BUSINESS

Four in 10 firms mulling moving abroad

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy

Nearly four in every 10 Greek enterprises are contemplating leaving the country, which translates into some 9,000 companies, a survey by Endeavor Greece conducted on March 23-31 has shown.

What this 39 percent of local enterprises are seeking and cannot find in this country is a favorable tax environment: They are leaving or considering doing so as they want stability, access to funds and less bureaucracy.

Some 15 percent of the enterprises sampled have already moved the base of their operations abroad. Worse, the companies that have already emigrated and those about to do so in the near future are active in sectors with high added value, such as those of technology and healthcare.

The above rate compares with just 23 percent of enterprises who were eyeing a move abroad in July 2015, immediately after Greek banks were shuttered and the capital controls were imposed. In other words, now that the dust from the dramatic events of last summer has settled, and despite the signing of the third bailout agreement, the enterprises see no light at the end of the tunnel.

That pessimism is also reflected in the survey as 56 percent of respondents estimate that the situation in the country will not improve for at least another five years, while two years ago (in May 2014) only 4 percent of respondents had given the same answer. At that time, 62 percent had said they expected an improvement within two years. It is no coincidence that eight out of 10 entrepreneurs now say that if they were to start up a business again they would do it abroad.

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