A survey presented in Thessaloniki on Wednesday by Margarita Katsimi, a professor at the Economics University of Athens, noted that a total of one hundred companies cover more than 50 % of Greek exports.
Conducted by diaNEOsis, a nonprofit research organisation, the survey was based on export data for the period 2003-2015 on a sample of 17,000 enterprises exporting 2,700 products to 190 export destinations, along with data by Intrastat, Extrastat, ICAP and Chambers.
Professor Katsimi and one of the authors of the survey along with Sarantis Kalyvitis and Thomas Moutos, said that the top-100 exporters (excluding oil products) covered 53 % of total Greek exports, with an average value of 56 million euros/company. Big exporters sell an average 12 products to 27 countries and pay their workers better than the rest (average annual salary of 21,500 euros from 16,200 euros in smaller companies).
Additionally, the survey noted that patents boost exports and innovation brings more sales abroad, adding that Greece has a lower performance in integrating innovation compared with other Mediterranean countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy. Size and innovation are two of the four basic factors behind an increase in export activity; the other two are financing and human resources.
The survey also said that the crisis put 30-35 % of exporting companies out of business, particularly in the period 2008-2014, with smaller companies taking the biggest hit, while big exports boosted their business.
Katsimi also said that the participation of industrial exports in total exports did not exceed 48 %. She referred to findings of a recent survey conducted by National Bank which showed that 26 % of Greek small- and medium-sized enterprises were potential exporters but needed mergers and liquidity.
She underlined that exports could be boosted through a package of measures such as abolishing counter-incentives (bureaucracy, high taxation), offering institutional support and favourable funding to create clustering and creating a vertical export chain.