ECONOMY

An umbrella so everyone can compete

The government has an ambitious plan for boosting competitiveness in key sectors of public life, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said yesterday. «The government’s goal is to create an ‘umbrella’ of competitiveness, which will cover the entire economy, society and the public sector,» he said at yesterday’s inaugural session of a think tank set up within the framework of the National Competitiveness and Growth Council (NCGC). He noted that dealing with the problems of the economy piecemeal, the multiplicity of laws and deficiencies in training and education, which is the steam engine of growth, are the three major problems that hamper improvements in competitiveness. The activity of the think tank will be fully independent, and its report on the competitiveness of the Greek economy will be ready by January 2005 at the latest, Sioufas added. Sioufas said the government has placed two senior former judges to head NCGC after it was found that legal entanglements were one of the chief factors undermining entrepreneurship and attracting foreign investment. Within the same framework, the government is also preparing a National Town Plan determining the areas where and the conditions under which firms may locate themselves. Sioufas said new taxation and investment incentives laws that will be enacted in the autumn will form the backbone of the new government’s economic policy. They will include stronger incentives for women and young entrepreneurs.