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Innovative companies are leaving Greece

03 February 2011 / 12:02:35  GRReporter
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More and more Greek companies developing innovative technologies are considering to move their headquarters abroad, reported Imerisia. Lack of liquidity, vast bureaucracy, heavy taxation and uncertainty in the future are the main reasons companies from different fields to settle in other countries offering more favorable business conditions.

Companies working in the fields of mobile marketing, advertising and mobile technologies development such as MobileFX, Velti, InternetQ are looking for new place to develop their business without leaving the Greek market completely. They are inclined to establish their representative offices here to support the needs of the developed networks and to move their main activity abroad. Velti, Globo and InternetQ management bodies argue that the decision to leave Greece has nothing to do with the economic crisis. They moved their headquarters back in 2007 in order to have access to the London Stock Exchange.

"The Athens Stock Exchange ignores technology companies," complained the executive manager of Globo Technologies Kostis Papadimitrakopoulou. According to him, Greece still lacked a culture of high technologies understanding and development. The same is the opinion of the InternetQ CEO Kostadinos Korelis. He stressed that people or companies that could afford to invest in innovation did not understand the nature of their business and were not inclined to cooperate. Thus, young businessmen with inventive ideas had nothing else to do but to try their luck elsewhere, where businesses and investors had a vision for the future.  

Meanwhile, the Minister of Regional Development and Competitiveness Michalis Chrysohoidis uses every opportunity to declare publicly that the development of high technologies, innovative inventions and branding are the top priority of the government. According to business representatives, however, this was just a mere talk. The mobile marketing and advertising company Velti is an example of how while public officials are blaring forth loud promises of economic recovery millions from successful private enterprises were lost. Velti has successfully transferred to the Nasdaq only a few days ago and drew out over 170 million dollars.

According to businessmen, problems have only become more serious since 2007. The constantly rising taxes make Greece more uninviting for local and foreign investors. The tax system lacks stability and consistency and the constantly changing laws hamper the activities further. "We should not forget that companies like ours bring investments in Greece, because foreigners invest their money in a company which has significant presence on the local market," said Costis Papadimitrakopoulou, although their headquarters are outside Greece.
Politakis Elias, executive manager of MobileFX told the newspaper that the tax incentives for companies developing Internet services and media technologies were much higher in Dubai than in Europe. There was a zero tax burden in these areas for the companies if they did not offer services and products in the United Emirates. There were also serious discounts for electricity to these companies. Ireland, regardless of recession, was also considering the introduction of tax incentives for innovative companies. Velti company has focused on this country back in 2009 and many other companies are inclined to follow its example.


Tags: EconomyMarketsInnovationsNasdaq
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