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EY: Greece Gaining Ground as Investment Destination

Greece is gaining ground with investors looking for opportunities thanks in large part to its recovery program and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest Ernst & Young (EY) report released on Monday.

Based on findings of a follow-up to its Attractiveness Survey Europe 2020 report, 2 percent of investors polled place Greece among the most attractive countries for investments in 2021.

According to the study, 4 percent cited the Greek recovery program as one of the most reliable and investor-friendly in Europe, a higher percentage given to the programs of Ireland and Hungary at 3 percent, and comparable to the Czech Republic (5 percent), Poland and Sweden (6 percent), which have been stable investment environments over the past few years.

EY analysts note that rival countries in Southeastern Europe, including Turkey and Romania had lower rates.

Overall, 22 percent of investors surveyed estimate that Europe’s attractiveness will improve over the next three years, up from 8 percent in the April study.

Additionally, the number of companies expecting a reduction in their investment plans is dropping compared to six months ago.

EY’s follow-up survey was conducted on October 16-30 on a sample of executives working at large international companies.

The results demonstrate that Greece has begun to “fully establish its position on the investment map,” said Panos Papazoglou, managing partner at EY Greece.

“The fact that under these difficult conditions and given its performance to date, Greece has managed to receive comparable or even higher percentages to countries that are traditional competitors in attracting investment, demonstrates that actions taken by the state and competent bodies in terms of investment policy is in the right direction,” Papazoglou added.

EY analysts note that views about the course of the European economy appear to be improving, with 41 percent of investors surveyed predicting a return to normal functioning of the economy after a ‘restart’ period – up from 24 percent in the April study.

At the same time, the percentage expecting increased volatility due to divergent Covid-19 measures dropped to 41 percent from 55 percent as did the percentage of those who estimate that the pandemic will lead to a fundamental negative change in the economic climate – down to 17 percent from 21 percent.

Major trends created by the pandemic and named by investors as dominant include enhancing consumers’ digital access to services (63 percent, up from 55 percent in April); emphasis on climate change and sustainability (60 percent up from 57 percent); and the adoption of technologies that automate human processes (51 percent down from 82 percent).

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