Doing Business in GREECE

1. Doing Business in GREECE

Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Greece supports the Afghan and Greek business people in finding new trading partners or joint venture partners in Greece or Afghanistan to start a new business. 

Shipping, tourism and agriculture are the backbone of the Greek economy. Greek investment, especially in banking sector, is also one of the valuable asset. Greece has enjoyed strong growth over the past few years, averaging over 4 % largely because of the investment inflow and infrastructure upgrades for the Olympic Games – 2014. Greece is the 3rd largest producer of olive oil in the world, which accounts for about 12% of its food exports, followed by fish products (about 8%).

Exporting to Greece
The Afghan business people who are interested in developing their overseas trade and doing business in Greece should consider that the Community Customs Code, the Common Customs Tariff and the Greek Customs Code apply to all imports into Greece. Greece has customs controlled free zones and free warehouses, in which duty may be reduced or may not apply. There is also provision for temporary import. Quantitative restrictions, direct quota and tariff ceilings according to EU regulations apply in certain cases. Such items require an import license issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Agents and customs brokers are commonly used.
Payment should normally be done through banks and exports should be only against letters of credit.

Strengths of the Greek market include:
• Over 20 million tourists visit Greece every year with about 2 million from the UK
• Rich in natural resources
• Highly educated and skilled workforce
• Strong entrepreneurial tradition
• Low labor costs

Shipping is traditionally one of the most important sources of income and foreign exchange of the country. According to the Greek Shipping Corporation Committee, in February 2008, Greeks around the world owned 4173 ships with a total of 262 million dwt, representing 16.4% of the world fleet dead weight. Of these, 1197 ships were under the Greek flag with a total of 95.9 million dwt. Greece's foreign exchange earnings from shipping were estimated to be about Euro 17 billion in 2007.

Greece ranks among the 10 top tourist destinations in the world. According to the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises, tourism accounts for about 18% of the GDP and 19% of employment in Greece. About 17 million tourists visit Greece every year.