Capital Link’s 24th Annual Invest in Greece Forum, entitled “Sustaining Growth & Investment Momentum”, took place with great success and great participation on Friday, December 9, 2022 as an in-person event at the Metropolitan Club in New York, in co-operation with the New York Stock Exchange, the Athens Stock Exchange and major Global Investment Banks and Organizations.
The Forum was organized with the support of the General Secretariat for Greeks Abroad and Public Diplomacy – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the Auspices of the Consulate General of Greece in New York. JP MORGAN & Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) Ltd. were Lead Sponsors of the Forum. The Forum, which also receives the strong support of the Greek business and financial community, has become an international summit about Greece through the years.
With a 24-year track record of success, the Forum has been engaged in a systematic effort to highlight Greece’s profile to a global business and investment audience. The event gathered top level executives from the business world, bringing together a number of international investors, entrepreneurs, banking executives, technocrats and Government officials from Greece, Europe and The United States. The Forum’s agenda featured top level speakers who addressed a global audience discussing topics of major importance.
Alternate Minister of Finance, Mr. Theodore Skylakakis in his keynote speech entitled « THE EUROPEAN RECOVERY FUND – A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR GREECE – Mobilizing 60 billion Euros of Investments» Stated that:
Greece’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan “Greece 2.0” was the second National Plan submitted and the third to be endorsed by the European Commission. Greece is in the forefront of the implementation of the plan among other European partners as it has already received 7.52 billion euros from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. Adding the second payment request, which has already been approved by the European Commission and we expect to be approved also by the EFC the total amount that will flow from RRF to our government by January 2023 will reach 11.08 billion euros. Greece is the 4th country to have applied for the second payment as in the loan facility the implementation has by far exceeded expectations.
The “Greece 2.0” plan includes 106 investments and 68 reforms that are meticulously described and costed in 4,104 pages; the 30 billion from European funds (17.41 billion euros in grants and 12.73 billion euros in loans) are mobilizing a total of 60 billion euros in investments in the country over the next four years, to permanently increase GDP by 7 points and also create 180.000 – 200.000 new jobs. It is a Plan that aims to lead to a fundamental economic and social transformation of the country, having a catalytic effect on economic activity, technologies, institutions, and attitudes.
The most innovative part of the Greek plan is its unprecedented mobilization of private funds both through the grants part and through the loan facility. Out of the 60 billion euros we expect to mobilize through our plan the 45 billion refer to private investment. This by orders of magnitude far exceeds any European or national investment program ever implemented in Greece in the past. In the first 14 months of its implementation this mobilization is actually happening. In the loan facility we already have investment plans applications exceeding 9.5 billion euros out of which over 2 billion have already be contracted and we expect the other 7.5 billion to be contracted within the next 4 months. Another 2 billion of investment plans have been already presented through various investment programs in the Grants facility some of which have already started (about a quarter of the amount) and the rest are expected to start within the next 3 months. Thus in terms of mobilization of the private investment which is the biggest part and most ambitious part of the plan we are ahead of schedule while in the past months the public investment part has accelerated also hundreds of public tenders have started or are expected to start in the next four months as we are preparing for our next payment request.
Also the reform part of the plan is moving according to schedule. This was front loaded in the first one and a half year and the successful implementation is evident by the completion of all our relevant milestones. A completion attested by the European Commission which has been excruciatingly careful in its examination of the specific reforms making sure that they are substantial and are implemented not only in terms of the relevant laws but also in terms of their functional success. We also intend to add new reforms in the revision of the plan expected to be presented to the Commission and the Council in the next few months.
So the plan goes well but the road ahead is still full of difficulties. The successful implementation of the hundreds of public tenders in the grants part is not to be taken for granted. It will be a unique challenge both for the Greek bureaucracy and the private sector in terms of sheer volume. Also we must maintain the momentum of the private investment which means also maintaining the momentum of our reform agenda in the next four years, after a successful national election at the first half of 2023. Only under these conditions I believe that these huge funds – greater per capita than for any other European country – which are available to Greece for investments and reforms will achieve their ultimate purpose which is to make life better for every citizen of our country. Investments and reforms in green and digital transformation, in the social state – health, education, welfare, training – in infrastructure projects and private investment in all sectors of the economy.
With our ultimate goal being not only to achieve a robust economic recovery, but to enter in a stable course of high growth and change the country’s production model to become more extroverted, more competitive and greener and at the same time more resilient, for the benefit of the entire Greek society. The challenge is historic, the opportunity unique and I firmly believe that we will be successful in its implementation.
Mr. Orestis Kavalakis, Secretary General of Private Investments & PPPs – Ministry of Development & Investments
“PPPs AS A MAJOR GROWTH DRIVER”
Mr. Orestis Kavalakis, Secretary General of Private Investments & PPPs – Ministry of Development & Investments, stated: “PPPs are an important tool for the delivery of public infrastructure projects in Greece. We already hold a strong track record of successfully designing and delivering PPPs, in terms of on-time, within-budget delivery of high-quality assets. Furthermore, the way we have handled the implementation of the PPPs procedures has resulted in ranking 2nd worldwide in the field of Procurement of PPPs according to the World Bank 2020 Benchmarking Infrastructure Development report (among 140 countries) and to the Global Infrastructure Hub (a G20 dedicated infrastructure agency) InfraCompass 2020 report (among 81 countries).
Our ambition since the beginning was to design a strategic plan for the use of PPPs across sectors, with a view to identifying and developing a credible forward-looking PPP project pipeline, within a context of a proactive approach to targeting new projects.
Up to this point 43 projects of EUR 6.4 billion development cost have been approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee for PPPs, in a variety of sectors including roads, student accommodation, waste, transport, energy efficiency projects. All these projects are either being or will be tendered in the near future by a number of procuring authorities.
We have a stable, simple and comprehensive framework, supported by an innovative financing structure of the PPPs projects, while the strong competition between tenderers further depicts the profitability of the projects”.