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 2018: 2.2%
Current EBRD forecast for Greece Real GDP Growth in 2019: 2.3%
The economic recovery that began in 2017 has continued into 2018. GDP growth in 2017 of 1.5 per cent has been followed this year by an acceleration in growth in the first half of 2018 of 2.2 per cent year-on-year, with continued improvements in exports, by far the main driver of growth. Private consumption has also had a positive contribution to growth during 2018, but government spending has declined in the first half of the year, as has investment. Nevertheless, investor confidence has been boosted by Greece’s successful exit on schedule in August 2018 from its economic adjustment programme, following a sustained period of reforms. Further debt relief measures have been granted to help ensure debt sustainability over the medium term. Financial sector stability is improving but asset quality remains a concern as the banking system is still burdened by an exceptionally high level of non-performing loans (NPLs).