Greece Trading Partners
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Because Greece's membership since the EC in 1981 has meant abolition of trade barriers of all kinds, the geographic distribution of Greek foreign trade has been increasingly oriented in favor of its partner countries in the EC/EU (see table 9; table 10, Appendix). In 1980 some 49 percent of Greek exports and 43 percent of imports were directed to or originated from countries of the EC. In 1992 EC countries received 62 percent of Greece's exports and supplied 62 percent of its imports. Among EC countries, the main trading partner was Germany, which in 1992 absorbed about 22 percent of exports and supplied 20 percent of imports. Italy was the second largest trading partner, with export and import percentages of 18 and 13 percent, respectively. The next largest export partners, in order of trade value, were France, Britain, Egypt, the United States, and Cyprus. The next largest import partners, in order of trade value, were France, the Netherlands, Japan, Britain, and the United States. In the early 1990s, the greatest trade increases occurred with Bulgaria, Egypt, Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). The sharpest decline occurred with Yugoslavia.
The United States is Greece's largest trade partner outside the EU. In 1992, the United States bought 16 percent of Greek exports and sold 9 percent of Greek imports. In 1992 Greece showed a negative trade balance with the United States of US$867 million. Between 1988 and 1992, trade with the East European and former Soviet nations that until 1991 comprised the Community for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) more than doubled, with exports growing from US$209 million in 1988 to US$568 million and imports from US$599 million in 1988 to US$931 million in 1992.
Greece's main export products are fruit, vegetables, olive oil, clothing, and textiles (see table 11, Appendix). The chief imports are machinery, transportation equipment, food, chemical products, and petroleum and petroleum products (see table 12, Appendix). The last category of purchases caused a trade imbalance with the nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of nearly US$1.3 billion in 1992; between 1983 and 1992, expenditures for oil imports from OPEC remained relatively steady between US$1.5 billion and US$2 billion, with steep drops in 1988 and 1989 partly caused by falling world oil prices.
Capital flows into Greece have been both private and public. Most public capital flows are incoming government loans or outgoing repayment of existing loans. Besides the government, the central bank and state-controlled credit institutions also engage in foreign-capital transactions. At the end of 1993, the Bank of Greece estimated that the amount owed directly or guaranteed by the Greek government to foreign creditors was about US$26 billion.
Private capital flows into Greece have been significant in recent years. In the period 1987-92, Greece received long-term net private capital flows for long-term forms of investment totaling US$9.7 billion. Of those, US$4.3 billion was in entrepreneurial capital, and the remainder was in real estate investment.
Since 1989, Greek investment in manufacturing enterprises abroad has accelerated, primarily in the neighboring Balkan countries. Food processing, textiles, other consumer goods, and building materials are the primary sectors of Greek manufacturing investment in Bulgaria. According to official estimates, Greek investment now ranks first among all foreign investment in Bulgaria and is among the leaders in Albania and Romania.
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece Trading Partners information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece Trading Partners should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.