"Bulgaria and, more particularly, Sofia has become the center of the Balkans, in regards to attracting hi-tech and IT companies. For this to happen, people worked towards this goal, policies were prepared and the necessary infrastructure was created. In Greece, where human capital is more than enough, nothing has been done in recent years."
These were the comments of a real estate official, noting the lack of initiatives taken by Greece to boost entrepreneurship and, as a result, the office property market. A consistent policy to help draw foreign businesses is needed to create a significant rise in demand for modern office buildings as was the case not only in Sofia but also in other Balkan capitals.
In these countries, governments have put together targetted plans offering significant incentives to help draw the headquarters of foreign business to their shores. These incentives do not only include tax and financial benefits, but also a way to help develop their office buildings. Something that in Greece, has not taken place. However, recent comments from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Thessaloniki trade fair were of particular significance. While talking about the tax bill the government will submit to parliament in coming days, Mitsotakis said changes will merge scattered incentives, including those offered on real estate. At the same time, conditions are being created so that Greece can be the home to large multinational companies.
As one can understand, the government is looking into developing a coherent policy that will not only aim at attracting foreign investments but also encourage foreign groups to set up in the country in a development that would have multiple benefits for the economy, with the immediate benefit of creating new jobs. At the same time, it will help pull the brake on the brain drain and could even drawback young Greeks that have gone abroad for work.
In order for the above to take place, according to market officials, the government must move ahead with systematic lobbying out of Greece, while having in its possession the necessary negotiation tools needed to sway foreign investors. The country can succeed as it offers the necessary infrastructure and well educated human capital that multinationals seek. Up until today, however, there was a stable and business-friendly environment lacking in Greece. If however, the recent announcements are more than hot air, as has been the case in the past, then there are possibilities.