This year will be a turning point for the Greek economy, Economy Min Papadimitriou says

The year 2017 is a turning point for Greece’s economy, Economy and Development Minister Dimitri Papadimitriou said on Friday.

Addressing an Interpost seminar on “Investment Restart: What, how and by whom?” the minister stressed that the Greek economy has great prospects of revival and expressed the government’s determination to create an environment that is friendly to investments, while emphasising the need for a national strategy to achieve sustainable growth.

Papadimitriou presented the main pylons of a national growth strategy, focusing on extroversion to close the gap in the country’s trade balance, upgrading the country’s comparative advantages, producing high-added-value goods and services based on knowledge, boosting investments, creating value company clusters and setting up a development bank able to support these initiatives.

A national development bank will offer financing instruments to enterprises of all sizes and support investments, Papadimitriou said. In this direction, he noted that a massive absorption of community funds and the activation of new funding tools in cooperation with European Investment Bank are directly aimed to create a domestic development bank.

Papadimitriou said “there is fiscal consolidation, social cohesion and political stability in the country,” adding that all these were the basic factors for a gradual recovery of confidence by institutions, financial markets and investors. He noted that tourism, industrial production, import-exports and funds move the economy forward, inviting new investments, and stressed that traditional sectors of the economy, such as retail, wholesale and constructions were also showing signs of recovery.

“Confidence is being rapidly restored, we have a higher implementation of the remaining reforms,” he said.

Papadimitriou emphasised on the country’s geopolitical position and noted that changes in the region were transforming Greece into a more stable economy in southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean. He added that the country was gradually emerging as an energy space for Eurasia and said that the country’s specialised productive labour base was attractive for investments. Papadimitriou also said that infrastructure, transport, logistics, mines, agricultural food, spas, tourism (cultural) and new technologies presented great growth prospects. He said that only 28 pct of Greeks used e-banking compared with a 60 pct average in Europe. “This is a great growth potential,” he said.