Ioannis Tsamichas at the 87th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair (ΔΕΘ)
Expanding the already strong Greek-Italian relations
With Italy being Greece’s most important economic partner over time, our country is said to have a solid foundation for a dynamic growth path as long as it takes advantage of opportunities in both energy and other exportable sectors.
The strong growth of the Greek economy in 2022, above the eurozone average, and the government and the European Commission’s forecasts of 2.3% and 2.4% growth respectively in 2023 pending the much sought-after investment grade, allow for a glimmer of hope that the Greek economy will finally be back to a rhythm of normality in spite of international political and economic developments.
Italy is the No.1 export destination for Greek products.
In 2023, Greek-Italian business relations show stability, but also a progressively expanding trend, with Italy being the main export destination for Greek products, among the top 100 export destinations for decades. According to the most recent analysis by the Panhellenic Exporters Association and the Centre for Export Research and Studies based on ELSTAT data confirms that Italy is the No.1 destination for Greek exports in 2022, ahead of Germany, Cyprus, Turkey and the USA. Pending the analysis for 2023, all data indicate that Italy will remain the No.1 destination for Greek exports for this year and many more. In this context, the Hellenic-Italian Chamber of Athens has been working for more than 6 decades for the expansion of economic and commercial cooperation between Greece and Italy, contributing to the implementation of new investments, being the most reliable partner of Italian companies operating in the Greek market and of Greek companies planning to expand in the Italian market. Today, it has more than 1000 members and through the Association of Italian Chambers of Commerce it is present in 50 countries around the world. Among the milestones in the activity of the Helleno-Italian Chamber of Athens, in 2011, the year in which it designed and organized for the first time the program “We export more Greece to 85 Bilateral Italian Chambers in 65 countries”, which has been a remarkable success to date, promoting products “Made in Greece”, further enhancing the extroversion of Greek entrepreneurship. It should be noted that petroleum products were also the country’s main export product in 2022, with an increase of 60.5% compared to 2021. Natural gas has shot up to 2nd place from the 29th position it held in 2021 as a result of the increase in its price due to the war in Ukraine, but also due to demand, displacing pharmaceuticals to 3rd place.
Energy at the heart of Italian interest in investing in Greece.
A particularly strong Italian interest in investing in the energy sector in Greece has been observed for over a decade. Italian companies active, among others, in the energy sector have strategically positioned themselves on the energy map of the country. The Italian Government reportedly considers the construction of the EastMed interconnector a key step in the EU’s
sustainable development strategy. Already Edison, together with DEPA, is working to promote the pipeline, with other Italian groups, such as Renco SpA, Sicilsaldo- Nuova Ghizzoni, having expressed interest in participating in the construction of EastMed. While Eni, Enel Green Power, Italgas, Snam, Terna and others seem to be planning to strengthen their presence in the country with investments in smart energy and renewable energy sources, such as large photovoltaic installations and offshore wind farms.
With Greek-Italian relations being significantly strengthened with additional investments in the energy sector, Greece reportedly has a solid foundation to build a dynamic growth path, as long as it takes advantage of the opportunities in the energy sector in particular, but also in other exportable sectors of the economy.