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Foreign Direct Investments

In 2021, Greece welcomed an impressive 90.2% increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

According to provisional data from the Bank of Greece, net inflows of Foreign Direct Investment to Greece amounted to more than €5.3 billion (€5,350 million) in 2021 compared with €2.8 billion (€2,813 million) in 2020.

This represents a new record (the highest net inflow of FDI since 2002), confirming the positive outlook for the Greek economy as well as the country’s successful efforts in attracting foreign investment. Net FDI inflows last year were also 19.3% higher than in 2019 − the year before the onset of the COVID pandemic − which was also a record year with Greece attracting more than €4 billion (€4,484 million) of foreign direct investment.

Net FDI inflows into Greece during the period 2011-2021 (in millions of euros).

FDI OCT. 2022 1

2021: Provisional data

Source: Bank of Greece

 

FDI by Country of Origin

Over the last 10 years, Switzerland, Cyprus and Germany were the main sources of investment activity in Greece, followed by France and Luxembourg. In recent years, FDI inflows from the Netherlands, China (including Hong Kong) have increased significantly, while Canada, USA, and the UK are also among the top 10 countries of origin.

Net FDI inflows per country of origin of funds during the period 2011-2021 (in millions of Euro)

FDI OCT. 2022 2

2021: Provisional data

Source: Bank of Greece

Main characteristics:

  • Foreign investment activity in Greece originates mainly from companies in major markets, such as the EU.
  • Switzerland, Cyprus and Germany constitute the main countries of origin of FDI inflows during the period 2011-2021, followed by France and Luxemburg.
  • The top 10 countries of origin investing in Greece during the last 10 years also include non-European countries, such as Canada, China (with Hong Kong) and the USA, all of whom have significantly increased their investment presence in recent years.

Sectoral distribution of foreign investment

In recent years, foreign direct investment to Greece has been overwhelmingly concentrated in the tertiary sector, followed by the secondary and services sectors. The composition of FDI is similar to the pattern witnessed in most developed economies.

Net FDI inflows per sector of economic activity during the period 2011-2021(%)

FDI OCT. 2022 3

2021: Provisional data

Source: Bank of Greece

Main characteristics:

  • FDI in services. This primarily reflects the growth of Greece’s financial system, growth in the telecommunications sector as well as by the trade stimulus, particularly before the onset of the crisis. More recently, there has been growing investment in real estate management and logistics activities.
  • FDI in secondary sector. The low share of FDI in the secondary sector, particularly compared with the production capabilities of the country, suggests significant investment opportunities. The same applies to the primary sector, where there is very low FDI but where the country offers comparative advantages (e.g. climate, geography) to investors.

In particular:

A. Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector attracted significant investment interest during the period 2011-2021 including in the sub-sectors: food – beverages – tobacco, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and, to a lesser extent, electronics  and computers.

Composition of net FDI inflows in manufacturing during the period 2011-2021(%)

FDI OCT. 2022 4

2021: Provisional data

Source: Bank of Greece

Main characteristics:

  • The manufacturing sectors attracting the most investment interest during the period 2011-2021 are: pharmaceuticals, food-beverages-tobacco and chemicals (excluding plastic products). Other sectors that attracted significant FDI inflows in manufacturing are: machinery, and computers and electrical equipment.\
  • Foreign investment opportunities in these sectors includes both the establishment of new business operations (greenfield investments) in Greece and collaboration/joint ventures with established Greek companies to manufacture products for the domestic market and for export.

B. Services

The services sector attracted significant investment interest during the period 2011-2021 including  the areas of: real estate management (during recent years in particular), financial services and logistics. It is worth noting that the category “real estate management” (according to the Bank of Greece classification) in the chart below does not include the private sale of real estate, which amounted to €3,676 million during the period 2011-2021.

Composition of net FDI inflows in the services sector during the period 2011-2021

FDI OCT. 2022 5

2021: Provisional data

Source: Bank of Greece

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