Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA-MPA)
Greek export levels reached a new historic record in 2018, confirming the sector’s strong momentum in recent years, according to a study unveiled on Thursday by the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association (PSA) and its Centre for Export Studies and Research (KEEM).
The report was based on provisional data released earlier the same day by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), which showed that exports, including oil products, increased 15.7 pct year-on-year, breaking through the 30-billion-euro barrier, and 10.7 pct when oil products were excluded.
“A new period is now beginning following our country’s exit from the memorandums and provided there are no negative geopolitical developments of great extent in the surrounding region, Greek exports are expected to post a new historic record in 2019,” said Christina Sakellaridi, president of PSA.
Investing in an export-oriented economy was the only way to build a sustainable economy that will steadily generate surpluses, Sakellaridi pointed out.
“More exports means more and better-paid jobs. It has now become imperative to provide incentives to boost domestic production in order to further correct the trade balance,” she added.
Greek exports jumped 15.7 pct in value in 2018, despite a 2.8 pct decline in December, while the value of imports rose 9.5 pct in the year, ELSTAT reported.
The statistics service said that the value of import-arrivals totaled 4.267 billion euros in December, up 0.2 pct from December 2017 (excluding oil products imports 1.4 pct, while excluding oil products and ships the value of imports rose 6.4 pct). The value of export-deliveries totaled 2.570 billion euros in December, down 2.8 pct from December 2017 (excluding oil products exports rose 1.0 pct while excluding oil products and ships exports rose 1.8 pct).
The trade deficit showed a deficit of 1.697 billion euros in December, up 5.1 pct from December 2017 (excluding oil products the trade deficit rose 2.1 pct while excluding oil products and ships the trade deficit grew 13.7 pct).
In the 12-month period from January to December 2018, the value of imports totaled 55.13 billion euros, up 9.5 pct from 2017 (excluding oil products the value of imports rose 2.9 pct while excluding oil products and ships the value of imports grew 8.2 pct). The value of exports totaled 33.418 billion euros in 2018, up 15.7 pct from the previous year (excluding oil products exports rose 10.7 pct while excluding oil products and ships exports rose 10.6 pct).
The country’s trade deficit totaled 21.712 billion euros in 2018, up 1.1 pct from 2017 (excluding oil products the trade deficit fell 5.6 pct while excluding oil products and ships the trade deficit rose 5.1 pct).
for Greek SMEs
The Greek Ministry of Economy and Development, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Athens Stock Exchange (ATHEX) on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to join forces to boost capital market activity and increase the capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for initial public offering (IPO) or corporate bond issuance on the Athens Stock Exchange.
With the support of the EBRD-Greek Technical Assistance Fund, the new SME Pre-listing Support Programme will extend tailored advisory services to SMEs wishing to access the local capital market. The programme will be implemented by the EBRD in close coordination with ATHEX over 30 months. They will work hand-in-hand to build on the recently launched Roots Programme that also aims to assist SMEs to access financing through the local capital market. Interested SMEs can apply to the programme with an expression of interest through the Roots website . Each enterprise selected will receive a diagnostic on their readiness for listing, based on which a tailored work plan will be developed and executed by high-calibre experts. The programme will be implemented under the EBRD’s Small Business Initiative and the Local Currency and Capital Markets Initiative.
The signing of the MoU took place in the presence of Ilias Xanthakos, Secretary General of the Ministry of Economy and Development, Socrates Lazaridis, Chief Executive Officer of the Athens Stock Exchange and Sabina Dziurman, EBRD Director, Regional Head of Greece and Cyprus.
Xanthakos said: “The implementation of the Programme in Greece is innovative and will substantially contribute to the transfer of know-how and best practices from other countries. We expect the Programme to improve the level of information flow to Greek SMEs on alternative sources of financing beyond bank lending, and to set the conditions for the rejuvenation of the Greek capital market. The Programme is one of the two programmes funded by the EBRD-Greek Technical Assistance, with the other one being focused on Expanding SME Access to Trade Finance and Advisory in Greece”.
Dziurman added: “We are very pleased to launch the SME Pre-Listing Support Programme in Greece as it will not only enable us to further support local SMEs, but also to support the development of the local capital market. The Programme will have a demonstration effect for a wide range of companies and will ultimately promote and enhance the visibility of investable SMEs to local and foreign investors.”