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Last updated : Nov 2009
Greece Business
Greece Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Economy

Traditionally agricultural, accession to the EU gave a new momentum to the Greek economy, mainly the industrial sectors of textiles, clothing and shoes, mining and metals, cement, chemicals, steel and processed agricultural products. However, 20 per cent of the working population still works the land – a very high proportion by EU standards.

Tourism, the most significant service industry, has boomed since the 1980s, with upwards of 10 million tourists now visiting the country yearly.

Shipping is also a key source of income: Greece has one of the largest merchant fleets in the world. Greek enterprises have constantly encountered difficulty penetrating European markets, however, because of the comparatively small size of the majority of businesses and high transport costs (owing to its geographical position). Nevertheless, the country exports large quantities of wheat, barley, maize, tobacco and fruit to the rest of the EU and elsewhere.

The Greeks have benefited considerably from transfers of funds within the EU and support for its large public-sector debt. Growth is stable at around 5 per cent, with inflation nearly 4 per cent, and unemployment has fully retreated from double figures, at 9.4 per cent in 2004.

Greece’s huge public-sector deficit prohibited it from meeting the convergence criteria for the European single currency and the country entered the Euro zone in January 2001. The EU accounts for about 65 per cent of Greek trade. Outside the EU, Saudi Arabia (oil), Japan and the USA are the country’s major trading partners.

Business

Formal suits are expected. French, German and English are often spoken as well as Greek.

Commercial Information

The following associations can offer advice:

Athens Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI), 7 Akademias Street, 106 71 Athens.

Telephone: (210) 362 5342

Fax: (210) 361 8810

E-mail: info@acci.gr

Website: www.acci.gr

Conferences/Conventions

Greece has numerous convention centres and hotels with conference facilities, in locations ideal for post-conference tours, eg Athens, Corfu, Halkidiki, Crete, Metsovo (Epirus) and Rhodes. It also has ships equipped for ‘floating conferences’, sailing between the islands. For further enquiries, contact the Greek/Hellenic National Tourism Organisation (see Contacts section).