HACI: Chemical industry a big contributor to the Greek economy

The “footprint” of the chemical industry in the Greek economy is not limited to production value, added value, job positions, tax revenue and social insurance contributions, which are directly created in the economy.

It also has an indirect impact, created by the economic transactions of chemical enterprises with their suppliers and consumer spending by workers in the sector, Vasilis Gounaris, president of the Hellenic Association of Chemical Industries HACI said on Wednesday at an event organised by the association in the Demokritos center.

The association presented a survey by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) on the chemical industry’s outlook. The survey showed that the industry’s workforce totaled 13,000 workers in around 1,000 enterprises, accounting for 3.6 pct of total employment in the manufacturing sector. Production value of the sector was 2.2 billion euros in 2016, losing around 25 pct of its value compared with 2008. Gross added value of the chemical industry in Greece was 583 million euros in 2015, or 5.5 pct of GAV in the manufacturing sector and 0.4 pct of the country’s GDP.

The industry’s annual investments were around 60 million euros in recent years, significantly down from around 130 million euros in the years before the crisis. R&D spending totaled 9.1 million euros in 2015, or 6.1 pct of total R&D spending in the manufacturing sector and 1.6 pct of total enterprises in the country.

Exports of chemicals totaled 1.3 billion euros in 2016, accounting for 5.1 pct of total Greek exports’ value, while imports of chemicals totaled 3.6 billion euros, or 54 pct of total imports in Greece.

The chemical industry managed to significantly reduce its debt through a process of deleverage and greater use of equity capital in the last few years.

The survey said that depending on Greece’s economic course, the production value of the domestic chemical industry could reach 2.44 billion euros in 2022, still lagging behind the 3.0 billion euros level recorded in 2008.