ECONOMY

Obsolete methods and habits hit Greece’s competitiveness

Inefficient public administration, weak domestic competition, technological retardation and poor operating methods and strategy are the basic factors that account for Greece’s lag in economic competitiveness, according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual report, analytic data of which are presented in the Federation of Greek Industries’ (SEV) latest bulletin. The Greek economy this year receded two places to 33rd on the international table of development competitiveness, but rose four places to 39th on the business competitiveness table. The two tables are compiled on the basis of both objective (statistics) and subjective data (responses to a questionnaire by senior executives). According to SEV, which is WEF’s Greek partner, local businessmen have low confidence in the country’s politicians and believe the economy is hampered by an inadequate number of competent public servants, red tape, too large a government and opaque political decision-making. Competition is adversely affected by costly and time-consuming procedures in setting up a business, lack of integrated business networks, oligopolies and a poor business environment in certain areas. Also, Greece is seen as suffering from a lack of advanced research centers, a low volume of public and private resources devoted to research and development, and legal gaps concerning electronic commerce, digital signatures and consumer protection. Poor operating methods and business strategy are blamed for lags in the uptake of innovative products and in customer-oriented policies, for an unwillingness to delegate responsibility, for the prevalence of nepotism in the selection of senior executives and for exporting firms neglecting after-sale marketing and customer service.