Speaking of productivity and growth prospects in Greece

by Antonis D. Papagiannidis

 

Productivity is rather technical a notion for a general-interest reader to digest; notwithstanding which, it has a key role to play for economies in their aspiration to grow – especially so in a long-term perspective:

So, if one turns to the findings of the 2023 Annual Report of the Greek National Productivity Board and the policy suggestions based on such findings, one will not miss the point that “despite growth prospects, GDP growth was mainly driven by private consumption and to a lesser extent by investment”.

Looking to the policy proposals made so as to strengthen the investment-based growth perspectives of the Greek economy, one finds at the forefront a call to further the “connection and cooperation between universities and companies”, especially so in a context of “fostering digitization and the use of disruptive technologies”. The lag in the use of “Industry 4.0 technologies that are associated with increased productivity, competitivity and resilience”, such as the use of CRM (customer Relationship Management) software solutions, CC (Call Center) services, automation robots and (you guessed it!) AI is pointed out emphatically: “therefore, the need for Greek firms to accelerate their efforts […] is of the utmost importance. All the more so, since sustainability issues and the circular economy approach are closely associated with a change in business environment”.

Speaking of investment, one could not miss the analysis devoted to the Greek RRP  (the Recovery and Resilience Plan, based on Next Generation EU funding) which is expected “to yield a substantial economic boom for the country”. The CNP Report forecasts an induced surge in economic output of some 13.7 bn euros, with the creation of an additional 400,000 employment opportunities. Still, the Report does not pull its punches when noticing that “analysis suggests that the RRP may not be entirely aligned with Greece’s long-term strategic objectives”. Moreover, potential overreliance “on a limited set of sectors [not catering] to the broader goals of sustainable productivity and resilience” is noted. So, while the RRP is hailed as providing “a promising pathway for Greece’s economic resurgence”, it is considered that “there is room for strategic refinements to ensure a holistic, sustainable and robust recovery”.

So it goes, as Taylor Swift would sing “for all the pieces to fall right into place”.