Greek Development Minister Kostas Skrekas took the stand at the European Business Summit held in Athens on Saturday entitled “How can SMEs innovate and compete in a volatile economic environment?”.

The event was jointly organized by the Economist Impact Events, the Athens Chamber of Tradesmen and the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen, and Merchants (GSEVEE), and will host a number of speakers, the key note of which is former French President François Hollande.

Skrekas noted that, through government initiatives, the business environment in Greece has improved, presenting how 150,000 new businesses have been established in the country since 2019, with 22,000 of those having been established in 2020 alone, despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

He mentioned in contrast that in 2016, in spite of the lower fuel prices and generally better conditions compared to the challenges faced today, 3,500 businesses closed.

The minister emphasized that actions, not intentions, count, adding that the government has taken several actions to support entrepreneurship. He also commented that the Greek government does not distinguish between small and large enterprises, but rather aims to empower small businesses to grow and provide them with the resources needed to collaborate effectively with larger companies.

Skrekas noted, however, that Greece has not yet reached its peak, despite growth in Greece being higher than in Europe and underscored the government’s commitment to maintain strong and sustainable growth rates by expanding the country’s productive industry.

On a wider level, he spoke about the importance of a united Europe and highlighted how Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeatedly proposed measures to address the ongoing geopolitical challenges, the reduction of competitiveness in the European economy, as well as Europe’s technological advancement.