The 20th Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum took place at the Metropolitan Club in New York City on December 10, 2018. This International Summit about Greece was organized in cooperation with the New York Stock Exchange and major global investment banks, featuring government and business leaders from Greece, Europe and the United States, and top executives from the investment, financial and business communities. The timing for this Forum is optimal as after years of recession, Greece is slowly returning to a period of economic growth and aims to position itself as an attractive investment and business destination.
Tsipras extends invitation to invest in export-oriented, investment-attractive Greece
The Greek government delegation attending the Invest in Greece Forum was headed by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, sending a message via webcast, stressed that Greece “is becoming an export-oriented, investment-attractive country that focuses on innovation and high value-added production.”
In his message the Greek PM went on to say that Greece’s improved economic performance that point to a new start on a healthy basis, with reform efforts facilitated by instrumental actions such as the Growth Strategy plan, the new development law, and access to a wide set of financial tools and schemes via the Greek Development Bank, partnerships with the EIB and EBRD banks the utilisation of the available European funds and investment projects.” All of the above allow Greece to take advantage of its geostrategic position at the crossroads of three continents in the Mediterranean Sea, Tsipras said, making special reference to the Prespes Agreement Greece signed with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which resolved a long-standing dispute, showing to the world that “Greece is a power that promotes consensus and stability, always seeking for new ways of cooperation and mutual growth.”
Speaking at the forum Finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos stressed the government aims at a simpler, fairer tax system, adding that the main task of the finance ministry for the last three years was to provide the framework so that when Greece exited the adjustment programme, it would be well-equipped to tackle the important challenges of growth, public health and education. Asked whether the new tax system will include a larger tax reduction for companies, Tsakalotos said that the prime minister has already announced that the tax on profits will be reduced by 1 pct annually over the next four years.
Alternate Finance minister Giorgos Houliarakis stated that the government knows the challenges it faces but has no intention of slowing the reforms, while Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR) head Giorgos Pitsilis told delegates at the investment forum that the IAPR is working on multiple reform projects to improve the tax administration system’s efficiency.
Commission urges Greece to push ahead with privatizations and structural reforms
As Kathimerini reports, European Commission mission chief Declan Costello has urged the Greek government to push ahead with planned privatizations and structural reforms, saying the aim should be to achieve sustainable economic recovery. Speaking on Monday at the 20th Annual Invest in Greece Forum held in New York, he said if Greece completes all remaining commitments – including reducing NPLs – its creditors will activate the additional debt relief measures in the first quarter of 2019, totalling 700 million euros.
“Greece must continue and complete the deep structural reforms undertaken during the program, in particular reforms to improve the environment for business activities and investments, as well as the modernization of the public administration and the judiciary,” he said.Commenting on the Greek 2019 budget, Costello said it is expected Greece will achieve the primary surplus target.