Foreign investors are reconsidering Greece

Foreign investors are reconsidering Greece

Greece is back on foreign investors’ radar screens as it is considered an attractive destination for investments. However, the numerous obstacles in place, from high taxation to delays in justice and the low level of research and development, have resulted in this country being chosen mainly by companies already active here, which are aware of local proclivities and the deficiencies of the civil administration, a survey by Ernst & Young Greece revealed on Wednesday.

A worrying element is that despite the increased intention to invest, this continues to focus on low-budget projects, mainly with low added value, the survey presented by EY Greece chief executive officer Panagiotis Papazoglou showed.

It also found that 47 percent of investors believe Greece’s image as an investment destination has improved in the last year, with 76 percent discerning an improvement compared to three years ago. Almost one in three respondents (30 percent) said they intend to make new investments in Greece or expand their existing activities in this country; this is above the European average rate of 27 percent.

The question is why the remaining 70 percent will not invest: Taxation, bureaucracy and access to financing were the main problems cited, with just 20 percent considering the tax system investment-friendly. The top advantage Greece has is quality of life, according to 83 percent of respondents, but even there Greece trails countries such as Portugal (90 percent) and the Netherlands (88 percent).

Among the 30 percent who declared an intention to invest further in Greece in the coming year, the top priority for 40 percent is the sales and marketing sector, with logistics a distant second at 19 percent.

Back office services rank third among those planning to expand their exposure in this country, with 13 percent, followed by investment in industry for 9 percent, in R&D for 8 percent and in training centers for 2 percent.

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