Competitiveness of Greek agricultural products abroad

Extraversion is strongly considered lately as a tool for ending the crisis. Competitiveness is a crucial factor that leads to a successful presence of the Greeks, and particularly rural enterprises. According to the business dictionary, competitiveness is defined as the ability of a company or a nation to deliver products and services that meet the quality standards of the local and international markets at competitive prices, offering satisfactory earnings, according to sources used or consumed.

According to the World Economic Forum, Greece was the 71th most competitive country (out of 139 worldwide) in 2009, 83rd in 2010 and 90th in 2011. This impressive fall, but the already low position in the global firmament was reflected upon the level of competitiveness of its products.

The agricultural sector is a powerful weapon for the recovery of the Greek economy. An essential feature of the agricultural sector in Greece is that it is quite fragmented, consisting of many small businesses and manufacturers. The feature of these businesses is that while they do very serious work to produce high quality agricultural products, they fail in their efforts to evolve abroad, efforts which are sporadic and not professionally organized. The result of this strategy is the lack of Greek products which can be recognizable by consumers abroad, the inability to achieve a price commensurate with the quality and the lack of competitiveness.

This unfavorable economic situation of Greece, along with the negative stereotypes that have spread for the Greeks, require a more organized and professional approach of the foreign markets. Delays in deliveries, small quantities and the high price of Greek products are the main obstacles that block their way outwards. In fact, you should make two basic steps so that Greek producers become capable of installing and not just selling their products in other countries.

You should realize the need to design a comprehensive export strategy, which should be part of the overall strategy of the company. You should accept the investment of time and money (depending on the needs and goals) that are needed to implement such a strategy.

The strong parts of our agricultural products which should be highlighted, are the authenticity and the close connection with the Mediterranean diet. At the same time, we should provide the consumers abroad with this information, in a very unique, yet targeted way.

George Gkekas International Business Developer

Old Town, Rhodes, Greece