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Pfizer’s Investment in Thessaloniki a “Historic Moment” for Greece

Mitsotakis - Bourla
PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulates the Thessaloniki-born CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, at the launch of the pharmaceutical giant’s new Thessaloniki facilities. Credit: AMNA

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis opened two brand-new Pfizer facilities in Thessaloniki on Tuesday. They are the pharmaceutical company’s Global Center for Digital Innovation (CDI) and its Global Center for Business Operations and Services.

Pfizer’s investment will contribute €650 million to the northern port Thessaloniki city’s economy and give jobs to approximately 700 employees. The American pharmaceutical giant’s chief executive, Thessaloniki-born Albert Bourla, also presided over the grand opening.

“We have expanded our footprint by bringing our operations center here,” Bourla stated at the event. He added that Pfizer had initially decided to invest in Thessaloniki two years ago. Pfizer’s priorities, he said, are aligned with Greece’s reformist policy.

The government, Bourla went on to explain, plans to use resources from the EU Recovery Fund, channeled into innovation, exports and sustainable growth. “Our country has human capital and a knowledge-based economy,” the Pfizer CEO added.

Pfizer CEO is Thessaloniki native

Bourla, a native of Thessaloniki, has been with Pfizer, the developer the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, since 1993. Unveiling the new facilities, the Greek PM shared that Thessaloniki will now become the proud home of a new hub for the company.

“This is a very special moment for the city, for Pfizer and also for Albert Bourla, a true Thessalonian,” Mitsotakis declared. In his speech at Tuesday’s ceremony welcoming the investment in Thessaloniki, he had effusive praise for Bourla.

After his humble beginnings, Bourla became the CEO of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, the PM recalled to the audience, adding “Following his great success, Bourla is now giving back to his hometown and country by investing in Thessaloniki.”

The two Thessaloniki Pfizer centers will employ 700 highly-skilled workers. Also, “more than 50 young people, 15% of the staff, are Greeks returning for work after several years,” the PM noted.

With the establishment of Pfizer’s centers, the Greek city will undoubtedly flourish further, Mitsotakis predicted. A number of other businesses will certainly also come to the Thessaloniki area, he said.

Pfizer to promote gender equality, PM says

The PM further highlighted that Pfizer will also promote gender equality, employing more women than the average company in the industry.

“Investing in research and innovation is a strategic priority of our government,” Deputy Minister of Development Christos Dimas commented. “Greece must play a leading role in Southeast Europe in research and innovation.

“With today’s investment we know that we achieve this goal,” he stated. “Further than that, Greece can also play a leading role worldwide. We are very proud of the fact that Pfizer actively supports the innovation ecosystem of our country.”

Pfizer’s Center for Digital Innovation will reportedly develop innovative digital and technological solutions. They will help the development of innovative drugs and vaccines.

Its global center, on the other hand, will handle HR, financial, and corporate transformation services, among others. Together, these state-of-the-art centers will cover an area of 9,000 square meters (96,875 square feet).

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