Investment Restart: What, How and by Whom?

Conclusions of Day Conference titled “Investment Restart: What, How and by Whom?”.

Professor Louka Katseli summed up the conclusions of the exceptionally successful Day Conference of the Athens Development and Governance Institute (ADGI–INERPOST) of Friday 29 September, following the speeches of 27 eminent ambassadors, Greek and foreign investors, entrepreneurs, business consultants and academics. Among them, the Economy Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou, Richard Portes, Jeromin Zettelmeyer, Helene Rey, the Italian Ambassador Efisio Luigi Marras. Coordinator: Luca Katseli and greetings from the President of the Board of Directors of INSPORT Sotiris Mousouris and the former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Ι. What should be done?

1. Making the increase of fixed capital investments by approximately 1 billion EUR, within the next decade, a national target.

2. Shifting towards the production of higher value‑added products and services that promote extroversion, innovation and the transformation of production and technology of the productive base.

3. Reinforcing manufacturing activities and sectoral industrial policy, giving priority to the agriculture and food industry, construction materials, pharmaceutical industry, as well as to other sectors with positive prospects for enlargement of exports or substitution of imports. The target is the increase of the manufacturing rate in GDP from 8.9% to 12%.

4. Increasing the productivity of sectors that constitute the country’s traditional comparative advantage, such as tourism and services enabled by digital technology and investment in their human resources.

5. Investing in important unexploited service sectors, such as culture, sports, health, education, assisting start-ups and creating a dynamic ecosystem that makes good use of creativity, innovation, passion and entrepreneurship, especially of young people.

6. Boosting the social aspect of economy and of social undertakings, with appropriate incentives and corporate governance.

7. Changing value priorities: from obtaining quick, high but temporary, benefits to obtaining long-term and sustainable performance, from individuality to collective effort and cooperation, from operating in an environment that lacks transparency to the reinforcement of transparency and accountability.

II. How should it be done?

8. Establishing a National Investment Strategy, the implementation of which will be monitored by an independent mixed National Investment Committee that will report to the Prime Minister.

9. Drafting a new industrial policy to boost manufacturing, to establish incentives and to promote supporting investments and complementary policies and actions.

10. Drafting and implementing respective Strategic Investment Plans for the sector of existing dynamic services, especially tourism, digital technology and social economy.

11. Taking measures to increase the size of small and medium enterprises. Abolishing the barriers to entry, providing incentives for the creation of productive partnerships and introducing the Media to regional, national and international value chains. New financial instruments, such as public private partnerships.

12. Introducing and extending the digitalization of productive and organizational processes, as well as of all services in both private and public sector.

13. Mobilizing specialized human resources and talents. Greater and more effective interconnection between Universities, Research Centers and Businesses.

14. Improving the institutional business environment, giving priority to reforms in 5 policy areas: tax system, licensing framework, justice and dispute resolution system, financial system and corporate governance.

15. Extending digitalization, aligning and interconnecting digital systems, simplifying and codifying legislation, drafting single enforcement drafts and rules.

16. Tax system: reducing tax burdens, restoring mid-term stability, reducing uncertainty, reforming tax audit mechanisms and audit procedures.

17. Implementing single licensing standards, abolishing unnecessary certificates and licenses, and aligning and unifying via digital means the rest necessary licensing requirements and processes.

18. Improving efficiency and speeding up the dispute resolution and justice administering procedures. Applying the out-of-court mechanism and the new bankruptcy code, digitalizing the new system and establishing specialized courts.

19. Providing the necessary liquidity to the economy and actively working out the non-performing exposures for the liberalization of capital and for the use of such capital for investment purposes. Using new financial products and attracting foreign capital.

20. Upgrading corporate governance. Establishing clear command structures and standards, in accordance with the best practices of other countries, and establishing rules of operation, management, executives’ evaluation and succession.

ΙΙΙ. Who should do it?

21. Establishment, with the contribution and guidance of the National Investment Committee, of a permanent national dialog platform between social bodies and the independent Observatory, for the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the National Investment Strategy and its continuous improvement.

Mrs. Katseli concluded: “Today, after 7 years of crisis, we see a window of opportunity for the recommencement of investments in the country. These 20+1 proposals could act as an enabler so that this recommencement is maintainable and the start for a new sustainable development path.”