ECONOMY

Exports of services rise in 2003

Greece’s sale of services to citizens of foreign countries, in per capita terms, is 7.5 times higher than the world average and far exceeds the respective figure for the export of goods, according to a study by the Export Research and Studies Center (KEEM) of the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association. The study notes that this performance is almost exclusively due to the provision of tourism and transport services – the latter referring to the merchant shipping industry. By contrast, in the sector of computer and information technology services, communications, cultural or financial services, Greece shows a considerable lag. In 2001, according to the study, Greece ranked 22nd in the world in the export of services and 31st in imports of services, while its position was much lower in both exports and imports of goods; it accounted for 1.33 percent of total world exports of services and 0.78 percent of imports. It ranked 17th among the 30 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and 12th in the 15-member European Union. Exports of services rose from $19.3 million in 2000 to $19.7 million in 2001 and $19.9 million in 2002. During this period, imports of services declined 14 percent. According to data from the Bank of Greece, exports of services recorded a spectacular increase in 2003, reaching $18.4 million in the first nine months, against $15.5 million in the same period of 2002. The KEEM study attributes the rise to higher earnings in the export of transport services. The value of tourism services rose from $4.8 million in 1991 to $9.1 million in 2001, the value of transport exports from $3.9 million to $8.1 million, and of «other services» from $2.0 million to $2.1 million. According to data from the World Trade Organization, Greece ranked 11th worldwide, with a 2 percent share in the provision of tourism services, and 14th, with a 2.4 percent share, in transport exports. According to the Bank of Greece, the composition of exported services in 2001 was as follows: tourism, 48 percent; transport, 41 percent, and other, 11 percent. World exports of services reached $1.45 billion in the same year, after growing at a rate of 6.5 percent in the 1990s.