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|E-mail article||Save||Additional News in English||Još vesti na Srpskom||Επιπλέον ειδήσεις στα Ελληνικά||Text|
Balkans.com: Over the past 15 years, the industry has experienced dramatic changes in Greece. Could you highlight the main factors which contributed to developments that resulted in the current situation?
Mr. Chatzaras: The gradual elimination of the subsidies by the Greek government, due to EEC regulations, forced a lot of factories to bankruptcy, because they depended solely on the subsidies and not on their profit and as a consequence they did not make in time the necessary investments to cut their costs, to become more organized, more efficient and also they did not use modern techniques in marketing.
Balkans.com: What are the effects of competition from Asian countries?
Mr. Chatzaras: It forced the European industry to develop and use to the maximum its competitive advantages i.e. quality, fast delivery, special products, innovations.
On the other hand, it forced a part of the industry to shrinkage or to financial ruin due to the very low cost of the Asian products, especially in the domain of commodity products where the added value was low.
Balkans.com: What is the state of the industry in terms of technology, innovation, R & D, and skilled labour?
Mr. Chatzaras: Our industry, sewing thread manufacture, is in a satisfactory state in technology and skilled labour but lacks in innovation and R&D because higher investment is needed which is not justified by the size and the mentality of the Greek market. Additionally, the high taxation and the bureaucracy prevented those with innovative ideas to risk it.
Balkans.com: What led you to expand to Bulgaria and Romania? What is the situation there and in other Balkan countries in general?
Mr. Chatzaras: The migration of our customers (manufacturers of clothes, shoes etc.) to these countries, due to the low taxation and labour, forced us to follow them and so , in order to keep our customers and to offer them the same service as we did in Greece, we established warehouses and sales networks in these countries.
At the moment the situation in Romania is not good because during the last five years a lot of factories went bankrupt mainly due to the crisis but in Bulgaria there is still a lot of work mainly because the labour is still competitive.
In the rest of the Balkans, the situation differs from country to country but in general the labour cost is attractive and there are opportunities.
Balkans.com: What are the prospects of the industry in Greece and in the Balkans in general?
Mr. Chatzaras: In Greece the prospects are gloomy! There are no more investments, the market has shrunk too much and it depends solely on 2-3 big foreign companies which give work (façon) to some serious manufacturers, who still survive, in Northern Greece. If these foreign companies decide, for reasons of lower cost, to give their orders to Turkey for example, then our Greek market will disappear in one night! Where is the Greek state to support us with tax reliefs or other benefits?
As for the Balkans, it is very risky to predict the future but Albania and Serbia are two countries that are in the stage of internal development and are attracting some prospective investors whereas Romania does not seem to be able to recover after the bankruptcy of most of its big factories.
Balkans.com: Based on your extensive experience, what would you recommend to prospective investors?
Mr. Chatzaras: Investments in the specific industry in Greece are not encouraged for the time being. As far as the other Balkan countries are concerned, prospective investors should take into consideration the circumstances laid out under the reply to Q. 4 above.
Related News in English
Povezane vesti na srpskom
Συναφείς Ειδήσεις στα Ελληνικά