New records for Greek exports

Greek exports reached a new record high in 2018, proving that the upward trend that the sector has developed in the last years is here to stay. This is further supported by the first data for 2019, which are also positive. This growth is the result of Greek exporters’ continuous efforts to balance the loss of sales within Greek borders, especially during the years of the economic crisis.

According to analysis by the Panhellenic Exporters Association (in Greek: ΠΣΕ) and the Export Research Center (in Greek: ΚΕΕΜ) on provisional data provided by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (in Greek: ΕΛΣΤΑΤ),  exports including oil products recorded a double digit increase in 2018 exceeding the mark of 30 billion euro and reaching 33.02 billion, a 15.8% increase with respect to 2017, whereas exports not including oil products reached 21.55 billion euro, noting an increase of 10.4% compared to the previous year.

Greece’s exports to the European Union (28) including oil products now hold a share of 52.2% on total exporting activities, while their share in 2017 was 53.1%. Conversely, exports to third countries rose in 2018 and now hold a 47.8% share – from 46.9% in the last 12-month period – on total exporting activities, which evidences Greek exporters’ geographical expansion in a constantly growing range of products.

Exported goods include petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, aluminum products, olive oil, computing devices and space technology equipment.

The signs for Greek exports for this year are optimistic, however, the geopolitical situation in the wider area, Brexit’s repercussions as well as the impact of the Prespes agreement and the renaming of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Republic of North Macedonia, will play a key role in influencing developments.

In addition, parameters such as the complexity of taxation policies and the scarcity of funding sources and exports insurance options, continue to function as deterrents for exporting activities.

During the 7th Greek Exports Forum, renowned specialists will provide in-depth analysis and insight on the above and many more key matters which all Greek entrepreneurs involved in the exports sector should be aware of, such as the government’s initiatives on the improvement of extroversion, the funding of exporters by banks and international financial institutions and the tools that businesses should utilize in order to access new markets such as certification, e-commerce, marketing, insurance and consultation services.

Within this framework, the Greek Exports Forum 2019 will present for the first time a new study on Market Assessment and on the “Exports Promotion Action Plan”, which was approved during the 1st meeting of the Extroversion Committee and is currently underway.

The Greek National Strategy on Exports Development

In the introductory session of the conference, representatives of the government and the opposition will present their views on the exports growth and support model. The government will put special emphasis on the “Exports Promotion Action Plan” which was elaborated during a technical assistance program implemented by a team of experts from the German Society for International Cooperation (GiZ) under the auspices of the European Commission.

Sessions

Indicative list of discussion topics

  • The role of Diplomatic Officers for Economic & Commercial Affairs in supporting exporters and enabling the growth of exporting activities
  • The new Common Journal of Extroversion Actions for information and support of exporters during exhibitions, presentations and missions abroad
  • Ideas for dealing with bureaucratic and taxation counter-incentives
  • Opinions and suggestions on the new exports growth strategy.
1. The exports sector’s key role in Greece’s growth model

In the first session of the 7th Greek Exports Forum, officials from political, administrative and economic organizations will present their opinions and exchange views on the future of exports as well as the problems that need to be resolved and actions that will have to be implemented.

For the first time ever, the Offices of Economic and Commercial Affairs will analyze new mechanisms and tools for the development of exporting activities, such as the Common Journal of Extroversion Actions, which includes most actions developed abroad. Practically this means that a company interested in promoting its products outside of Greece will have direct access to information on relevant events categorized by country and market sector, as well as their organizers.

During this session, renowned Greek entrepreneurs will also discuss issues such as taxation, funding and bureaucracy, the challenges that the post-memorandum era has brought for Greek businesses, prospects for Greek products in foreign markets and the need to take additional measures with respect to financing and tax rates reduction.

Representatives of institutional organizations will also share their suggestions on boosting extroversion and designing a new development model which will motivate the country’s healthy businesses.

2. Funding and exports credit insurance programs

The third panel of the 7th Greek Exports Forum will present the latest financing and insurance options, relevant solutions offered by banks and insurance companies as well as new funding models and tools that have been developed recently.

As the main problem that Greek exporters have to face is lack of liquidity, bank and funds executives will present financing solutions available for exporters as well as the terms and conditions to access them.

In times of trade and real war in full swing, exporters are faced with multiple and great risks, therefore, exports credit insurance has become a necessity and an indispensable tool for expansion outside national borders.

Indicative list of discussion topics

  • The new banking products available to exporters
  • Access to funding and insurance programs for small & medium-sized companies
  • New insurance options for exporters.

Indicative list of discussion topics

  • Marketing: modern methods for promotion and advertising in foreign markets. Digital marketing and social media
  • Exports Consultants: the professionals who hold the “key” to unlocking new markets
  • E-commerce: effective use of big online platforms and the creation of e-shops..
3. Tools for penetration of Greek products to international markets (e-commerce, certification, marketing, HR services and Logistics)

This session of the 7th Greek Exports Forum will focus on tools that entrepreneurs may utilize in order to boost their products’ recognition and competitiveness in foreign markets.

The latest marketing and promotion methods are now easily accessible for exporters, as the development of information and communications technology has transformed the way that businesses interact with their clients, making e-commerce an indispensable and constantly growing part of business activities.

This panel will also present the means that may boost a company’s penetration to global markets, such as certification of its products, online marketing, e-commerce and specialized exports consultants.

Undoubtedly, online marketing and social media nowadays constitute popular and constantly growing methods for building brand names and gaining access to new markets. In addition, product certification according to standards required in certain markets that Greek businesses aim at, can make the difference for a company and bring it closer to success.

Finally, recruiting executives and consultants with specialized knowledge and experience in foreign markets is key to successful exportation activities and may protect exporters from wasting valuable resources.

4. Attractive export markets – the new situation brought forth by Brexit and the Prespes agreement

Recognizing target-markets that present the best prospects for exporting activities is key for every exporter. The Economic & Commercial Affairs office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared an evaluation of international markets that are most attractive for Greek exports, which will be presented for the first time during the 7th Greek Exports Forum.

In this session the participants will discuss the main exports destinations for Greek businesses as well as the new markets that have started to attract exporters, such as the Arab world countries, China and India.

BREXIT will certainly be among the main items of the agenda, as the time has come for it to be implemented and exporters are not yet informed of the procedures they will have to follow.

Another important problem for many Greek exporting businesses is the use of the term “Macedonia” or “Macedonian” on products from the neighboring country after its re-naming from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Republic of North Macedonia. Representatives from the competent departments of the General Secretariat of Commerce & Consumers Protection will analyze the burning issue of the use of specific trademarks and the consequences on Greek products and services.

Parallel Sessions

PARALLEL SESSION 1

B2B Consultation Meetings between Greek Exporters and Bilateral Chambers Executives

The organizers will offer to participants-aspiring exporters the opportunity to have personal consultation meetings (B2B meetings) with Bilateral Chambers executives. During these meetings, entrepreneurs will be able to explore networking prospects in the markets they are interested in and get detailed information on challenges and opportunities with respect to bilateral commercial relations. Β2Β meetings will be organized by Ethos Media and scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis.

PARALLEL SESSION 2

B2B meetings between Greek exporters and representatives of the Forum’s main sponsors

In this session, participants-aspiring exporters will be offered the opportunity to have personal consultation meetings (B2B meetings) with representatives of the Forum’s main sponsors. During these meetings, entrepreneurs will be able to discuss with executives from the Event’s main sponsors, explore partnership options and profit from valuable information that experienced professionals will share with them. Β2Β meetings will be organized by Ethos Media and scheduled on a first-come-first-served basis.