Greek stall, they produce feta cheese and yoghurt of excel- lent quality, they've already incorporated with an import- er here in Sydney, but so far in 40 years it has only im- ported two containers, which is basically zero," Mr Oreo- poulos-Kelenis says. One of the biggest barriers new Greek companies face in trying to enter the Australian market is finding a competent and reliable distributor. Those that are established distributors specialising in Greek products are about 85 per cent owned and operated by Greek Australians, accord- ing to Mr Oreopoulos-Kelenis. They understand the prod- ucts, know the quality and are able to market them expertly to the Greek Australian com- munity. The only problem is, the companies aren't very will- ing to take on new brands. They have their set group, and won't open up the list- ings if they can't afford it. That's where Mr Oreopou- los-Kelenis says the Greek government is trying to help. One of his main roles is con- necting new Greek companies and local distributors togeth- er, but most times the con- nection severs because one side isn't interested. "I have heard a lot of sto- ries of Greek exporters who have sent emails to Austral- ian companies or Australian Greek companies, and they never get a reply," he says. "If they don't develop face to face communication it won't work." That is why Fine Food Aus- tralia is a great way to get a start. Event director Minnie Con- stan says the stall has been seeing a steady flow of in- terest, with the new, official agency of the Greek State, En- terprise Greece, overseeing some positive steps forward. "They're getting a lot of in- terest, Enterprise Greece is saying they're doing a con- siderable amount of business in Melbourne," Ms Constan tells Neos Kosmos. "It's to be expected, we love our food in Melbourne." Touring the site most days, Ms Constan saw the sun- dried tomato stand inundat- ed with interest, as was the company Peachy, specialising in tinned peaches ripened in the Mediterranean climate. She has also seen a spike in demand for imports from Cyprus in the last couple of years. "We've had Cyprus in the show for a number of years and I know the export oppor- tunities that have come from being in the show have prob- ably tripled since they started doing it," she says. While the amount of Aus- tralian imports to Greece has dropped by more than 50 per cent, the demand for Greek products in Australia has jumped. According to the Depart- ment of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the imports from Greece to Australia totalled $170 million, up from $158 the year before. Australia ranks in the top 40 of principal export nations for Greece, quite a considerable feat considering most of the top countries are part of the European Union or are close neighbours. Australia is taking in lots of fruit and nuts, dairy products and aluminium from Greece. Sadly, the demand isn't the same in Greece. Riddled by a flatlining economy, Greece hasn't had much demand for foreign products in the last couple of years. Greece's top imports come from Russia and Germany. Australia ranks a lowly 96. Mr Oreopoulos-Kelenis says our distance and Greece's economic state are mostly to blame. "The Greek economy is in the phase of recovery, and as you understand, internal con- sumer demand has collapsed," he says. "It will take another year at least to recover to the levels of 2006-7." At least down in Melbourne, the seeds have been sown for new Greek ventures. With the biggest Greek population out- side of Greece in Australia, the demand won't be going away anytime soon. THE FINE FOOD AUSTRALIA GREEK STALL COMPANIES: Ariston Hellas: specialising in extra virgin olive oil, infused olive oils, balsamic condi- ments, kalamon and stuffed green olives, preserves. Dimitra Parparas S.A: spe- cialising in olives, pickled peppers, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, fire-roasted red pep- pers, fire-roasted eggplant puree. Hellenic Breweries of Atalani: specialising in beers includ- ing BLUE island, Pils HEL- LAS, Berlin, Eza z premium pilsener. Intercom foods: specialising in pickled olives, Kalama- ta olive paste and canned peaches and peach compost. Ioniki Sfoliata: specialising in frozen pastry products in- cluding spiral spanakopites and tyropites. Peachy: specialising in tinned peaches. Peza Union: specialising in bottled Cretan olive oil and wine including Nissos PGI wine, Peza PDO wine and Fizz. SHM Hellas and Pilion Dairy Group: specialising in Greek feta and yoghurt and goat’s cheese products. THE FINE FOOD AUSTRALIA CYPRIOT STALL COMPANIES: Chrystosomos Elias & Son: specialising in halloumi cheese. G&I Keses dairy: specialising in halloumi cheese. Johnsof -Pavlos cakes: spe- cialising in grissini, crou- tons, crisprolls, sweets, bis- cuits, cakes, rusks; contem- porary and organic. Loel Public: specialising in wines, spirits and fruit juices. Mitsides: specialising in flour and pastas. Papaphilipou & Patisserie Pa- nayotis Ice Cream: specialis- ing in ice cream from P & P ice cream, Papaphilipou ice cream, Nostalgia and ice cream for dogs brand, Max & Frida. Papouis Dairy: specialising in halloumi cheese. Pittas Dairy: specialising in halloumi cheese. Michael Georgiades from Pittas Dairies. PHOTOS: FINE FOOD AUSTRALIA. George Charalambous and Dora Tsolakis at the Greek stall.
13 September 2014
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