Greek privatization program adds one bln euros annually to GDP in 2011-2019: survey

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ATHENS, July 15 (Xinhua) — Greece’s privatization program has boosted the country’s GDP by about one billion euros (1.14 billion U.S. dollars) annually on average in the period 2011-2019, according to a survey released on Wednesday by the Athens-based think tank Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE).

Over the same period, the average impact on employment was close to 20,000 full-time jobs, researchers estimated, according to an e-mailed press statement issued by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF).

HRADF runs the privatization program since its launch in 2010 under bailout agreements with international creditors aiming to address the Greek debt crisis.

Greece exited the bailout era in August 2018, but the privatization program and reforms continue.

The strong positive socio-economic impact of the privatization program on the Greek economy during a particularly difficult period for the country, according to the study, is not limited to the time of completion of each transaction but extends to the future and in many cases strengthens over time, resulting in a significantly stronger economic activity.

Experts noted that the new shareholders make significant investments and changes to the business model, pointing to the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA SA) as a characteristic case study.

China COSCO Shipping Corporation acquired a majority stake in PPA SA in 2016 following an international tender and has already started changing the port’s outlook significantly.

The Chinese company’s subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) has been managing the port’s container terminals since 2009, posting remarkable results as well.

“The privatization of Greece’s largest port has already led to a tremendous increase in the volume of transported containers, leading it to 4th place in Europe (from 17th place in 2007) and 1st place in the Mediterranean Sea,” read HRADF’s press release.

Taking into account the multiplier effects, the impact of this privatization on the country’s GDP is expected to exceed 375 million euros in about a decade, from 90 million euros in 2018, while in terms of employment, the overall impact is expected to exceed 5,500 jobs, HRADF noted. (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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