Greek SMEs confidence index up significantly, National Bank survey shows

The business climate in Greece improved remarkably in the second half of 2017, with the Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises’ (SMEs) confidence index rising by 14 points, National Bank said in a survey.

The survey, focusing on the dynamism of exports of goods by Greek SMEs, said that industry was the driving force of economic growth helped by its extroversion. The survey was conducted in a sample of 600 enterprises and showed that one in three SMEs were exporters of goods, with more than 50 pct of exporting SMEs reporting an increase in exports during the crisis.

However, Greek SMEs present a significant gap in extroversion compared with their European counterparts as they export only 11 pct of the sales (from 18 pct on average in the EU. Strategic exporters accounted for 12 pct of SMEs in Greece (covering 21 pct of the sector’s sales) and managed to raise their export activity during the crisis (exports accounted for 34 pct of their sales in 2017 from 19 pct in 2008).

The survey said that the main practices followed by strategic exporters were strong focus on efficient cost management, emphasis on exlpoiting clusters structures and the advantages of networking and synergies offered and finally priority given to developed markets of Western Europe and America to enjoy higher profit margins.

The survey said Greek SMEs could further boost their export activity by adopting coordinated strategies or company mergers.