Three out of five investments in Greece (60%, compared with 45% for the rest of Europe) represent sales and marketing offices. Greece also lagged behind in terms of manufacturing FDI projects, which accounted for 20% of the total FDI projects in Greece, compared with 27% for the rest of Europe.
Despite this disappointing picture of the country’s actual performance in attracting FDI, according to EY’s survey, investors seem very positive concerning Greece’s new image and optimistic about its prospects: 47% (62% among inward investors) report that their perception of Greece as a location where their company may establish or develop activities has improved over the past year. At the same time, 76% believe Greece’s attractiveness will improve further in the next three years, while 30% say they have plans to expand operations in the country in the coming year. These scores are higher than any of the other countries surveyed.
A large majority of the businesses who shared their insights believe that tourism will be the main driver of growth for Greece in the coming years (69%). Asked to evaluate how attractive the country is as a location for establishing new activities, in a number of criteria, Greece stands out for the quality of life (83%), the local labor skills (70%) and the telecommunication infrastructures (67%).
Despite the country’s good attributes, only 50% of respondents consider that the attractiveness policy implemented by Greece attracts international investors.
However, a strong 70% of companies say that they would be more willing to invest in the country or proceed to further investments, if Greece overcame certain obstacles.
The companies that participated in the survey identified a number of priorities where Greece should concentrate its efforts in order to improve its competitive position in the global economy. These include, among others, reducing taxation (49%), developing education and skills (32%), supporting high-tech industries and innovation (25%) and supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (24%).