The cost of energy and a high non-payroll labour cost (contributions) are the main hurdles to industrial investments in Greece, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) said on Tuesday during a meeting of BusinessEurope’s Industrial Commission in Athens.
Gerhard Koch, head of the Commission, underlined the issue of high financing cost and the need to restore confidence. In his address, Koch said that although production cost in EU member-states did not show significant changes, final prices have great differences because of taxes, duties and other charges, such as subsidies for Renewable Energy Sources. He noted that the price of kW/h in Greece was 30 pct higher compared with the EU average, which is double compared with the US. Koch said that the cost of money in Greece remained very high, with interest rates at 7.0 pct, from 2-3 pct in the EU. “It is difficult for someone to invest in Greece and to be competitive under these conditions,” he added.
SEV supports the introduction of a national goal to raise the industry’s share to 12 pct of the country’s GDP by 2020 from 8.6 pct in 2016. In Europe the goal is to raise this share to 20 pct by 2020.
Koch said there could be no growth, job creation, investment and innovation without a strong productive sector. Data presented during the meeting showed that 87.7 pct of exports of goods were industrial products worth 22.3 billion euros, while European industry invested 23 billion euros in the 2009-2015 period, contributing 40 pct of total corporate income tax in Europe