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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 February 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2016 21 BUSINESS Labor gives multicultural small business a voice In a bid to support people from non-English speaking backgrounds in their small business ventures, this week the Andrews Labor government appointed a Multicultural Business Ministerial Council. The council, which has been appointed for a two-year term, will aim to actively promote Victoria as a culturally-diverse business centre, provide a forum for strategic business networking and support the state's trade agenda in emerging markets. "This council will be an important voice to the many thousands of business owners and operators from non-English speaking backgrounds," said Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis. "Victoria is the most culturally diverse city in the country and we need to ensure that all businesses have the support they need to grow, which will provide better prosperity and more job opportunities for local communities." With more than half a million small businesses across the state, the initiative will provide an essential link between business owners and the government to ensure their voices are being heard. Chairing the council will be Rohini Kappadath, director of Cross-Border Business at Pitcher Partners, bringing with her more than 25 years of experience. She has worked with businesses in Australia, SouthEast Asia, China, Japan, New Zealand and North America. Among the new council members are Greek Australians Fotini Kypraios, senior associate at Meerkin & Apel Lawyers, and Mike Zafiropoulos, board chair of Channel 31. Stamoulis buys One Collins Street Property magnate and BRW rich-lister Harry Stamoulis has bought the One Collins Street tower complex, at the top of Collins Street, Melbourne, for $125 million from fellow rich lister Robert Magid and his sister, Eleanor Goodridge, the Australian Financial Review reported. The office complex, dominated by the 17-storey modern tower overlooking Treasury Gardens and Parliament House and including an The One Collins Street tower. 1870s heritage residence, served as Australia's first war cabinet room in 1914. Mr Stamoulis, the son of Spiros Stamoulis, who made his fortune in soft-drink beverages, runs the Stamoulis Property Group, which recently sold 277 William Street to EG Funds Management for $45.9 million and is offloading another Melbourne office tower, 120 Spencer Street, for about $165 million. Greek-style smartphone New smartphone set to hit the market this Sunday is catering to Greek Australian users Almost every Greek Australian has an older family member who is baffled by modern technology. But with the many benefits that smart devices afford the user, Nick Kagelari and his team took it upon themselves to create a device specifically for Greeks who are unfamiliar with technology. Manufactured by ASUS, the GreeksPhone is a smartphone preconfigured with a number of applications with Greek content, connecting Greek Australians with the motherland and their community Down Under. Aside from usual apps such as Gmail, Facebook and Skype, users will also have direct access to the latest news from Greek news sources both abroad and locally via television, radio and videoon-demand. The phone also comes with apps for all major Greek banks, giving customers easy access to their bank accounts overseas at the click of a button. Online shopping has been PHOTO: GREEKSPHONE.COM made easy with a direct link to electronic store GreekAustralianDeals.com.au, and will also have a feature for real estate listings both in Greece and Australia. "Its configuration has been completed by IT Consultants in OKNetTV Australia and the product is ready for using it. In other words, you just order the phone and when you get it there is nothing you have to install or configure by yourself," the website explains. A number of resources are also available through the device, including works by Plato, Thucydides and Papadiamantis, an online Greek language encyclopaedia, and a Greek to English to Greek translator. Additionally there are first aid videos with voice instructions, recipes with video demonstrations, and a number of games including backgammon, chess and word games perfect for keeping the brain active and maintaining Greek language skills. Three versions of the phone will be made available to the Australian market come Sunday: the Greeksphone Regular, Greeksphone Advanced, and an edition specially designed for AHEPA NSW members, all of which accept voice commands in Greek. For those with very limited experience using technology, the device comes with a series of pre-installed training courses in Greek with instructions on all the services free of charge. If, however, users find themselves struggling, the company also provide physical training courses in all major cities across Australia. GreeksPhone will be officially launched to the Australian market on Sunday 14 February with a presentation at AHEPA NSW Hall, 396 Princes Hwy, Rockdale, NSW at 5.00pm. For more information, visit www. greeksphone.com/ BAT to open transit hub at Piraeus port British American Tobacco (BAT) is almost ready to open a transit hub in the port of Piraeus, while its subsidiary BAT Greece is planning investments of €100 million over the next three years. The multinational has already chosen a location to lease in the broader port district and is looking to close a deal with an international logistics firm within the next few days so the transit centre can be up and running by March, BAT Greece CEO Gianpiero Pazzanese told a recent press conference. Other than the Greek market, the aim of the Piraeus hub is to also serve Malta and Cyprus, eventually expanding to 10 markets in total. It is estimated that the hub will be able to distribute 3.1 billion cigarettes a year, or €1.1 billion worth of merchandise. Regarding the impact of the capital controls, Pazzanese said that BAT Greece spent an additional €500,000 on promotional activities in the August-October 2015 period in a bid to boost retail sales, while it already buys 15 per cent of the country's tobacco crop. In 2015, BAT's turnover in Greece came to €477 million, 85 per cent of which went toward taxes. Overall, said Pazzanese, the company has paid €3.2 billion in taxes in the past five years, in a market that has seen annual legal sales drop at an average rate of six per cent. The rise in cigarette prices and taxes has sent many smokers into the arms of the illegal tobacco trade, which currently accounts for 29 per cent of the market. Nevertheless, Pazzanese said that in terms of consumption, Greece is BAT's biggest market in Europe and the company is committed to strengthening its presence there.
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