(Greece) – According to Doctor Kyriakos Loufakis, the President of the Federation of Northern Greece Exporters, Greek food exports have grown by about 30% since 2012. He went on to say that this is evidence that the food exports sector remains a strong and significant part of the overall Greek economy and that this increase occurred in spite of the recession that Greece is currently in. However, despite the increase, Loufakis was quick to point out that the trade balance is in the negative and that there is still a trade deficit.
Loufakis said, “It is a fact that due to a prolonged crisis in recent years, consumption of fresh agricultural produce has been drastically reduced in central and eastern Europe, once important markets. For this reason, SEVE has repeatedly noted the need for a focused promotion of Greek farm products to countries with rising growth rates and large populations, such as China and India, which must become alternative markets for our products.”
He also said that agriculture in Greece has some structural challenges including small farms, an aging population, and high production costs. However, he did say that there are some positive things that come from this information, which means that agriculture is still a viable way to help boost the economy in Greece. “According to researchers from the universities of Harvard and MIT, the wealth of nations is created by knowledge and skills. This means that a comparative advantage of a country is built on raising skills in its economy.”
Greece has been in a recession since before the first bailout in 2010 and Greece just received the first payment from the third bailout about a month ago. Despite the fact that there are positive signs, experts believe that the country still has a long road ahead before it can recover completely. Industries such as agriculture can help with that.