Greece gets little taste of foreign direct investment

Greece remains firmly off the map in terms of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Europe, as is evident in a recent survey by Ernst & Young titled: «European Attractiveness Survey 2005: Emerging Economies Stake Their Claim.» This country’s position has worsened further, both in attracting foreign investments and in creating investments in other countries. In 2003, Greece’s share among destinations for foreign direct investments had been a mere 0.3 percent, but in 2004 it further diminished to 0.2 percent. In contrast, countries, such as Romania and Bulgaria that will join the European Union in 2007, obtained last year shares as high as 3.2 percent and 2.2 percent respectively as FDI destinations, not to mention new EU members Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic which have placed themselves in the top 10 with shares ranging between 4 and 5 percent. Worse, investments in Greece’s neighboring countries are being made to a very small extent by Greek enterprises, as Greece’s share as a country of origin of foreign investments has also declined by 21 percent, from a poor 0.6 percent in 2003 to an even poorer 0.5 percent last year. It is therefore not surprising that Greece is nowhere to be seen on the charts of the survey, and is included in the «other countries» category. At the same time Ernst & Young underlines that Europe is on the same level as its competitors as a viable destination for foreign investments and is successfully resisting the double challenge by the US and China in this domain.