Greek Entrepreneurship: Exports (August 2018)

02/08/2018 - Reports

Sectoral Studies; --Sectoral Reports

1/3 of Greek exports demonstrates dynamic performance, supporting the economy during the crisis

In pursuing strategies to weather the crisis, Greek enterprises have tapped into the accelerating momentum of international trade, with their exports rising by 37 per cent in 2009-2017. More specifically, Greek extra-EU exports had an average annual growth rate of 3 per cent during the crisis (vs 7 per cent before), while Greek exports within the EU maintained their annual growth rate at their pre-existing levels (6-7 per cent). This performance, albeit significant, proved to be weaker than that of world trade (average annual growth of 9 per cent), with Greek products losing share in international markets (dropping from 0.21 per cent to 0.16 per cent over the last 8 years).

However, the picture is not uniform, as 18 dynamic products have emerged during the crisis, which have supported exports either by maintaining the high market shares they had already gained (e.g., olives, olive oil, marble), or by achieving a significant increase during the crisis (emerging products such as yogurt, pistachios, smoked fish). These dynamic products (30 per cent of Greek exports) contributed 45 per cent of the growth in Greek exports during the period 2009-2017. In addition, they tripled their support to Greek GDP from the pre-crisis level of 0.04 per cent per annum to 0.12 per cent per annum over the same period (the contribution of other products contracted from 0.34 per cent to 0.08 per cent per year).

In order to draw useful conclusions regarding the future course of these 18 dynamic products and the likely adjustments they will need to make to their strategy, we divided them into three categories:

  • Highly-competitive products, which represent 9 per cent of total exports (mainly food) and which managed to increase market share during the crisis from 3.9 per cent to 5.0 per cent, thereby guaranteeing sustained future growth.
  • Products that "bought" market share in terms of volume, reducing or maintaining a low relative price due to lack of demand in the domestic market (this applies mainly to construction related sectors). As the domestic market embarks on recovery, these products (11 per cent of exports) will have the opportunity to maintain their international presence on better terms.
  • Products that lost market share (from 3.2 per cent to 2.3 per cent), which represent 9 per cent of exports (mainly products with traditional production and marketing models) and now need a comprehensive strategy adjustment if they are to hold on to the strong position they have enjoyed till now.


* The report also contains a chartbook with the latest developments in the business sector for Q2:2018 (total and sectoral analysis).