ATHENS - Italy remains the most important destination for Greek exports, while exports of farm products rose by 7.6 pct in 2016, Christina Sakellaridi, president of the Panhellenic Exporters Association told a general assembly of the Bank of Greece, adding: "At a time when the European economy -the largest market for Greek products- is recovering, Greece cannot afford to lose another opportunity to exit the crisis".
Sakellaridi noted that despite the fact that Greek exports broke new records in 2016 (excluding oil products), "there was not time for jubilation and the reason for this is uncertainty".
For 2017, according to European Commission estimates, Greek exports of goods and services will be the main pylon of economic recovery, rising by 3.6 pct (an increase of 4.0 pct is projected for 2018). The Commission said that this would lead to additional revenue of 1.5 pct of GDP on an annual basis.
Greek exports to the EU grew 2.9 pct in 2016, but fell 6.5 pct to Third Countries (excluding oil products, Greek exports grew 4.4 pct to the EU and fell 4.8 pct to Third Countries). Italy was the main destination for Greek exports, followed by Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria, US, UK, Lebanon, Romania and Egypt.
Farm products were the top export category (up 7.6 pct), while industrial chemicals, smoked fish, rice and hygiene products recorded significant export growth last year.