Greece aims to greatly boost digital competitiveness within four years
Greece is aiming to improve the country’s digital competitiveness by rolling out fiber optics and 5G, digitizing interactions between citizens and the state, and simplifying processes bogged down by bureaucracy. The southern European nation currently ranks 26th out of 28 in the EU Digital Economy and Society Index, which tracks the evolution of member states’ digital competitiveness, but the Mitsotakis government hopes to greatly improve this ranking by 2024.
“We are executing a very comprehensive strategy touching on all aspects of digital systems, and we aim to converge with the EU average within four years,” says Kyriakos Pierrakakis, Minister of Digital Governance. “Besides bringing fiber optics to homes throughout the country, we are streamlining the transition to 5G technology. We will start the spectrum auctions of 5G before the end of 2020.”
The private sector in particular will have to quickly prepare for the effects of a digital revolution in Greece. “Big data and artificial intelligence will dominate,” says Thanasis Mouchtis, General Manager of PEIFASYN Group, a leading player in Greece’s pharmaceutical industry with a network of 850 affiliated pharmacies. “The pharmaceutical industry will need to have consecutive feedbacks with statistical data regarding patient treatment results to prove systematically the effectiveness of the medicines approved,” Mouchtis observes.
Greek business leaders expect the nation’s digitization efforts to provide a boost to foreign investment. “Greece stands ready to attract investment of the highest caliber,” says Theodore Fessas, President of SEV Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, the oldest business federation in the country. “Accelerating the digital strategy and overhauling public administration structures are crucial for Greece’s first wave adaptation to the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Fessas adds.
While Greece may be well known for its other strengths, there is now a palpable feeling that its digital reputation is also about to grow. “We feel that Greece has lots of potential on many fronts, and we are looking for the right words to attach to the country besides tourism and shipping,” observes Minister Pierrakakis.