Monday, 21 March 2022




Greece Is Back

By Georgios Filiopoulos
CEO, Enterprise Greece 

Welcome to the new Greece. Over the last decade, there has been a dynamic transformation of the Greek economy: Greek businesses are expanding overseas and are creating added value with new products, services and innovation, while the country has become of one of Europe’s top investment destinations. And despite the current challenges facing the world economy, Greece is continuing on its trajectory of growth and prosperity.

This year, Greece’s economy is expected to grow at a robust 4% to 5% rate, following a better-than-expected 8.5% rebound in 2021 – one of the fastest growth rates in Europe. Unemployment is at the lowest level of the last ten years, while economic sentiment is at its highest point since 2000.

The latest data show that Greece saw record foreign direct investment in 2021 – reaching €5 billion and the largest FDI inflow since 2002 – confirming that the country is on the right track and in a dynamic growth phase. In a survey by international consultancy EY, which tracks investor attitudes, Greece was rated among the Top 10 investment destinations in Europe, reflecting the wide array of attractive opportunities available in the Greek market and the coordinated efforts of the last several years to create a competitive and positive business environment in Greece.

Over the last year, the country welcomed several landmark investments in projects involving data centers and pharmaceuticals; property development and F&B; hospitality and renewable energy. The Greek Parliament has also just passed a new omnibus development law, aiming to speed up and streamline new investment projects, while offering more targeted incentives in a range of areas. In the meantime, Greece’s privatization drive continues, with the emblematic redevelopment of the old Athens airport at Hellenikon, underscoring Greece’s investment prospects.

Exports of goods also set a new record last year of €40 billion. With the current momentum, merchandise exports are on track to reach a medium-term national goal of 25% GDP over the next three years. This despite the slowdown in global trade as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The strength of Greek exports is helping Greece further its presence in the international market and positions the country well for the recovery phase.

Greece’s economy is also expanding into forward-looking sectors. The Greek recovery plan – Greece 2.0 – will create new growth industries by channeling €57 billion into green energy projects, digitalization, health and education. Greece 2.0 is focused on realizing fully the potential of the digital age and green energy, and aims to secure sustainable growth far into the future.

Digitalization and green energy draw foreign investment directly, but also act as growth multipliers and boost innovation. In the last few years, Microsoft has invested in Greek data centers, Volkswagen in a ground-breaking e-mobility project, and Pfizer in R&D centers, to name a few. And this past month, U.S. investment bank JPMorgan acquired a 49% stake in privately held Greek fintech Viva Wallet, valuing the company at a reputed $2 billion. All of which reflects the emerging status of Greece as a technology and innovation hub in the region.

At Enterprise Greece, where our mission is to attract foreign investment and promote Greek exports, we are proud to play a key role in these positive developments in our country, and see the hard work of so many bear fruit. In the meantime, Greece continues its transformation through further reform, further investment and further extroversion. We remain focused on the future. And with the prospect that the global pandemic may be gradually drawing to a close, this year holds exciting promise for Greece.

Greece is back – back to having a healthy, growing economy, and laying the foundations for a future of sustainable growth. The Greek diaspora is an important part of this success story. Countless accomplished people of the diaspora have contributed their expertise to bringing Greece back to prosperity, and have been on the forefront of recognizing the potential of Greece. We look forward to working even more closely with the diaspora in building the Greece of the future.