Greek exports continued to grow dynamically in Q1

Greek exports maintained the dynamic growth of 2017, when they hit record levels, in the first quarter of 2018. Exports grew with most trade partners of the country, such as Italy, Germany, Turkey and Cyprus, while exports to third countries showed encouraging signs, the Panhellenic Exporters Association said in a report released on Tuesday.

The association, citing official data, said exports grew 13.3 pct in the January-March period this year to 7.73 billion euros, while excluding oil products exports, they grew 12.9 pct to 5.26 billion.

Exports helped the country’s GDP to grow by 2.1 pct in 2017, the association said, noting that improving the domestic business climate and eliminating hurdles undermining the outlook of Greek enterprises abroad were necessary conditions to further boost Greek exports. Among the required actions, according to the association, were the lowering of taxation, fully lifting capital controls and restoring funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises. Greek companies also needed incentives to attract investments that would modernise and strengthen productive capacity in the country.

Italy remained the top destination for Greek exports in the first quarter, followed by Turkey (fourth in Q1 2017), Germany and Cyprus (second and third in 2017, respectively). Bulgaria moved up to fifth place from sixth in 2017, followed by Lebanon, the US (up two places), Spain (up three) and the UK (down two places). Romania was 10th unchanged from 2017.

Exports to the EU grew 10.6 pct, to the Eurozone 11 pct, to OECD countries 11 pct and exports to G7 countries rose 6.2 pct. Exports to BRICs more than doubled, exports to OPEC member-states rose 2.3 pct, exports to Black Sea countries jumped 21.8 pct, exports to Eurasia were up 38.6 pct and exports to Mercosur countries more than tripled.

Exports of agricultural products rose 14.9 pct in the first quarter of 2018, compared with the same period last year, exports of fuel were up 14.1 pct, of industrial products 13.1 pct, while exports of raw materials rose 5.9 pct.