Greek exports to France rising

Greek exports to France are rising further improving the trade balance between the two countries, while France remained traditionally among foreign countries showing strong investment interest for the Greek market.

The value of Greek exports to France grew 6.62 pct in 2016, compared with 2015 to 710.7 million euros, the Greek embassy’s economic and trade affairs bureau said on Thursday. In 2012, Greek exports to France totaled 666 million euros, falling to 617 million in 2013, rising to 652 million in 2014 and rising further to 667 million euros in 2016.

On the other hand, the value of imports from France eased 0.57 pct in 2016 compared with 2015 to 1.94 billion euros. Imports from France totaled 2.247 billion euros in 2012, rising to 2.261 billion in 2013, falling to 2.200 billion in 2014 and to 1.951 billion in 2015.

The trade balance remained negative for Greece, but was improving in 2015 and 2016, from a deficit of 1.548 billion in 2014 to a deficit of 1.229 billion in 2016.

The volume of bilateral trade fell throughout the five year period, with the exception of 2016, reflecting a deep recession of the Greek economy.

Aluminium remained the top Greek export product to France in 2016, followed by pharmaceutical products, plastics, fisheries and vegetable, nuts and fruits.

French exports to Greece were mainly pharmaceuticals, meat, cosmetics, vehicles and boilers.
French investments in Greece totaled 2.02 billion in 2011, 3.118 billion in 2012, 2.092 billion in 2013, 1.510 billion in 2014 and 1.889 billion in 2015, with the country ranking fourth among Greece’s foreign direct investors, with fixed capital investments worth 1.9 billion euros, after Germany (4.9 billion), Luxembourg (4.5 billion) and the Netherlands (4.4 billion).

A total of around 120 subsidiaries of French groups have established activities in Greece, with a workforce of 30,000. French investments are focusing on energy, tourism, basic infrastructure, utilities, transport and health sectors. A total of 1.7 million French tourists visited Greece in 2016, up 6.2 pct from 2015, with an increase of around 7.0 pct expected this year.

Greek investments to France fell from 81.2 million euros in 2001 to 19.8 million in 2015 and are focusing on building materials, industrial products, tourism services, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, jewelry and wines.