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24 July, 2001
The government will set up a council to track competitiveness of the economy whose members are to include the Association of Greek Industry and the General Confederation of Labor of Greece, the country's largest trade union umbrella organization.
Announcing the move, Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Monday that the new council would compare national competitiveness with that of other countries, especially Greece's market rivals.
Christodoulakis also presented the findings of a global survey on competitiveness by the World Economic Forum.
According to the study, Greece in 2000 ranked 34th among 59 countries on economic competitiveness, up from 41st place in 1999 and 44th place in 1998. Used in the survey were 153 indicators.
In terms of attracting industrial, research and development and services activity, Greece ranked 30th in 2000, up from 40th place in 1996.
Christodoulakis also said that in the World Competitiveness Yearbook, Greece ranked 30th in competitiveness in 2001, up from 38th place in 2000 and 40th in 1996. The survey was conducted by the International Institute for Management Development.
The minister noted that Greece's macroeconomic indicators had improved, and that employment had risen. In addition, production costs and interest rates had both shown a continuous decline in recent years, aiding competitiveness.
He added that Greece's spending on technology; information technology and communications as a proportion of gross domestic product were approaching the European Union average.
Source: Athens News Agency