Exports hurt by capital controls

Exports hurt by capital controls

Greek exporting companies – and the country’s economy – could suffer a loss of 80 million euros a week from the imposition of capital controls and the continued closure of banks, according to the estimates of the Panhellenic Exporters Association (PSE). At the same time it predicts shortages of imported goods in the market adding up to 600 million euros per week.

These were the conclusions of an extraordinary meeting of the PSE governing board yesterday, intended to assess the impact of recent government decisions on external trade, and to decide what measures could be taken to soften the blow.

In the next couple of weeks it is estimated that exports will drop by about 7 percent while imports are seen falling 28 percent. This will put an end to the rising course of exports and lead to significant shortages in the local market, initially in machinery and spare parts and then in fresh products, mainly meat and cheese.

Besides closed banks and the implementation of capital controls, exporters are also having to deal with another problem, according to PSE President Christina Sakellaridi: Foreign buyers of Greek products are receiving warnings from their banks that the money they forward to Greece for the payment of their Greek suppliers may be tied down and never reach the Greek enterprises. Some Greek food exporters have already advised their clients in the US against sending any money to Greek bank accounts, as they don’t know where it will end up.

Among the measures that PSE is asking for are the creation of a special committee to examine the demands of exporters for payments at all of the country’s commercial banks, the exemption of money forwarded to Greece for the payment of product and service exports from time-consuming procedures, and to be inofrmed by commercial banks about regional branches that will accept checks from enterprises.

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