Wooing more hi-tech firms, starting with Amazon Web Services

Wooing more hi-tech firms, starting with Amazon Web Services

The government is keen to take advantage of the conditions that drew a major investment from Microsoft so as to attract more high-technology companies to Greece, developing a five-pronged strategy to this end.

Already coming in the wake of Microsoft’s announcement last week of a major investment in the data center sector, Kathimerini understands that Amazon Web Services is also planning to create a branch in Athens as of this January. Amazon Web Services, which has already entered the Greek market, is active in cloud technologies and enjoys a run rate of over $40 billion.

It is this set of conditions that the government intends to exploit. Officials say it is not only seeking to attract high-tech investments, but also workers in this field of the economy who do not need to have a physical presence at the company they will work for. These are the so-called digital nomads, who could choose Greece as their country of residence on the grounds of the weather and general conditions, provided the digital infrastructure is in place.

The plan is not just about digital investments of course, as the government’s priorities further include the attraction of multinationals from all sectors, as well as of asset managers wishing to leave London after Brexit and seeking the ideal conditions for remote working.

To achieve these goals, government officials say that Athens’ strategy revolves around five main points, the first being tax incentives. Following the tax and social security contribution cuts implemented in 2019 and 2020, the government plans to slash contributions by another 3% in 2021, for which the solidarity levy has also been suspended.

The second point regards technological infrastructure, with the promotion of the 5G tender by year-end, fiberoptic installation and network speed increase.

The government is further developing initiatives in three other areas: the acceleration of justice, the strengthening of institutional reliability (helped already by the tackling of the pandemic and the verdict on Golden Dawn) and speeding up licensing with the reduction of bureaucracy.

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