The Athens Stock Exchange was the best-performing equity market in Europe last year, which is reflected in international investors’ newfound confidence in Greece’s recovery.
Andreas Yannopoulos, founder of the InvestGR Forum, says across the board, foreign investors are putting their money in Greek assets from stocks and bonds to real estate and helping to push foreign direct investment in Greece to record highs.
“Compared with just a few years ago, when the country was in the grips of Europe’s worst financial crisis, it’s evident that in the eyes of foreigners Greece is back. The challenge now is to bring Greeks back,” said Mr Yannopoulos.
During the crisis, an estimated half-a-million, mainly young, mostly well-educated Greeks left the country in search of better opportunities abroad. For Greece, the cost of that brain drain has been enormous. According to one estimate, Greeks abroad contributed more than 13 billion euros a year to the economies of their host countries – and 9 billion euros in taxes – but cost the Greek state a total of 8 billion for their education.
“Without question, Greece produces top-notch talent, and Greek-educated scientists have distinguished themselves in nearly every branch of the natural and social sciences, from medicine to economics to physics. Around the world, Greeks are also at the cutting edge of business, technology and the arts. Unfortunately, those distinctions have mostly taken place in other countries.”
Recent trends in Greece record how much international businesses value Greek talent. In the last few years, high-tech leaders like electric automaker Tesla have set up research institutes in Greece. EY is investing in a new artificial intelligence hub in the country, and foreign multinationals, like Samsung and Daimler, have bought promising Greek startups. A delegation of Japanese investors also recently visited Greece to look at the country’s startup scene.
“To reverse the recent brain drain, Greece may have to consider specific incentives to attract young Greeks back,” the founder of the InvestGR Forum argues.
Foreign multinationals already doing business in Greece will also play a key role: At the 3rd InvestGR Forum – “Greece is Back” – in June foreign business leaders and local policy-makers will address the concrete steps the government must take to make that promise a reality, says Mr Yannopoulos.
“There is no question that Greece is back. The challenge now is to translate the recovery into long-term sustainable growth,” Mr Yannopoulos concludes.
Sourced via Tornos News.