ECONOMY

Exporters upbeat for 2011 but point out risks

The Panhellenic Exporters Association (PEA) said export revenues this year may expand at a faster rate than a 5.5 percent growth forecast set by the European Commission for Greece but pointed out the large risks to the country?s main customers.

?We believe that there could be an even bigger growth rate on the condition that obstacles to exports are removed and targeted (government) steps are implemented,? PEA said in a statement on Wednesday.

In 2010, Greek export revenues, including petroleum products, rose 10.7 percent to 16.2 billion euros, exceeding an initial growth forecast of 8.3 percent, PEA said.

The group, however, added that Greece?s largest export markets are at risk of following in the steps of Athens and see a severe deterioration of macroeconomic conditions due to fiscal and debt problems.

?It should be pointed out that the most important markets for Greek products, such as Italy (second largest market for Greece) Cyprus (third largest) and Spain (eleventh largest) are seen by capital markets as being likely to show problems, while the price of petrol creates risks to global economic growth,? it said.