The State Department on Greece’s positive prospects
Greece has rebounded since the 2009-2018 financial crisis that saw real GDP decline by 25 percent. Modest growth began to return in 2019 and unemployment dropped from its crisis peak of 35 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2022, the State Department said in the 2023 Investment Climate Statements.
“The Government of Greece (GoG) has implemented reforms and attracted investment by cutting red tape, boosting innovation and entrepreneurship, digitizing government services, and enabling more rapid growth in the renewable energy sector. Greece’s debt-to-GDP ratio decreased by more than 20 percent in 2022 – reflecting robust growth, fiscal adjustment, and higher inflation – and it benefits from relatively low debt servicing rates that should allow Greece to easily service its debt for the foreseeable future. Most major ratings agencies upgraded Greece’s sovereign debt rating to one notch below investment grade as of late January as a result of Greece’s sustained positive fiscal performance. The European Commission’s November 2022 forecast for the Greek economy predicted GDP growth of 6.0 percent in 2022 – nearly double the EU average – and 1.0 percent growth in 2023.”
According to the State Department, over the past several years, the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Greece has deepened significantly via defense and strategic partnerships, and Greece ambitiously seeks to bring economic ties to similar, historic heights. Greece is increasingly a source of solutions – not just in the fields of energy diplomacy and defense, but in high-tech innovation, healthcare, and green energy, improving prospects for solid economic growth and stability here and in the wider region.
“The Mitsotakis government has pursued an aggressive investment and economic reform agenda. In recent years parliament approved dozens of economic-related bills, including a key investment law in October 2019, designed to cut red tape, help achieve full employment, and adopt best international practices – including by digitizing government services. Investors cite difficulties with Greece’s bureaucracy and lack of timely resolution in cases in litigation as impediments to investment.
Greece’s government maintains an estimated $ 38 billion cash liquidity buffer as of June 2022. Capital controls were completely lifted in September 2019 and Greece successfully exited the European Commision’s economic Enhanced Surveillance Framework in August 2022. Greece will remain subject to post-program surveillance monitoring by euro area creditors until it repays 75 percent of financial assistance, expected in 2059,” it said.
The State Department also referred to the health of Greece’s banking system which has improved significantly following the financial crisis.