Experts at Delphi Forum Say Greece Needs to Reverse Brain Drain, Lower Taxes



Renowned experts from around the world debated on the subject of the competitiveness of the Greek economy on Saturday at the Delphi Economic Forum.

Deborah Wince-Smith, President and CEO of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, Nicholas Logothetis the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Concordia Summit, Simos Anastasopoulos, President of the American Hellenic Chamber of Commerce; and George Daskalakis, Founding Partner and CEO of Stoiximan, all spoke about what needs to change in Greece to make it a more competitive player in the global market.

Chaired by Alexandros Costopoulos, CEO of Foresight Strategy and Communications, the audience heard Wince-Smith saying that taxes are hindering investment and that, in order to make Greece attractive for investments, there must be a friendly and stable regulatory and fiscal framework.

“I do not know another country apart from Greece with such a high tax rate,” she noted.

Logothetis stressed that Greece needs to reverse the brain drain as a priority.

All over the world investors are looking for three main conditions in order to invest, he said; high returns, stable environment and less exposure to risk.

“That is why we need to improve the image of Greece and contribute so that 25% of the GDP lost in the crisis returns to the country. This will happen if we proceed with a positive development path,” he added.

Anastasopoulos said that Greece must correct the weak institutional framework created by the years of austerity and noted that the country is in 87th place worldwide in business competitiveness.

“We have not managed to create a competitive environment. Tax rates and high social security contributions are two deterrent factors for investment in Greece,” he added.

Daskalakis said that Greece must stop being introverted, and that it needs to re-assert itself and build on the country’s human resources.

“We hope that the Greeks who left in the years of the crisis will return to reverse the brain drain,” he said, and added that it is the responsibility of all companies to invest in Greece and its potential.

The Forum opened on Thursday in the Greek city of Delphi. The major international conference aims to identify the most important global economic trends and assess their implications for the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Representatives from twenty-four countries, 500 speakers from around the world, 2,500 delegates and over 200 accredited members of the press from Greece and abroad are attending the forum. The major international conference has become a focal point for policymakers in the region for the last four years.