Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has entrusted the crucial task of drafting a national growth plan, including an overhaul of the productive model of the economy, to Alternate Economy and Development Minister Alexandros Haritsis.
Haritsis, an old friend of Tsipras from their days as university students at the Athens Polytechnic, is to present the draft plan at the April meeting of the Eurogroup, and he is currently exerting efforts to attract investment.
Last Monday he hosted a dinner for the CEOs of 14 multi-nationals from various sectors: construction, pharmaceuticals, consulting, and energy. There, he presented the investment opportunities arising from Greece entering a growth path.
Three axes of development
In an interview with To Vima, Haritsis set out the main axes of the government’s development plan.
“The development plan is a roadmap for the post-bailout era, and it is based on three pillars: overhauling the productive base, supporting labour and the social welfare state, and maintaining fiscal and long-term economic balance.”
“Productive reconstruction means supporting industry, which was left languishing far before the crisis, support, stimulating an outward looking economic mentality, increasing exports, and exploiting digitalisation opportunities.”
Haritsis said that a remodeling of the productive base involves both the government and society, and that is why the government has held regional development conferences to address the needs and capabilities of particular provinces.
Haritsis said that old and new funding tools are being coordinated to support dynamic, innovative, small-and-medium sized businesses in industry and processing, information technology, communications, energy, and other sectors.
Haritsis said that Greece’s 25 percent rate of absorption of National Strategic Reference Framework (ESPA) funds is at a good level, (compared to a 12-13 percent EU average), and that European Investment Bank contributed about two billion euros in 2017 to the real economy, mainly to small-and-medium-sized businesses.