Greece is offering special investment status to speed up the development of new FDI projects
Seizing on the improvement of its fiscal reputation, Greece is stepping up efforts to support FDI by cutting taxes, reducing red tape, and accelerating privatization. It has also given 19 strategic projects a special Fast Track status. “Most of the Fast Track projects are in tourism assets or renewable energy production,” observes Georgios Filiopoulos, CEO of Enterprise Greece, an investment promotion agency. “But the Greek government is committed to speeding up all investment projects, both large and small.”
To support investors further, Greece has significantly reformed its bureaucracy. “We want a reduction of bureaucracy in business creation,” says Adonis Georgiadis, Minister of Development and Investment. “We are also giving government workers very strict timelines to handle all questions from investors.”
Returning to international bond markets as recent as 2017, Greece is seen as a bargain investment destination. “Greece combines the advantages of a developed country, with the growth opportunities usually associated with emerging economies,” says Filiopoulos. To date, the largest beneficiary of Greece’s recovery has been its tourism industry, which, Filiopoulos says, is “now one of the hottest sectors for hotel and resort investments in Europe.”
New tourism investments will diversify the property landscape further. In Korfu, an eco-friendly luxury development is hoping to raise the bar. “Whilst Korfu once boomed, over the last decade it has become more of an all-inclusive destination, and that’s what we are trying to change through a high-end mixed-use resort,” says Andreas Santis, Managing Director, Head of Western Balkans, Greece and Cyprus for NCH Capital, the project’s main investor. Baptized the Kassiopi Project, NCH Capital confirmed in a February statement that construction would begin soon.
A Greek law that allows large-scale, strategic investments to shorten the time for getting relevant permits and licenses. These projects may also receive special tax provisions. The Fast Track system is “currently the most relevant option for foreigners wishing to invest in Greece,” according to official EU sources.
The mountainside plot where the Kassiopi Project is being built was won through an international tender awarded by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF). Since being established in 2011 to oversee the privatization of state-owned assets, HRADF has raised €9 billion in revenues from the development and transfer of a diversified asset portfolio. The organization prioritizes long-term investors with a strategic outlook, says HRADF CEO Riccardo Lambiris. “One of the key things that HRADF has been pushing is sustainability in our investments.”
Fast Track projects have been approved
Fast Track projects’ total value
Target job creation of all Fast Track projects