Addressing an event organized by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA Export Forum 2016) on Monday 14 November, new Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou, an economist who has lived for many years in the USA, said that despite the limitations put by a strict fiscal framework defined by an economic adjustment program and a European economic governance and a fiscal pact that demand balanced budgets, there are 10 reasons why attracting investments and boosting exports have positive prospects in Greece:
1. Tax rates have reached their ceiling
2. Greece escaped a Grexit risk
3. A prolonged recession pushed the economy to extremely low levels and stabilized profitability of those enterprises that endured the recession
4. Agreements reached with the country’s creditors and completion of a the first review of the Greek program has markedly improved economic sentiment in the country
5. Greece offer a number of comparative advantages such as specialized and cheap labor, labor market flexibility, a stable tax framework, a new development law, a sustainable pension system, political stability, a huge reserve of human and natural resources, strong trade negotiating power and institutional safety because of its participation in the euro currency
6. The country has a safe banking system following its restructuring and successful recapitalization
7. Greece has secured funds from EU funds until 2020 and through a Juncker Investment Plan
8. A seven-year recession has created opportunities for the participation of foreign capital in dynamic Greek enterprises
9. In the period 2016-2017 Greece will have implemented one of the biggest privatization programs in the world (Cosco, regional airports, Hellinikon, etc)
10. Greece has products and services capable to attract investments and to conquer niche markets around the world
Papadimitriou said Greek exports showed both resistance and dynamism and stressed that the Economy ministry has get a green light from creditors on an action plan to boost exports. He added that the ministry recently approved three funding programs worth 234 million euros to support manufacturing enterprises in the country. “I am very optimistic about the future of Greek exports now that the EU economy is recovering and Greece is moving out of the crisis. With the cooperation of all social partners, technical assistance from the EU and the consensus of political parties, Greek exports have nowhere to move but upwards,” the minister stressed.
Federation of Hellenic Enterprises: Economy shows signs of recovery
The Greek economy shows signs of recovery and a view of stabilization, the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises (SEV) said in its business & the Greek economy monthly bulletin, noting that Greek GDP grew 1.5% in the third quarter of 2016 and the EU’s autumn forecasts for a 2.7% growth rate in 2017 and 3.1% in 2018 in Greece.
“The economy is gradually entering into a stabilization orbit from the third quarter of the current year, after completion of the first review of the Greek economic program and the disbursement of all tranches included in an adjustment program. Basic economic activity indicators show a view of stabilization, with positive messages particularly coming from industrial production, exports and imports, retail sales and employment,” SEV said in its bulletin, adding positive developments in economic sentiment index in October, an increase in manufacturing production, exports and a decline in unemployment of the rate of decline in retail sales volume.
On the other hand, problems are recorded in liquidity to enterprises, while Greek households remained pessimistic over the finances and unemployment trends. SEV said that a Eurostat report on living conditions in 2015 showed that Greece ranked among the top three EU member-states with the highest rates of poverty risk of social exclusion among its population (35.7% or 3.8 million in 2015 from 28.1% in 2008).
Greek economy grew 1.5% in Q3
Greek economy grew 1.5% in the third quarter of 2016, laying the foundations for its return to positive growth rates in 2017. Hellenic Statistical Authority, in a report released on Monday, said the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 1.5% in the third quarter compared with the same period in 2015 (GDP was down 2.2% in the third quarter of 2015). On a quarterly basis, the country’s GDP grew 0.5% in the third quarter from the second quarter.
Sources: Greek EconMin sees 10 reasons to boost investments and exports; Greek economy shows signs of recovery; Federation of Hellenic Enterprises monthly bulletin – 14.11.2016; Hellenic Statistical Authority: Quarterly National Accounts – 14.11.2016