After enduring ten years of the worst peacetime economic crisis since the Great Depression, brutal austerity measures, and a loss of roughly 25% of its economic output, Greece has turned a new page.
Greece is open for business
Attracting foreign investment is crucial for Greece’s recovery. The improving economic climate in Greece is presenting a unique opportunity for major companies with a global footprint to take the next step and invest in Greece. U.S. companies like Exxon, Tesla, Deloitte and Pfizer are currently leading a new era of private American economic engagement. Strengthening Greece’s economy is a key U.S. priority as it will enhance bilateral relations and ensure security, stability, and prosperity in the wider region.
During the crisis, China’s Cosco also made significant investments in Greece’s main port, Piraeus — one of the largest ports in Europe. While Greece has acknowledged the risks Chinese investments pose, it has set very clear benchmarks regarding protection of critical infrastructure.
Building a 21st century economy
Greece is determined to press on with key reforms and continue to pursue growth oriented-policies that will lay the foundations for a strong 21st century economy. The government has stepped up efforts to resolve lingering issues like non-performing loans, high unemployment, and large stocks of public debt. The current government has made it clear that initial reform packages including simplifying license procedures, lowering taxes, and promoting more foreign investment, are just the beginning.
Like every other country, the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic were felt throughout Greece’s economy, especially of course its tourism sector. The European Commission has noted that Greece has had a strong rebound from the economic effects of the pandemic, and predicts a growth rate of 3.5% in 2022 and 3.1% in 2023 (reflecting the slowdown across Europe as it grapples with the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine).
Reversing the brain drain
Approximately 450,000 young, educated Greeks left the country during the crisis in search of jobs and better opportunities in other European countries, the US, and elsewhere. Reversing this brain-drain is a top priority for Greece so that it can truly ignite economic growth. Athens is working diligently to introduce measures to bring this new diaspora back through better jobs in Greece and with lower taxes. Supporting the vibrant startup culture in the country is also a key part of the government’s plan to not only spur economic activity but bring Greeks home.