Greece is an agricultural country, despite its prevalent mountainous territory and its dry weather. The main cash crops are corn, wheat, barley, sugar beets, peaches, tomatoes, cotton (of which Greece is the only Eu producer) and tobacco. Other crops grown in considerable quantities are olives (for olive oil), grapes (for wine and raisins), melons, potatoes, and oranges, all of which are exported to other EU countries. In addition, the country produces a wide variety of crops and livestock products. And Greece’s extensive coastline and numerous islands have always supported intensive fishing activity.
Greece is a maritime nation by tradition, as shipping has been a key element of Greek economic activity since ancient times. Today, shipping is the country’s most important industry: in 2018, the Greek Merchant Navy controlled the world’s largest merchant fleet, in terms of tonnage. Greece is also ranked in the top for all kinds of ships, including tankers and bulk carriers. In recent years, the country has become a leader in the construction and maintenance of luxury yachts.
Oil & Gas
Oil is the most significant fuel in Greece’s energy system. Despite the poor oil production, the export of oil products has grown, mostly thanks to the country’s strong refinery capacity. In 2020, refined petroleum was the first most exported product in Greece. A number of oil and gas pipelines are under construction or under planning in the country.
The ample availability of renewable energy potential (wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal, solar) combined with ongoing large-scale infrastructure projects involving Greece show that the country will be a key player in the formulation of the Eu energy mix and will provide significant investment opportunities in all energy industries. Furthermore, Greece is emerging as a key player in the transportation of energy from East to West through pipeline projects, electricity grid interconnectivity and alternative means of ensuring security of supply through offshore reserves.
Pharma and Life Sciences
With a highly skilled workforce and an established R&D and manufacturing capability, the Greek Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals industry exhibits significant growth potential both in serving the internal market, as well as in expanding its reach beyond national borders. There are several Greek companies already competing successfully in the international pharmaceutical markets, with a strong shift towards R&D, innovation and marketing so that they can become competitive.
Tourism is one of the country’s most important sectors. Greece has been a major tourist destination in Europe since the 1970s for its rich culture and history, which is reflected by its numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as for its long coastline, many islands and beaches. Religious tourism and pilgrimages, ecouterism, conference and medical tourism are also prominent.