Greek economy improving in last three years, IOBE head says

Greece managed to reverse a decline in industrial production, exports and employment in the last three years, Nikos Vettas, head of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said on Tuesday.

Addressing a conference organised by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce, Vettas underlined, however, that the Greek economy continued to face risks and structural weaknesses. He said that manufacturing accounted for 8.7 pct of the country’s GDP, the third lowest in the EU despite the fact that the sector is improving after 2015. He noted that exports were rising but there was a risk of a higher trade deficit if exports were contained as a result of an economic slowdown in the EU combined with an increase in imports in Greece. Vettas said employment in the industrial sector was up 13 pct in the last three years, but industry had shed 162,300 workers in the 2009-2017 period.

Christos Charpantidis, chairman and CEO in Papastratos, in his address said competitiveness must be improved through innovation and not through suppressing payroll cost and noted that anyone who has decided to operate in Greece and to use the Greek banking system must bear in mind the higher funding cost.