Wednesday, September 27, 2017

WEF Competitiveness Report: Greece Ranked #87 out of #137

The World Economic Forum has come out with its Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018. Greece ranks #87 out of #137 (#86 in the previous report). Ahead of Greece are peer countries like Portugal (#42), Slovenia (#48), Bulgaria (#49), Slovakia (#59), Romania (#68), Albania (#75), Montenegro (#77) and Serbia (#78). Also ahead of Greece are non-peer countries like Marocco, Ukraine, Guatemala or Botswana.

The 5 most problematic factors for doing business in Greece were listed as:

Tax rates
Inefficient government bureaucracy
Tax regulations
Policy instability
Government instability

Inflation was listed as the least problematic factor.


  1. Most likely Greece will again say that most of the parameters in the WEF Competitiveness Report are opinions, not facts or statistics. True, it is opinions, but of 12775 business executives from 133 economies, the very decision makers that could lead foreign direct investments to Greece.


    1. I am beginning to believe that Greece's most problematic area in terms of competitiveness is the government's ability to draw international contracts and agreements. When I read this article and the provisions under the agreement with Fraport, only one question was on my mind: How can one sign such an agreement??? If this article is correct, the agreement is an invitation to Fraport to make claims literally forever!

      The 3 major disputes at this time are Eldorado, Elleniko and, now, Fraport. I am not familiar with the details but my gut tells me that much of the legal back-and-forth could have been avoided (or should have been!) if the underlying agreements had provided for all eventualities in proper fashion.

      If article 6.4.3 of the Fraport agreement indeed stipulates that "if the company (Fraport) presents costs of more that 1 MEUR for damage to any of the transferred assets, the the state will compensate Fraport for the cost of rehabilitation", well, then one can only wonder. Such clauses are customary because things can appear after the signing of the agreement which, had they been known before, might not have resulted in an agreement. Soil contamination is often an issue. However, such a clause cannot be open-ended. Ideally, it must be capped with an amount. In the case of Fraport, there does not seem to be a cap and the definition of 'damages' seems to be the unilateral right of Fraport (providing that they 'provide receipts'). The cap normally states that up to the amount of the cap, the seller is responsible and beyond it the buyer. In Fraport's case it seems to be the opporsite: up to 1 MEUR, the buyer is responsible and beyond that the seller!

      Finally, there is a difference between Eldorado & Elleniko and Fraport: the former two are private corporations while Fraport is a (majority-owned) state company. If a private company draws up an agreement with is one-sided to its advantage and gets away with it, one could call that 'smart business practice'. If a company (majority) owned by one state takes another state for a ride when buying a company from it, particularly when there is the political risk that the sellers will blame that they were blackmailed by the Troika, then it becomes a different issue.

      In all likelihood, there will be a political solution at the end of this. However, on the way towards that solution there will be enormous damage to both sides.

  3. We are caught in a loop. The same things are repeated over and over again. It all adds to the bizarre sense of asphyxiation.

    Overtaxation is a huge burden. Huge. For businesses, for households, for everybody. Arrears increase, foreclosures and confiscations beckon. What's the point?

    Once again I cannot stress enough the responsibility of the Europeans in drafting the soon-to-be third failed adjustment program.

    Dear Europeans, you don't need to be an expert in order to draw blood from an economy. Any fool can do it. And this is what you are, fools. That is why Europe goes from bad to worse (just look at the mess in Spain), cause you are fools.

  4. Imho a hopeless situation: