Greece overview

EBRD invests in Greece

In Greece we focus on

  • helping Greek companies regain access to the finance they need to grow their businesses
  • promoting regional economic integration by bringing private sector knowledge and finance to such areas as the energy sector and infrastructure
The EBRD initially began investing in Greece on a temporary basis in response to a request from the Greek authorities to support reforms and a return to economic growth. Originally, the EBRD’s shareholders voted for the Bank to invest in Greece until the end of 2020.
In December 2018 our shareholders agreed to extend the Bank's mandate in the country until 2025.
Our investments – backed by donor-funded technical assistance and policy dialogue -are intended to strengthen progress in the reform of Greece’s economy and contribute to its recovery. The EBRD will deploy its experience and expertise in attracting and encouraging foreign and domestic investment, strengthening the role of the private sector and deepening regional integration.
Specifically, we will help address the issue of insufficient capital for Greek private companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. This is a key barrier to growth, where the EBRD can contribute significantly with itscommercial debt and equity products and its risk-taking capacity.
The EBRD will also engage, where possible, in expanding the private sector’s role in infrastructure and energy. Greece is a natural trade and investment partner for many countries in south-eastern Europe where the EBRD has a strong presence. The Bank will support investments and policy measures which are conducive to integration.
Greece is a founding member of the EBRD and to date Greek companies and banks have invested €2.3 billion in the EBRD’s existing countries of operations, with a focus on south-eastern Europe. Under the Vienna Initiative, the EBRD supported the subsidiaries of Greek banks in the region at the height of the global financial crisis.
The Government of Greece requested that the country be granted recipient country status at the EBRD in a letter dated 25 November 2014, which said EBRD engagement would ”provide value added in tackling the consequences of the financial and economic crisis and addressing the structural challenges in the  Greek economy that it exposed”.
The request was reconfirmed by the new Government on 2 February 2015. 
As well as being a country where the EBRD invests, Greece is also an EBRD donor. It contributes to, and actively participates in, the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF). The country contributed €500,000 to the WBIF through the European-Western Balkans Joint Fund in 2011. In 2013 it hosted the WBIF Steering Committee in Athens.
The EBRD’s Greece strategy was adopted on 22 June 2016

Current EBRD forecast for Greece Real GDP Growth in 2019: 2.2%
Current EBRD forecast for Greece Real GDP Growth in 2020: 2.2%

The economic recovery, which began in 2017, continued in 2018, although at a slightly slower pace than expected with a 1.9 per cent GDP growth rate for the year as a whole. The main driver of growth was, similarly to 2017, exports of goods and services. Private consumption continued to have a positive impact of growth and unemployment has declined further, reaching 18.7 percent in the last quarter of 2018. More generally, the economic recovery is broad-based, with services the main driver. Investment and government consumption continue to weigh negatively on growth.

The exit of Greece from the ESM-financed third adjustment programme in August 2018 and the adoption of debt relief measures by the Eurogroup, as well as recent rating upgrades and successful market emissions, provide some limited leeway for government spending. These improved conditions have boosted market and investors’ confidence and could ultimately lead to a sustained increase in business investment. Looking ahead, the main drivers of growth are likely to remain exports and private consumption.

Non-performing exposure (NPE) reduction should accelerate as targets of reduction increase and the implementation of new schemes for NPE reduction advance further. Short-term growth is projected at 2.2 per cent in both 2019 and 2020. In terms of risks, the negative effects of the global slowdown could affect exports growth. Moreover, any backtracking in reforms or increased uncertainty about the policy direction of the country could damage investor confidence and lead to lower growth prospects.