19 June, 2007
Greek enterprises’ expansion in foreign markets, and particularly in the Balkans, is giving a strong boost to exports, enterpreunship, research and development, employment and to the Greek economy in general.
This was the conclusion of an event organized by the Institute for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) to present a report on “The role of Greek multinational enterprises in economy and preconditions for further development,” written by Th. Palaskas, M. Papanastasiou and K. Filippaios.
Economic diplomacy is one of the stronger means to promote the country’s economic interests abroad, Foreign Deputy Minister Evripides Stylianides told the even. “We reformed the country’s economic diplomacy in the last three years and sought three significant openings to the Balkans, the Black Sea and the Arab world, while we strengthen our presence in significant international markets,” the Greek minister said.
Commenting on Greek investments abroad, Stylianides stressed, however, that despite their dynamism they remained at low levels compared with global trends, a fact leaving room for more foreign direct investments outflows. Greek FDIs totaled 8.3 pct of Gross Fixed Capital Investments in 2005 in international markets, 21.1 pct in the EU and 2.7 pct in Greece. Stylianides said Greece’s geopolitical positions makes it a starting point for business access to the Balkans, Black Sea, the Middle East and the Mediterranean in general.
Dimitris Daskalopoulos, president of the Federation of Hellenic Industries and Enterprises, said IOBE’s report offered strong evidence over the role played by Greek enterprises both in international markets and domestically. Greek enterprises are a model of export orientation and several of them have managed very significant progress in international markets, he noted.
IOBE said Greece ranked high in the global Foreign Direct Investment outflow list, focusing more in the Balkans, North Africa and the US markets. The country, being the most developed economy and Southeastern Europe and the only EU member-states by January 1, 2007, obtained an advantage against other Balkan countries, playing a very significant role in economic development in the region.
More than 3,500 Greek enterprises in the Balkans have invested around 6.0 billion US dollars in the last three years.
In Bulgaria, Greece is the second largest foreign investor after Austria, with investments totaling 1.4 billion euros, while in Romania it ranks 10th with 530 Greek enterprises investing around 3.0 billion euros in the country.
The report said foreign activities accounted for 33 pct of total sales and to 41 pct of total workers in the Greek enterprises.
Greek multinational showed a 7.9 pct average annual growth rate in employment in the period 2001-2005, almost four times higher compared with employment average rates in Greece.
Source: Athens News Agency