Rapid growth points to a bumper year for Greek exports in 2019, exporters say
Strong growth of Greek exports to record levels is expected in 2019, according to forecasts made by Greek exporters’ associations on the basis of export performance in 2018. In a statement, the president of the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association Christina Sakellaridis noted that the figures for exports up to December 2018 indicated that Greece was heading for a historic high:
“In 2019, therefore, unfettered – though not fully – from the restrictions of the memorandums (capital controls etc), there should be a dynamic increase in our exports to new markets and new products with a new record being a visible target,” she said.
Greek exporters have also learned from their mistakes and acquired knowhow and learned the best practices of other countries, enlisting technology and modernising customs offices, Sakellaridis added.
“We need the support of the state to design a national outward-oriented strategy with the consensus of all political forces in the country, because the state establishes the legal framework in which we operate,” she said, noting that only investments and export activity can create more and better-paid jobs.
According to the Exporters’ Association of Northern Greece (SEVE), exports for the year may exceed 33-34 billion euros, which according to SEVE President Giorgos Konstantopoulos will be a record performance for Greece.
“This good outcome is a result of the unceasing efforts of Greek exporters, who in spite of serious problems continue to be the main pillar of the Greek economy,” he said in a statement.
According to the Economy and Development ministry, in its Economic Developments Report for November and December, the government’s aim is for exports of Greek goods and services to increase from 30 pct of GDP at present to almost 50 pct of GDP by 2025. Reaching this ambitious target will require major changes to the domestic production environment, on the one hand, and a favourable international framework for trade, on the other hand.
With respect to the second, the European Union will play an important role through the international agreements it has drawn up, which will decide the trade policies of all EU member-states in the immediate future.
“For Greece – which has set very high targets for its exports – participation in deciding EU trade policy is one of the most substantive and critical aspects of national policy,” the ministry report said.
In its last report based on export figures for October, the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association had noted that export growth rates of 24 pct created grounds for optimism, while noting that the simultaneous rise in imports was a cause for concern, showing a need to strengthen domestic production.
In a study by SEVE’s Export Research and Studies Institute charting levels export activity in the Greek regions, released on December 19, 2018, Attica once again accounted for the lion’s share of Greek exports (48.9 pct), with Central Macedonia (16.4 pct) and the Peloponnese (15.1 pct) coming in a distant second and third.
The study spanned the years 2013-2017 and highlighted both the advantages and disadvantages of each sector and the top export destinations for each individual region.
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