BUSINESS

Greece near bottom in competitiveness, global survey shows

DIMITRA MANIFAVA

TAGS: Economy

Greece slid closer to the bottom of the global competitiveness list in 2015, as it dropped six positions to 56th out of the 61 countries surveyed by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD).

The downward spiral of the Greek economy last year, with the imposition of capital controls and the credit crunch, saw confidence in the country as well as its enterprises drop anew. Greece’s position on the list was only better than states such as Brazil, Venezuela and Ukraine, which are suffering from serious internal problems. Greece had risen to 50th spot in 2014 thanks to a series of interventions in the labor market, including a reduction in salary costs.

Each country’s position on the list is determined by its performance in four categories that between them count 340 indices. Greece plummeted in the business efficiency category last year, dropping from 43rd to 57th place. This is attributed to the credit crunch and local enterprises’ lack of liquidity, primarily as a result of the capital controls.

It is no coincidence that Greece was rock bottom (61st) in the indices of financial risk and credit sector operation, while ranking 60th in credit availability to corporations. This was the same position that Greece ranked in term of its image abroad, which reflects the lack of confidence in the Greek economy and entrepreneurship as well as domestic politics.

This derives from the difficulty that manufacturing companies have in exporting their products to international markets and the country’s inability to attract major productive investments.

In the other three main categories, Greece remained in 58th position for financial returns, it slumped two spots to 59th in government efficiency, and dropped from 35th to 38th in terms of infrastructure.

The picture in Greece is particularly disappointing when compared with other eurozone states that entered a bailout process. Ireland has taken the biggest leap in competitiveness, from 16th to seventh, Spain rose to 34th from 37th, while Portugal lost three places, from 36th to 39th, while still remaining much higher than Greece. Romania (49th) and Bulgaria (50th) were also viewed as more competitive than Greece.

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