The central licensing authority for strategic investments is finally ready to start operating, eight months after the investment incentives law introduced it. The new authority has the characteristics of a one-stop shop service and is staffed with employees from ministries involved in such investments.
Nevertheless a presidential decree for the accreditation of private entities such as banks to monitor investments that take advantage the law’s provisions has yet to be issued.
The administrative structure of the new General Directorate for Strategic Investments provides for departments of growth strategy and licensing.
The Growth Strategy Department will have three offices: The Growth Strategy Organization Office, which will coordinate the licensing process for strategic investments and the drafting of the national strategy for investment policy; the Office for Special Projects for Development of Strategic and Private Investments; and the Public Investments Office for the implementation of public-private partnerships in the form of strategic investments.
The Licensing Department will have a Town Planning Office, an Environmental Terms Office, a Seaside and Beach Office, and an Archaeological Licenses Office, which will be responsible for issuing permits for construction and demolition and promoting and issuing other licenses required for the operation of the strategic investments.
In a meeting yesterday between Deputy Development Minister Notis Mitarakis and officials from the newly founded authority, as well as representatives of the Invest in Greece agency, Mitarakis said the central licensing entity constitutes a revolution for the operations of the public administration.
“The concentration of responsibilities in a single general directorate will contribute decisively to dealing with bureaucracy and the overlap in responsibilities, as well as to overcoming obstacles and counterincentives for investors,” said Mitarakis. “Its operation also constitutes an innovation that will make the investment environment in our country friendlier and more attractive for the major investments that the Greek economy and society are in need of,” he added.