German enterprises are expected to be strongly active in Greece in 2019 as there are signs of movement, particularly from small- and medium-sized enterprises from Germany that have placed Greece at the epicentre of their interest again, Athanasios Kelemis, managing director of the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said on Friday.
In an interview, Kelemis said: “Despite risks, generally we see an improvement both in the economic climate in Greece and in bilateral economic relations,” adding that bilateral trade is estimated to have grown slightly in 2018, exceeding 7.0 billion euros.
Kelemis stressed that large German enterprises did not abandon Greece during the crisis, but stayed in the country and continued investing: “In 2017 only, investments totaled 3.6 billion euros, including 1.3 billion euros by Fraport in the 14 regional airports. German enterprises had a turnover of 7.7 billion euros, based on first quarter 2018 figures, or around 3.0 pct of the country’s GDP. Greece has really strong points to attract foreign investors. If we manage to give signs of improvement on negative points, I think we will be on a very good road”.
Matthias Hoffmann, head of Northern Greece Section of the Greek-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaking to ANA said that Greek small- and medium-sized enterprises will continue arriving in the Thessaloniki and northern Greece market in 2019 and announced that discussions were currently underway with three German companies, while another two were seriously examining the possibility of launching activity in the region. Sectors such as IT, renewable energy sources, tourism and services were high on the investment agenda of German enterprises looking into the northern Greece market. Hoffmann said that German businessmen have drastrically changed their views about Greece in comparison with 2015.