Foreign Direct Investment

According to the latest Bank of Greece data, net Foreign Direct Investment inflows during 2018 reached € 3,364 million vs. € 3,085 million during 2017, an increase of 9.0%. The year 2018 is the third consecutive year of increased foreign investment flows in Greece after an annual increase of 23.5% from 2016 to 2017 and of 118.5% from 2015 to 2016.


2017: Revised data 2018: Provisional Data
Source: Bank of Greece

Investment capital by country of origin 

Foreign investment activity in the country during the last decade originates mainly from companies of significant markets, such as the EU, with Germany (by far) and France being the top source countries of investment capital in the past decade, followed by Cyprus, as well as non-EU countries such as Switzerland, Canada and USA. China (incl. Hong Kong), which has significantly strengthened its position in recent years. Luxembourg, Netherlands and Spain complete the top-ten countries.

Net FDI inflows by country of origin of capital during the period 2008-2018 (in million Euros)


2017: Revised data 2018: Provisional Data 
Total value: 21,486 million Euros 
Source: Bank of Greece

Key features

  • Investment activity in Greece originates primarily from companies in major markets such as the EU.
  • Germany (primarily) and France are the top source countries of investment capital during this period (2008-2018), by a large margin, mainly due to the investment of Deutsche Telecom in OTE and the acquisition of Greek banks by French ones, during prior to the beginning of the crisis.
  • Switzerland, USA, Canada and China (including Hong Kong) also belong to the top ten source countries of foreign investment in Greece during the last decade, increasing significantly their investment presence during the last few years.

Sectoral breakdown of foreign investment

Net FDI inflows by sector of economic activity in Greece in recent years focused mainly in the tertiary sector, followed by the secondary sector by a significant margin. Most developed countries show a similar structure of FDI.

Net FDI inflows by sector of economic activity for the period 2008-2018


2017: Revised data 2018: Provisional Data 
Total value: € 21,486 million 
Source: Bank of Greece 

Key features

  • Focus of FDI in services. This trend was dictated primarily by the development of the country’s financial system, the liberalization of telecommunications, and the stimulation of trade, mainly from before the beginning of the crisis. During the last few years there is an increase in investment in real estate and logistics.
  • The proportion of FDI in the secondary sector is relatively low compared to the country’s opportunities, a trend that suggests considerable potential for investment. That is also the case for the primary sector, with very low FDI inflows, in a country with a lot of comparative advantages in this sector (climate etc.).


  1. A. Manufacturing

Manufacturing sectors with significant investor interest during the period of 2008-2018 included chemical products (mainly), followed by pharmaceuticals, food- beverages and tobacco and machinery and computers.


Structure of net FDI inflows in manufacturing in the period 2008-2018


Total Value: € 1,012 million 
2017: Revised data 2018: Provisional Data 
Source: Bank of Greece

Key features

  • The sector of manufacturing that attracted the most investment activity during the period 2008-2018 was chemicals (by far). Pharmaceuticals and plastic products are not included in this category, but have also attracted considerable investment interest during the last decade. Following chemicals, the sectors attracting the most important FDI inflows in manufacturing are pharmaceuticals, food-beverages and tobacco and computers, machinery and relevant equipment.
  • The concentration of investment activity in these areas favors the establishment of new businesses (Greenfield Investments) in Greece, as well as joint ventures of foreign companies with Greek companies to produce products that meet the demands of domestic and international markets.
  1. B. Services

Service sectors with significant investor interest over the period 2008-2018 included financial and insurance activities (in the lead, by far), telecommunications, logistics services and real estate.  It should be pointed out that the category “real estate” for the following graph doesn’t include private real estate purchases and sales, which, according to the Bank of Greece reached 2,118 million Euros during the period 2008-2018.


Structure of net FDI inflows in services during the period 2008-2018


2017: Revised data2018: Provisional data
Total value: € 16,198 million Euros
Source: Bank of Greece

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