Business investment stuck in a rut

Despite the numerous structural reforms the country has passed over the last few years as well as the six-year recession, Greek entrepreneurs still prefer to invest in cafes, souvlaki shops and hairdressers rather than setting up businesses in the fields of innovation and exports, a pan-European survey by the European Commission has found.

While countries such as Portugal, Ireland and Spain have seen investment turn toward more productive sectors of their economies, Greece, which has implemented a 63-billion-euro fiscal adjustment, remains focused on so-called non-productive sectors, with another recent survey showing that about 90 percent of new Greek enterprises are in non-productive sectors.

The EC report revealed another impressive finding: The few productive corporations – amounting to less than 20 percent of the total – employ over 60 percent of the country’s private employees. The irony is that those who have stuck to the usual pattern of the Greek economy (with the exception of tourism) have been rewarded, while a number of those who invested in becoming more export-oriented have suffered.

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