The “X-ray” of Greek exports

The “X-ray” of Greek exports

A team of Researchers-Professors of the Athens University of Economics and Business made a mapping of Greek exports for the period March-July 2018.

As the survey shows, Greece is a rare case of a “small semi-open” economy, the export model of which consists of:

  • excessive participation of services (50%) in total exports.
  • high dependence on exports of goods from mineral oils (32%).
  • low participation in total industrial exports by 24% and the agricultural sector by 10%.

“Poor” surrounding countries

Greece exports mainly to neighboring countries with low incomes.

  • In 2015, 75% of Greek exporting comlanies (30% of total exports in value) made exports to the poorest neighbouring countries (Turkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Egypt and Lebanon).

From a few large companies

Greek exports are made by a few, very large companies.

  • The 100 largest export companies exported more than 50% of total exports in 2014.
  • Exporting businesses with more than 250 employees make over 70% of the country’s total exports.
  • In 2015 the average export business made exports of EUR 3 million (excluding petroleum products).

Olive oil

Many of the pathogens that affect export businesses in general appear in the olive oil industry.

  • In 2015, Italy absorbed 70% of Greek exports of unbottled olive oil. Italian exporters standardize unbottled Greek olive oil and re-export it as Italian.
  • This is reflected in the fact that Italy’s share of US imports (the world’s second largest importer of olive oil) was 43.5% in 2015, while Greece’s only 3.1%.


What prevents Greek exports?

From the State:

  1. Public sector malfunctions (under-operation of competent bodies, bureaucratic export procedure, delay in VAT refund).
  2. The high taxation and the constant changes in the legislative framework (250 tax bills from 1975 onwards).
  3. Lack of access to bank lending and export insurance costs (70% of businesses have low credit standing).
  4. Inability to promote product marketing policies on foreign markets.

From the businesses themselves:

  1. Lack of competitiveness of the products they export due to the inability to create strong branding and diversification of the products themselves.
  2. High production costs, the sales networks abroad and the size of the companies./IBNA