Greece - Country Commercial Guide
Market Overview
Last published date:
  • Population: 10,497,595 (2023 est.)
  • GDP: $219.07 (2022) $214.87 (2021), $188.93 (2020) estimates in billion
  • Per Capita:  $20,732.1 (2022)
  • Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (2022) 

Greece’s dramatic rebound from both the financial crisis and the pandemic with a 5.9% growth rate in 2022 is a true success story. Greece’s real GDP is forecast by the European Commission to grow by 2.4% in 2023 and 1.9% in 2024, following record growth in 2022 which saw Greece outpacing many of its European counterparts. This growth was driven by a series of reforms implemented by the Mitsotakis administration to attract investment, cut red tape, boost innovation and entrepreneurship, and digitize government services. The Prime Minister’s New Democracy party won Greece’s summer 2023 elections and is expected to continue the ambitious reform program that was initiated during his previous term. Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio decreased by over 20 percentage points in 2022, one of the largest declines worldwide. Inflation, driven by high energy prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is expected to ease over the next two years.

Greece’s expected GDP growth is in line with projections for the European Union. According to the 2023 European Commission Spring Economic Forecast, GDP growth for the European Union (EU) and the Euro area is expected to reach 1% this year, and 1.7% in 2024. The European Union weathered the energy crisis well thanks to the rapid diversification of energy supplies. Further diversification and accelerated increases in renewable power generation are expected to enable EU countries to continue replacing fossil-based sources while reducing the likelihood of renewed price hikes. Greece has one of the most ambitious climate change agendas in the EU, including a plan to phase out all coal-powered plants by 2028. The completion of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector in 2022 has increased energy flows and positioned Greece to provide gas to neighboring countries. U.S. LNG accounted for more than half of the imported LNG to Greece in 2022, comprising nearly 25% of Greece’s domestic gas needs.

The full recovery of international tourism to pre-pandemic levels in both 2022 and 2023 will continue to drive Greece’s economic growth. The number of direct flights between the United States and Greece has grown to 63 per week in 2023, with more flights running seasonally. Delta Air Lines launched a direct Boston-Athens flight last year for the first time and several U.S. carriers have extended direct flights for longer periods to facilitate increased two-way tourism flows.

Greece has seen a dramatic increase in investment from foreign companies, particularly by U.S. firms. In 2022, the U.S. was the eighth-largest source of foreign direct investment in Greece, with investments by firms including Applied Materials, AWS, Cisco, Digital Reality, Google, J.P. Morgan, Meta, Microsoft, Pfizer, and more. These investments demonstrate the renewed optimism in Greece’s long-term future and have contributed to increased employment opportunities and decreasing unemployment rates in the country. 

The Greek Government was one of the first to secure EU approval for its Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) Program. The EU committed to providing Greece with 30.5 billion euro in grants and loans, of which the country has already received 11 billion euro. With these funds, the government is undertaking ambitious reforms in energy, labor, and digitalization. For example, Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) is implementing a project using 108 million euros in RRF funding to co-finance the construction of an interconnector between Greece and the Cyclades islands. The pandemic rapidly accelerated the pace for digitalization across the public and private sectors. There is a strong need for educational reform, vocational training, and the foundations to help transform Greece into a highly skilled digital innovation hub. In the infrastructure sector, the current pro-reform and pro-U.S. Government is pushing ahead with the privatization of second tier ports, shipyards, and airports, and the private sector is focusing on the execution of large-scale projects.

U.S. firms, products and services are known for innovation and quality and are appreciated by Greek consumers. The keys to being successful in Greece include having a skilled local partner, the ability to source financing from outside the country (if needed), and commitment to the market via localization and physical presence. Stiff competition does exist from European and Asian suppliers, but there are areas where U.S. firms are competitive.

Greece is an import-dependent economy with no significant non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports. In 2022, U.S. exports to Greece totaled $2.38 billion, while Greek exports to the U.S. totaled $2.28 billion according to Census USA Trade Online data. Major U.S. export industries to Greece include energy (oil & gas, LNG), defense articles, scientific instruments, aviation (aircraft, engines, parts), and telecommunications equipment. Greek exports to the U.S. include chemicals, construction and building materials and agricultural products.

The United States and the European Union (EU) enjoy a mature economic relationship, the world’s largest, accounting for one-third of total trade in goods and services and nearly half of global economic output.  In 2022, the United States was the largest trading partner for EU exports of goods (19.8%) and the second-largest partner for EU imports of goods (11.9%).

Political Environment 

Visit the State Department’s website for background on the country’s political and economic environment.