Business

Greece Turning a Corner: Opportunities for Investors

Emerging from years of crisis, Greece is now an economy undergoing transformation through reform and a growing outward orientation.

Combining this significant step with other economic indicators – positive GDP growth, rising total investment, increased exports – a picture emerges of a country well on its way towards a robust resurgence. International investors are taking note: Greek government bond yields and foreign direct investment are once again at the levels they were at the start of the crisis.

Why Greece, Why Now?
The geographic location of Greece makes the country a strategic link connecting Europe with Asia and the Middle East. The interventions during the crisis years have served to reduce costs and streamline processes, while privatization projects have upgraded ports and airports. At the same time, several sectors in the Greek economy have performed well in spite of the difficulties they faced. Among them: tourism, ICT, energy, life sciences, F&B, and logistics. Several of these sectors benefit from the highly educated work force in Greece, which ranks second globally in the skilled labor availability index (WORLD IMD Talent report 2015).  These factors combine to provide an excellent business infrastructure at highly competitive cost, and with significant growth potential.

 

Established Opportunities: Tourism, Food & Beverages
The tourism sector, the powerhouse of the Greek economy, contributes almost a fifth of GDP and has recorded four record years in a row of tourist arrivals. By 2021 arrivals are expected to exceed 35 million visitors and tourism receipts to reach €20 billion. Investor interest is strong, given the established brand and potential of Greek tourism.

The food and beverage sector, one of Greece’s major exports, has also performed well. With rising interest in the Mediterranean diet and artisanal F&B products, this sector is well positioned for future growth. And the crisis years have reoriented the industry towards exports, accounting for much of the double digit increase in Greek exports in 2017.

Emerging Opportunities: Life Sciences, ICT, Energy, and Logistics
Emerging sectors that are performing well and have great growth potential include life sciences, ICT, energy, and logistics. Greek companies are competing successfully in the international pharmaceutical market, having made a strong shift towards R&D, innovation and marketing, while the ICT sector is one of the most vibrant sectors in the Greek economy, driven mostly by its talented engineers with global experience and entrepreneurial drive. On- and off-shore hydrocarbon reserves, renewable energy projects, a new gas pipeline are helping transform Greece into a regional energy hub. While the privatization of the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki, along with 14 regional airports, are establishing Greece as a logistics center for Southeast Europe.

Putting Business First

Throughout the crisis, Greece has strived to improve its business climate and reposition the country as an attractive investment destination.

Enterprise Greece is the official agency of the Greek State, under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Development, to promote investment in Greece, exports from Greece, and make Greece more attractive as an international business partner. Enterprise Greece, following international best practices, assists foreign investors and enterprises with doing business in Greece. It helps troubleshoot issues related to public administration, provides key information about Greece as an investment destination, and promotes investment projects where Greece excels.

To learn more about the many investment and trade opportunities Greece offers, visit us today at www.enterprisegreece.gov.gr

The interview was filmed with Sarah Lockett, Business Correspondent of The Business Debate and Elias Athanasiou, CEO Enterprise Greece.

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