Economy of Greece - Trade and Investment

Trade and Investment

Since the fall of communism, Greece has invested heavily in neighbouring Balkan countries. Between 1997 and 2009, 12.11% of foreign direct investment capital in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was Greek, ranking fourth. In 2009 alone, Greeks invested €380 million in the country, with companies such as Hellenic Petroleum having made important strategic investments.

Greece invested €1.38 billion in Bulgaria between 2005 and 2007 and many important companies (including Bulgarian Postbank, United Bulgarian Bank Coca-Cola Bulgaria) are owned by Greek financial groups. In Serbia, 250 Greek companies are active with a total investment of over €2 billion. Romanian statistics from 2005 show that Greek investment in the country exceeded €3 billion.

Since the 2009 crisis, Greece's negative balance of trade has decreased significantly from €43.3 billion in 2008 to €20.8 billion in 2011, a decrease of €22.5 billion or 52%. Exports in 2011 alone saw an overall increase of 39%, while imports fell by 9.2%. In the first three months of 2012, imports fell by 12.8% while exports rose by 16.2% compared to the same period in 2011.

Imports and exports in 2008; values in millions
Rank Imports Rank Exports
Origin Value Destination Value
1 Germany €7,238.2 1 Denmark €2,001.9
2 Italy €6,918.5 2 Italy €1,821.3
3 Russia €4,454.0 3 France €1,237.0
4 China €3,347.1 4 Netherlands €1,103.0
5 France €3,098.0 5 Russia €885.4
European Union €33,330.5 European Union €11,102.0
Total €60,669.9 Total €17,334.1
Imports and exports in 2011; values in millions
Rank Imports Rank Exports
European Union €22,688.5 European Union €11,377.7
Total €42,045.4 Total €22,451.1
Imports and exports January–March 2012; values in millions
Rank Imports Rank Exports
European Union €5,183.4 European Union €2,650.2
Total €9,588.8 Total €5,550.8

According to an OECD report in 2011, Greece is set to have a positive balance of trade of €12.3 billion by 2013 (the figure includes imports/exports of both goods and services). The head of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, said on 4 March 2012 that Greece would receive loans for a total of €2 billion in what Mr. Hoyer dubbed a "new Marshall Plan".

Read more about this topic:  Economy Of Greece

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