Limited export activity, in conjunction with high import needs, led to a surging trade balance deficit, mirroring the steady deterioration of the country’s competitiveness, also leading to a significant current account deficit. This deterioration was one of the three primary factors that led to 2009’s economic crisis.
After the implementation of the structural adjustment programs, the country’s trade balance started to gradually improve, supported by continuous current account surpluses. However, this recovery can be attributed to a decrease in imports, rather than an increase in exports. Among the European countries that resorted to support programs, Greece was the only one failing to register a considerable increase in exports but is starting to show some promising signs.
The above show that the problem is structural and concerns both Greek companies as well as the Greek entrepreneurial environment in general. Therefore, the reasons behind the country’s limited extroversion can be traced back to the organizational structure, small size and other intrinsic characteristics of Greek enterprises, coupled with the lack of an institutional framework and strong motives.
These findings, as well as the structural problems of Greek companies, are examined in greater detail in our survey, Made in Greece: The Greek exports challenge.
EY has identified a number of structural changes needed in order for both Greek enterprises and the Greek State to win the exports challenge. The establishment of an exports culture, the change of organizational structures and the adoption of a new philosophy, are essential prerequisites for Greek export enterprises in order to succeed in foreign markets. The State should focus on creating a unified export apparatus devoid of all bureaucratic complexities, setting a long-term national export strategy, which will be further promoted by a distinct national brand.
Download the full report as a pdf (in Greek)