Investors applied to include 2.6 billion euros of projects as strategic investments in Greece last year, representing a sharp rise from previous years, officials told Business Daily.
These applications, relating to 13 projects that are mostly in the field of tourism, have been submitted to Enterprise Greece, the country's investments and trade promotion agency, for approval. If they are given the green light, the projects will then head to a joint ministerial investment committee that is likely to put them on a fast track process, helping speed up its implementation time by reducing red tape involved.
The number of applications submitted in 2019 represents a sharp rise from previous years. The total number of strategic investments approved since 2010, when the law on strategic investments was introduced, is just 25 with a total budget of 4 billion euros.
For 2019, officials said that ten of the projects, with a total budget of 1.7 billion euros, were been submitted under the 2010 law passed on strategic investments. Applications for three more projects, worth 916 million euros, were submitted under the law on strategic investments passed by lawmakers in 2019. If all investmets are approved, they are estimated to create more than 3,500 job positions.
In an attempt to boost economic sentiment, Greece has eased the criteria that must be met for a project to be considered a strategic investment by introducing three initiatives. The main one involved lowering the minimal budget for a project to qualify for the fast track process to 50 million euros, from 100 million euros, on the condition that it will create at least 100 job positions.
In the last meeting held by the joint ministerial investment committee in December, six strategic investments were approved in tourism, energy and real estate, worth just over a billion euros.