Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, and other issues that affect trade.
The Greece of today is unlike the image many have had for so long. Greece has successfully rebounded from both the financial crisis and the pandemic with an 8.3% growth rate for 2021. Considering the nation’s dependence on the services sector and its long lockdown, such numbers demonstrate great resilience. According to the Spring Economic Forecast of 2022, the economy in the European Union (EU) and the Euro area is set to expand by 2.7% this year, and 2.3% in 2023. Specifically, for Greece, according to the European Commission, Greece’s real GDP is forecast to grow by 3.5% in 2022 and increase by 3.1% in 2023. The fiscal measures taken earlier in the year, coupled with the boost from the country’s Recovery and Resilience Plan, are expected to strengthen domestic demand, which is set to be the main driver of growth in 2022. Such figures take into consideration lower growth and higher inflation due to political turbulence in the region.
In 2021, Greece had a successful summer as one of the first European destinations to relax covid measures and welcome tourists. The rewards of such measures led to an increase in direct flights between the United States and Greece in 2022. The Summer of 2022 looks promising as well despite geopolitical challenges, and the services sector is securing much needed revenue. Tourists are visiting, and Greeks are out and about, taking trips, eating, and enjoying entertainment activities that stimulate the economy. Major investments into the country made by several U.S. firms, ambitious government projects, and optimism demonstrated through decreasing unemployment figures are balancing against concerns about energy security and inflation.
The Greek Government was one of the first to secure EU approval for its Recovery Program, dubbed Greece 2.0. The Program will receive a mix of grants and loans totaling 32 billion Euros from the European Union, and the Government plans to undertake ambitious reforms in energy, labor, and digitization. This program, coupled with Greece’s new Green Energy commitments and the phasing out of lignite mines, will likely foster a robust renewable energy sector. Furthermore, the pandemic has accelerated the pace for digitization that will likely continue as businesses and the public sector pursue innovation and simplification. Finally, an emphasis on labor will result in 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 key to being successful in Greece would involve 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.
- Population: 10,664,568 (2021 est.)
- GDP: $216.24 (2021) $188.84 (2020), $205.14 (2019) estimates in billion
- Per Capita: $20,276 (2021)
- Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (2021)
Greece is an import-dependent economy with no significant non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports.
According to Census Bureau traded goods with Greece materialized to:
- Exports to the U.S.: $1,681.2 million (2021)
- Exports from the U.S.: $1,556.2 million (2021)
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 2019, the United States was the largest partner for EU exports of goods (18 %) and the second largest partner for EU imports of goods (12 %). Although, Covid–19 impacted trade between USA and EU and between January 2019 and December 2020, EU’s exports to the United States decreased by 1.4 %, in 2021, the U.S. bounced back as being the largest partner to the EU with 18.3% in exports of goods and the second largest partner with 11% in imports of goods.