Hatzidakis: Six actions to boost exports

The Minister of Finance, at the Conference of the National Exporters Association, spoke about the strengthening of the funds, presenting six lines of intervention. In particular, Kostis Hatzidakis referred to the significant progress achieved in recent years, resulting in exports of goods and services, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of GDP being at record levels and the current account deficit in 2023 being reduced by one third compared to 2022. In particular, during the period 2018-2022 exports recorded the highest percentage increase in market share in the EU, while a significant improvement has also occurred in the composition of exports, as since 2020 exports of goods after many years exceed those of services and at the same time the share of high-tech goods in exports is constantly increasing. “Greek exporters are making a national effort, which actively supports our economy,” the Minister stressed. “For our part we are determined to continue with even greater determination the effort to diversify and modernise our productive model.” In this context, the following actions are promoted: Further development of sectors where we have a comparative advantage , such as agri-food, pharmaceutical industry and renewable energy production, if Europe-wide energy networks are created. “So that Greece does not depend on either the polluting and expensive lignite or imported natural gas”. Encourage business growth so that they can stand up to international competition. “Some are attacking me because I insist on it, with a bill introducing tax and financial incentives. We don’t want to rule out any business, we’re a free economy. What I would point out is that we have twice as many small businesses as compared to the EU and this is not good for the competitiveness of the economy, nor for small businesses themselves,” said Mr Hatzidakis. Facilitate the digital transition of businesses through grants from the Recovery Fund and the new NSRF 2021-2027. Only through the Recovery Fund are 100,000 small and medium-sized enterprises expected to benefit from the adoption of digital technologies and the digital services market. Further consolidation and strengthening the robustness of the banking system , but also strengthening competition with reforms such as the possibility of granting loans from non-banking institutions. At the same time, a Capital Market bill will soon be submitted with arrangements that will shield the Capital Market Commission and make the Stock Exchange more attractive, strengthening the ability of businesses to secure funding outside the banking system. Exploitation of public property through concessions and privatisations, which send a positive message about the prospects of the economy, support its dynamics and indirectly strengthen the effort to increase exports eventually. In the nine-month period since the election, 10 denationalizations have taken place, bringing revenues of over 7.1 billion euros. Taking advantage of European funds from the Recovery Fund and the new NSRF. “Extroversion is one of the five pillars of the Recovery Fund’s loan programme. Companies that have an export activity equal to 15% of their turnover or submit business plans in which exports make up 15% of the projected revenues are eligible for loans on preferential terms,” said Mr Hatzidakis. ‘While also in the NSRF 2021-2027 provides that any action financed by the Competitiveness Programme should have a specific reference to extroversion’. Finally, Mr. Hatzidakis stressed that the basis of economic policy is fiscal stability, which is a prerequisite for attracting investment and promoting exports. “We will continue”, he concluded, “closing our ears to the sirens of populism and continuing the policy of fiscal seriousness and pro-business approach. This national effort will be successful in the end. We deserve it because we have been through fire and iron and because we have proved that if we are united and make a serious effort, we will succeed.”