ECONOMY

Shifts in Greek exports

The most dynamic emerging Greek exports are services; mining products, except fuel; chemical products; mechanical and transport equipment as well as agricultural products, according to a study on the performance of Greek exports from 1990 to 2002 by the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV). By contrast, products such as clothing, textile and foods (particularly fresh produce), which traditionally led exports from Greece, are losing their momentum. The SEV survey found that exports of Greek products and services more than doubled from $14.6 billion in 1990 to $30.6 billion in 2002. At the same time, the yearly global export average growth was 5.4 percent. According to the classification and data of the World Trade Organization, products and services in international trade can be split into three groups according to their growth: The first includes products and services whose annual growth ranged between 6 and 7 percent in the 1990-2002 period, such as chemical products, mechanical and transport equipment and the service sector. The second group, with growth at around 5 percent, includes clothing and other industrial products. The last group, with growth rates from 1.2 to 3.3 percent, consists of food and drink; textile; mining products, except fuel; iron and steel products and agricultural products, except food. SEV reports that in most product categories, Greek exports follow global trends, with the exception of clothing, where Greece shows a negative export rate that is closer to the European pattern, with a low growth rate, in contrast to the international high rate in this export category. Another exception is the category of agricultural products except food, where Greek exports are growing at a high rate, in contrast to Europe and the rest of the world. Greek export markets have also changed, with the old 15 EU members absorbing smaller percentages of Greek exports, while other European countries and Asia import more Greek products. The old EU-15 actually reduced their slice of global imports from 43.5 percent in 1990 to 36.7 percent in 2002, with North America contributing 21.3 percent in 2002 from 18 percent in 1990. Greek exports to that region are stable at 6.2 percent of the country’s total exports.