OPINION

Trading with the Balkans

The spectacular growth of Greece’s trade with its Balkan neighbors, as noted in a recent survey conducted by the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association (PSE), proves right those who believed that the former tinderbox could, in fact, be transformed into a zone of cooperation. It also vindicates those who claimed that Greece can only benefit from a calm, EU-minded Balkans. The upswing also demonstrates that despite the problems caused by red tape and officialdom, Greek companies have the necessary dynamism and daring-do to conduct business when opportunities arise. In 15 years, Greece has become the biggest investor in the Balkan peninsula. Opportunities abound. The countries of Southeast Europe are growing and more states will follow the path of EU newcomers Romania and Bulgaria. Greece can trade more and invest more. It must do so without fear and on the basis of serious planning. Above all, the state must remove all obstacles that put the brakes on Greek firms.