Foreign Direct Investment
In 2012, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Greece was satisfactory compared with the previous year, despite the intense economic crisis. The total (gross) capital inflows to the country during this year amounted to 2.9 billion Euro, while net inflows reached 2.3 billion Euro.
Greece’s Investment Incentives Law governs the terms and conditions of direct investment in Greece and provides for the incentives available to domestic and foreign investors.
The Greek Economy
As a member of the EU and the Eurozone, Greece offers access to high-growth and emerging regional markets, is characterised by sectors that demonstrate significant competitive advantages, has a well-developed infrastructure, and offers a highly skilled and well-trained workforce, whose labour costs are highly competitive within the EU. The country's natural resources complement many areas of investment and the variety of specialised industrial and technology clusters supports optimal entrepreneurial activity. The need for fiscal adjustment starting in 2009 led to the implementation of a strict economic policy within the framework of the trilateral support mechanism comprised of the IMF, the EU and the ECB. As a result, the country's GDP was negatively affected; however the consolidation of public finance began, as well as the promotion of structural changes and reforms, that significantly improve the business-investment environment.
Total foreign trade (imports + exports) in Greece amounted to 76.8 billion Euro in 2012. The European Union (EU) is an important trade partner of Greece, since this accounts for 50% of the volume of foreign trade of the country. However, for the year 2012 the trade flows between Greece and the EU decreased, while flows between Greece and third countries, such as China and Russia, increased.
The holding of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens was a major catalyst for Greece to initiate a number of changes and improvements in a variety of areas. One of the greatest beneficiaries was the infrastructure of Greece; improvements continue today, providing Greece with the infrastructure that enables the uninterrupted implementation of any investment activity. Despite the current economic crisis, infrastructure improvement will continue, through the participation of private investors, and in this way creating a significant range of investment activity and opportunity.
During the last three decades in Greece, demographic shifts, EU integration, and global trends have been reshaping the economic landscape so that the human resources of Greece are of high education and skills and meet the needs of today’s service and knowledge-based economy.
Access to Financing & Venture Capital in Greece
The conditions that emerged from the economic crisis in Greece have decreased financial resources. However, the recapitalisation of banks, the Investment Law and a number of programmes to empower entrepreneurship offer investors a wide selection of alternatives for their financing needs to implement their projects.
“In 2006, Greece ranked first globally in terms of broadband growth. Microsoft gives particular emphasis in developing innovation at a local level, since it constitutes the key growth factor for each country. Within this framework, the inauguration of the Innovation Centre aims at contributing in the creation of opportunities for all that will reinforce Greek competitiveness globally.” ― Bill Gates, Microsoft Corporation
Emerging National Markets
As an economic and trade center of emerging markets, Greece is a natural business base to access EU markets and the markets of Southeast Europe and North Africa.