Pro-American business chambers herald East Med Act

3392 views
2 mins read

The American Chambers of Commerce of Israel, Greece and Cyprus trumpeted the East Med Act as a sea change in US foreign policy and how it views the region as central to Europe’s energy security.

On 20 December, US President Trump signed the Act to primarily promote security and energy partnerships in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Through “Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act” the United States commits to robust strategic engagement with Israel, Greece and Cyprus by actively participating in their trilateral dialogue on energy, maritime security, cybersecurity and protection of critical infrastructure.

Washington also pledges to support diplomatic efforts with partners and allies to deepen energy security cooperation among Greece, Cyprus and Israel and to encourage the private sector to make investments in energy infrastructure in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

A joint US-Eastern Mediterranean Energy Centre in the United States may be established to leverage the experience, knowledge, and expertise of institutions of higher education and the private sector, in offshore energy development to facilitate cooperation among the four countries.

Pro-business lobbies in Israel, Greece and Cyprus said the Act enhances United States’ engagement in the Eastern Mediterranean and reaffirms its commitment to strengthening and expanding its strategic energy and security cooperation with its key allies and partners.

They argue it also provides overall support for the construction of the EastMed gas pipeline.

American Chamber of Commerce in Cyprus President, Haris Kakoullis said: “The EastMed Act heralds a new era in the relationship between the United States and Greece, Israel and Cyprus.”

He added: “This law recognises the new realities in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, opens the door for substantial investment opportunities to the three countries, significantly reinforces their activities to have a presence in the global energy map and the prospective reductions in energy costs are expected to generate a competitive advantage to their underlying economies.”

Israel-America Chamber of Commerce CEO Oded Rose said its membership counts for nearly one-third of the Israeli economy.

“We see great trade and economic potential in the Eastern Mediterranean and have signed the MOU with our sister chambers in Cyprus and Greece to enhance this partnership. The EastMed Act signed by President Trump bolsters our partnership into a strategic security-commercial axis.”

The President of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce Nikolaos Bakatselos said his Amcham salutes the signing of the Act.

“The EastMed Act will further foster the already developed regional partnership of Greece, Israel and Cyprus and their relations with the US and have great economic benefits for the three countries. Strengthening energy diversification and integration in the East Med, will increase energy security for Europe and promote peace and economic cooperation in the wider region.”

AmCham is an organisation of bi-national chambers of commerce with presence across the globe speaking for and supporting American companies locally, and local companies with a presence in the United States.

Τhe AmChams of Israel, Greece and Cyprus, considering the similarity of their objectives in representing the interest of their respective business communities in the region, formalised their cooperation through a memorandum of understanding signed earlier this year promoting the development of trade, investment and other economic relations amongst their members.