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Rockefeller International: Greece’s Economy Among ‘Seven Wonders’ of the World

Greece economy
The bronze equestrian sculpture of Revolutionary War hero Theodoros Kolokotronis in front of the old Parliament Building in Athens. Credit: George E Koronaios/CC SA4.0

Greece’s economy is among the seven wonders of the world, Ruchir Sharma, Chair of Rockefeller International writes in the Financial Times.

He says that Greece defies the prevailing pessimism on the economic prospects throughout the world. The other six nations that stand out in a world tipping towards recession and higher inflation are Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

Sharma, who is the author of four books, including most recently The 10 Rules of Successful Nations, says that the seven nations “share some combination of relatively strong growth, moderate inflation or strong stock market returns—compared with other countries.”

“By fascinating coincidence, most of them also defy deep biases about the supposedly dim prospects of certain countries, cultures and systems,” Sharma says.

He notes that some of the “Pigs”—the countries at the core of the eurozone debt crisis a decade ago—”are now in revival mode.”

Greece’s economy revived due to foreign investments

Greece’s economy, he argues, is getting a boost from a revival in foreign investment and in tourism, which COVID-19 had slashed from twenty to fifteen percent of its gross domestic product. Less than ten percent of bank loans are non-performing down from fifty percent during the crisis.

“Now growing at more than four percent, with inflation coming down fast, Greece is enjoying one of the region’s healthiest recoveries,” Sharma argues, writing in the Financial Times.

He outlines the winning strategies of the other six nations and adds: “Any of these economies could, of course, falter, undone by a turn in leadership, policy or by complacency. Still, these nations are already among the top-performing stock markets this year. Amid well-founded worry about global prospects, a new set of winners is emerging.”

Tourism receipts contribute to Greece’s economy

The Bank of Greece sees an increase in GDP by six percent for this year while the growth rate is expected to decline in 2023 to 2.8 percent, the governor of the central bank, Yannis Stournaras, said on Monday speaking at the Economist conference.

Stournaras explained that the Greek economy had performed better compared to the European Union mainly as a result of the increased receipts from tourism, as well as the inflows from the Recovery and Resilience Fund (RRF) and the phenomenon of “suppressed demand.”

However, he warned that the developments do not permit complacency even though those on the GDP front significantly improve the overall picture of Greece’s public debt, as this decreases as a percentage of GDP.

Recent investments in Greece

Last week, it was announced that Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC agreed to buy a stake in Greece’s Sani/Ikos Group (SIG) in a deal that values the operator of luxury resorts in the Mediterranean at €2.3 billion ($2.3 billion).

In early September, telecommunications conglomerate United Group announced plans to invest $2 billion worth of investments in Greece by 2027 in order to upgrade the telecommunications infrastructure.

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