Fast lane to attract investors

Government agency Invest in Greece said yesterday it will undertake licensing procedures for new investments in a move aimed at helping the country improve its poor track record in attracting foreign investment. A joint ministerial committee, to be chaired by the economy and finance minister, will approve the investments that qualify for the assistance while the agency will take care of all the red tape from start to finish. To be eligible for the «Fast Track» procedure, investments will have to exceed the 200-million-euro mark, or 75 million euros if creating 200 job positions, among other criteria, the agency said. «The Fast Track [procedure] will influence all of the state services in making them more efficient and friendlier to investments,» said Dimitris Assimomytis, CEO at Invest in Greece. Greece has one of the poorest records in the European Union for attracting foreign investors. Bureaucracy, corruption and inflexible labor laws are often cited by foreign investors as being obstacles to investing in Greece.