Skolkos: Effective development interventions through public investment

“It goes without saying that ensuring adequate funding is a necessary treaty for economic development, but not capable. The resources must be committed to those public policies that will give a multiplier value to our interventions and contribute to economic modernisation,” noted the Secretary-General for Public Investment and NSRF, referring to the public. Speaking at the conference of the Greek Exporters Association Mr.Skalkos referred to the importance of investments financed by national and Community resources for economic development and ultimately the well-being of Greek citizens. As he said, in order for public policies to contribute to economic modernisation, the two key financial priorities of the new NSRF 2021-2027 focus: on developing the appropriate skills of workers. Despite the significant de-escalation of unemployment (the smallest since 2010) the lack of specific skills has emerged (as a recent BSE study showed, one in three enterprises is unable to cover specific jobs). We are therefore investing in training (with quality programmes and with the participation of businesses), the redirection of education towards technology, the strengthening of lifelong learning, the further development of market needs calibration mechanisms (i.e. match-up between supply and demand for workers). In the following years we have committed total resources of around 3 billion euros (from the new NSRF and the Greek Plan 2.0). To promote innovation. Our country and Greek companies must actively participate in the new international value chains. The strengthening of the research and innovation ecosystem is one of our main priorities as our country shows significant room for improvement. Greece belongs to the category of countries with moderate performance in promoting innovation, i.e. 70%-100% of the EU average. We now have a new National Smart Specialization Strategy with a regional dimension. In the new NSRF 2021-2027, in order to strengthen innovation, resources close to EUR 4 billion are envisaged. These resources will be committed to actions for the green and digital transformation of small and medium-sized enterprises, strengthening their outward orientation, synergies between them (clustering), upgrading human resources skills. As regards macro-economic effects, the NSRF 2021-2027, Mr Skulkos said that, it is estimated to lead to a GDP increase in the period 2021-2030, an additional 31 billion euros while, in 2021-2035, 62.9 billion euros, creating about 125,000 new stable jobs. He added that in the three years 2023-2026, as the national arm of the NSP will be increased, the new NSRF is fully activated. 2021-2027 and the development fund projects will continue to be implemented, public expenditure is estimated to exceed EUR 47 billion. “Our country is now running the largest Public Investment Programme in the last 15 years” he stressed that “according to recent estimates, an increase in public investment by 1% of GDP leads to an increase in private investment by 10% but also to a 2.7% increase in total GDP.” With regard to Cohesion Policy (the Structural Funds-NSRF), he stressed “it is estimated that the co-financed programmes for the current period 2014-2020 contributed to the increase in per capita GDP of the less developed regions by 2.6%. It is also estimated that, fifteen years after the end of the programming period, every EUR 1 of Community resources adds to the European economy EUR 2.7. Furthermore, according to the recent European Commission Cohesion Report, it is estimated that 30 years after the initial investment, every EUR 1 invested through the Structural Funds contributes to Community GDP EUR 3. And the impact on the less developed regions is even greater. For example, it is estimated that the impact of NPVs 2014-2020 and 2021-2027 in the GDP of the North Aegean region in 2030 will rise to 12.7%”. With information from APR-APM