Just 1.5 percent of the total number of export enterprises in Greece were behind 50 percent of total exports in terms of value in 2015, suggesting that smaller businesses have some catching up to do. According to data released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), 50 percent of the total value of Greek exports in 2015 concerned 273 large enterprises with 250 employees or more, which account for just 1.5 percent of the country’s export companies.
Sales to foreign markets have served as a lifeline for an increasing number of local businesses in recent years. However, small businesses lag behind in terms of orders shipped out to overseas customers.
According to ELSTAT data, the number of exclusively export-based companies in 2015 stood at 17,732, compared to 17,538 in 2014 – a slight increase of 1.1 percent. The value of exports in 2015 amounted to 25.23 billion euros.
Small enterprises with fewer than 50 employees, accounting for 85.6 percent of the total number of export companies, accounted for 28 percent of the total value of exports – 7.09 billion euros. Medium-sized enterprises with 50 to 249 employees, accounting for 6.2 percent of the total number of export businesses, accounted for 21.7 percent of the total value of exports – 5.48 billion euros.
Large enterprises with more than 250 employees – accounting for 1.5 percent of the total number of export enterprises, made 50 percent of the total value of exports – 12.64 billion euros. The imbalance between small and large export companies is further reflected by the fact that, according to ELSTAT data, 25.9 percent of the total value of exports (approximately 6.6 billion euros) concerned five companies. Moreover, the largest exports in terms of value are made by companies active in the energy and mining sectors, although they do not form the majority of export businesses.
More specifically, 68.6 percent of the total value of exports were made by companies in the sectors of manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply, waste management as well as mining and quarrying, among others. All these account for 33.1 percent of the total number of enterprises.