Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry: Greece needs new industrial policy

“The country needs a new industrial policy which will contribute in the improvement of the trade balance and at the same time offer high-quality products in competitive prices and high-skilled and full-time job positions,” Constantinos Mihalos, president of the Central Union of Greek Chambers and the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA), commenting on the results of a survey conducted jointly by the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association and EBEA.

Mihalos stressed that an increase in industrial turnover index lately was an encouraging recovery sign and added that the country needed more efforts to boost domestic production and competitiveness of Greek industrial product.

“Greek industry, at the moment, unfortunately is considered to be a relatively small size sector in the Greek economy, dominated by services. The survey showed that excluding exports, domestic production covered only 26 pct of domestic consumption, with the remaining covered by imports” he said, adding that therefore the country needed a new industrial policy.

Christina Sakellaridi, president of the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association, said that special attention should be given to boosting domestic production, manufacturing of farm and industrial products through incentives to attract foreign investments and modernizing existing manufacturing units. She noted that according to the survey, the survival of the manufacturig sectors seemed to be exclusively depending on exports.

The survey said that the Greek manufacturing sector shrank in the last 20 years, with an annual average growth rate of 0.6 pct in the 1995-2007 period and an annual average decline rate of 6.3 pct in the 2008-2013 period. Industrial production grew 1.8 pct and 1.9 pct in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but fell 19.5 pct in the 1995-2015 period.

The survey showed that investments fell to 1995 levels in 2013, the number of manufacturing enterprises fell to 2,845 in 2013 from 5,814 in 1995 and the sector lost 82,090 job positions in the same period.