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Foreign Investments in Greece Soared by Over 50 Percent in 2022

Foreign investment Greece
The mine at Skouries in northern Greece has attracted significant foreign investment. Credit: AMNA

Foreign direct investment projects in Greece increased by 57 percent in 2022, according to a survey presented earlier in the week in Athens by Ernst & Young (EY), a British multinational professional services partnership headquartered in London.

The “Attractiveness Survey Greece 2023” report shows that Greece is an increasingly attractive destination for investments.

A total of 40 percent of respondents either planned to invest or expand their activities in the country in the next year. According to the survey, carried out by FT Longitude for EY among 250 business executives from around the world, two in five businesses plan to invest or expand their operations in our country next year.

This percentage has been steadily increasing over the past three years, from 28% in 2020 to 34% in 2021 and 37% in 2022.

Meanwhile, 67 percent of the business executives surveyed by EY forecast that Greece’s attractiveness will improve within the next three years.

Increase in foreign investments in Greece “among highest in Europe”

The increase in foreign direct investments in Greece “is one of the highest growth rates recorded in Europe this year, placing Greece in 19th place among European countries for 2022, and represents Greece’s strongest performance since 2000,” said Georgios Papadimitriou, Country Managing Partner for EY in Greece.

Despite the increase, foreign investments made in Greece still represent only 0.79% of total investments in Europe, the survey finds.

“It is clear that, for Greece to secure its rightful place on the European investment map and fill the investment gap of the last two decades, the current rate of growth must be maintained and, ideally, intensified in the coming years,” Papadimitriou said.

The survey also reveals continued improvement in the qualitative mix of investments, with greater diversification across a wider range of activities.

A significant share of investments is now directed to knowledge-intensive activities with a relatively high added value, such as software and IT services, which can play an important role in transforming the country’s production model.

On the other hand, the most significant risks that could threaten Greece’s overall attractiveness as an investment destination include increasing inflation, the energy crisis, social and economic instability, and the cost of labor, the survey’s respondents said.

Analysts say that foreign investments in Greece could be boosted significantly with an upgrade in the country’s credit rating.

In early September the rating firm Moody’s gave Greece’s economy a significant vote of confidence by raising the country’s credit rating by two notches.

Moody’s said it was upgrading Greece’s rating from Ba3 to Ba1, with a stable outlook. It stopped just short of returning the formerly struggling country to formal financial respectability.

Earlier, rating agency DBRS Morningstar lifted Greece’s credit rating to investment-grade status to triple B.

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