Greece - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges
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  • Stiff competition from Greece’s traditional trading partners — Italy, Germany, France, the U.K., and the Netherlands.
  • EU suppliers have duty-free status and proximity to the Greek market (lower transportation costs and faster service).  Additionally, many projects are financed by EU loans, and must be awarded to entities based in the EU.
  • Competition in many industry sectors in Greece can be characterized as oligopolistic, making it difficult for new entrants to penetrate the market.
  • According to the OECD, continued reforms are improving the business environment, helping to attract rising foreign direct investment.
  • The public sector share of GDP exceeds 40%. Public procurement is consequently an important component of the commercial landscape. The Government of Greece prefers, and often requires, foreign bidders to partner with Greek companies.
  • Businesses face frequent changes to the tax and regulatory environment.
  • Greece is a signatory to the OECD Anti-bribery Convention. On Transparency International’s respected Annual Perception of Corruption Index for 2022, Greece ranked 51 out of 180 countries surveyed.
  • Historically, U.S. exporters and investors have faced relatively low barriers to doing business in the EU.  Nonetheless, issues exist, as would be expected, given the breadth and depth of the commercial relationship.
  • U.S. exporters in some sectors continue to face some barriers to entry and other challenges navigating both EU and local requirements. In several industries such as pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, legal services, and government procurement, these barriers are more pronounced in some member states than others.
  • EU legislation generally takes two forms. “Regulations” have mandatory language and are directly applicable in member states when implemented. “Directives” provide a general framework and must be “transposed” into national legislation at the member state level. Differences in how directives are transposed in Greece and other member states complicate compliance for U.S. companies doing business in the EU. Industry has periodically raised concerns over perceived onerous regulations and high compliance costs.