A new Pfizer innovation hub in Thessaloniki aims to create opportunities for young Greeks and entice others to return to Greece to continue their careers.
Launched in the northern Greek city on Tuesday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, a Thessaloniki native, the investment is expected to contribute $750 million to the local economy and create much-needed employment opportunities.
“My Pfizer career began in 1993 in Greece and I am extremely proud to create more opportunities for Greece’s young talents and the next generation,” Bourla tweeted after the event.
Speaking at the launch of the new Digital Innovation and Business Operations and Services, Bourla said Pfizer expanded its global footprint by bringing its operations center to Thessaloniki, a decision which he says was made two years ago.
“Our country has human capital and a knowledge-based economy,” Bourla said, claiming Pfizer’s goals line up with Greece’s reformist aspirations that will see resources from the EU Recovery Fund channeled into innovation, exports and sustainable growth.
Welcoming the investment, Mitsotakis said it was “a very special moment for the city, for Pfizer and also for Albert Bourla.”
The two centers will employ 700 highly skilled workers, while more than 50 young people, or 15% of the staff, are Greeks returning to Greece for work after several years.
In a tweet after the event, Mitsotakis wrote: “I had the opportunity to talk to Greeks who returned from abroad to work in Thessaloniki, at the Pfizer centers. It is a great pleasure to see a reversal of the brain drain, to see young people returning to work and live in their homeland.”
Meanwhile, also on Tuesday, Mitsotakis received his booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. He had received the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after Christmas 2020 and his second dose three weeks later in mid-January 2021.
Booster shots have become available for people in Greece over the age of 50 who had the second dose of the COVID vaccine at least six months ago.
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