7/11/2016 - Lifting many of the regulations stifling business competition in Greece would benefit both consumers, through lower prices, and firms, via higher turnover, according to the OECD.
In its Competition Assessment of Greece, the OECD estimates that easing restrictions identified in a number of sectors would have a positive impact on the Greek economy of around 414 million euros.
Barriers to competition can discourage new firms from entering markets, hampering innovation and efficiency. They result in high prices in the shops, low investment and fewer jobs.
“Enhancing competition is critical to Greece’s prosperity,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría says in his introduction to the report. “Implementing its recommendations would help reform efforts aimed at getting the economy back on to a sustainable growth path.”
The report is the culmination of the Competition Assessment Project, an independent study requested by the Greek government and supported by the European Commission and Hellenic Competition Commission. The latest assessment is the third undertaken by the OECD and covers five sectors: e-commerce; construction; media; wholesale trade and a number of manufacturing sub-sectors such as chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Together they represent 11.2% of Greece’s GDP and 16.7% of Greek employment.
The report identifies 356 regulatory barriers, including those the government has already started to repeal. Among the OECD’s recommendations are the following:
The report says OECD studies have shown that industries in which there is greater competition generally experience faster productivity growth. The benefits of competition include lower consumer prices, greater consumer choice, a higher quality of products and services, more job creation and greater investment in innovation.
Improving business competition is one of a number of areas where the OECD is cooperating with the Greek government in the design and implementation of reforms to boost inclusive growth and improve well-being. The work follows the cooperation agreement signed in March 2015 by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.
Further information about the Competition Assessment of Greece is available here.
Additional information is available from the OECD’s Media Division, tel: + 33 1 4524 9700.
Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.