Investments in Greece - The Best from Greece

Follow bestfromgreece on Twitter

Posted on: 05/Dec/2009

Greece has four fundamental strategic advantages for attracting investments, Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping minister Louka Katseli during a press conference on the sidelines of the 11th annual Capital Link forum, at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan, titled "Greece: preparing recovery".

The first advantage is the country's "strategic position" at the "crossroads of three continents", Katseli said, explaining that "it is power when a country is situated amidst emerging economies, in a region where investments can be made and an entire region can be served".

"Greece's comparative advantage is not only the domestic market of 10 million people, but a much wider market that can be services from Greece," she said.

The second major advantage "has to do with Greece's nature and the environment".

It is not incidental that Greece is at the top of the list of countries with respect to attracting tourism and investment interest, noting that its expansive complex of islands is greatly significant to international investors, who truly want to invest their money because they know that they can potentially have a very high yield. And it was in the least oxymorous for a country such as Greece to not have developed sea tourism, in other words, that it does not have the best marinas in the region, that it does not have health & wellness tourism, or the cultural tourism it should have, she continued.

Greece's third comparative advantage is its culture. "We never looked at culture as a source of foreign exchange, as a substantive strategic tool in a developmental strategy," Katseli stressed, adding: "For me, it truly breaks my heart when I go to Mycenae and see the weeds growing tall and downgraded services".

The minister noted that she and the culture minister, in a meeting on Tuesday, decided to mobilize both ministries so that every archaeological site, "every part of our country that has cultural treasures", will be very carefully developed. Noting that Greece also lacks theme parks, Katseli added that she spoke recently with the Viotia Chamber of Commerce about the idea of setting up a Hercules theme park. "If any other country had the (cultural) wealth that Greece has, it could do miracles. It's time that we do this ourselves."

The fourth comparative advantage, according to Katseli, has to do with the people. It is not incidental, she said, that the Greeks, wherever they find themselves, "work miracles", and cited the shipping sector as an example.

"But not only the arts, in the sciences, everywhere. At this time, investing in Greece and in its human element is feasible, and I believe that we proved this with the (Athens 2004) Olympic Games. We are indeed a country where an investor in the field of cutting edge technologies or biology or culture will have a truly well-trained staff, with many dexterities and abilities. Consequently, an investor will gain from all four of these very significant advantages that Greece has," Katseli said, adding: "What we must do, and this is the challenge for the current government, is to eliminate the counter-incentives".

Katseli also noted that she had spoken earlier in the day with a plethora of businessmen from the monetary and credit sector, major banks, the fields of shipping and renewable energy sources (RES), with whom she discussed Greece and its prospects. "What they were all interested in was what the new government will do, what its program will be, for recovery of the economy and proceeding with the deep changes needed by the country for its development".

"I discerned in these conversations their concern about the need for investments to go ahead, she said.

The minister noted that many entrepreneurs had bad experiences in the past and were rather disappointed, having met with obstacles throughout the entire process from applying for permits for an investment project all the way to the commencement of operation of the enterprise. She said that eliminating bureaucracy is one of the priority commitments made by the present government before the elections, and her ministry was moving quickly so as to table a legislative framework in 2010 simplifying all the procedures while, in collaboration with the various Chambers, it was taking the steps necessary so that entrepreneurs will find themselves in a friendly environment in which to advance an investment.



«« Let's get back to the News Overview

Greek Ferries

Flight from London (LCY) to Athens