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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 16-11-21

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Institutions and Health Minister discuss measures to rationalise expenditure
  • [02] Greek current account balance shows 1.0 billion euros surplus in Sept
  • [03] Apartment prices down 1.5 pct in Q3, BoG report
  • [04] Greek honey exports to China have great growth potential

  • [01] Institutions and Health Minister discuss measures to rationalise expenditure

    Health Minister Andreas Xanthos in a meeting with the representatives of the institutions late on Sunday promised to rationalise public expenditure and monitor the demand for drugs and exams.

    The Health Ministry stressed that the targets will be met through the integration of protocols and guidelines in the electronic prescription system, the strengthening of the public sector capacity to meet health needs and the additional support of private providers as well as the centralization of public hospital supplies.

    They also discussed the gradual implementation of the new primary health care system based on the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the control of pharmaceutical expenditure through the Health Technology Assessment mechanism, entry criteria to the positive list of innovative medicines, negotiating prices and increased penetration of generics.

    During the meeting, the officials confirmed the agreement on the basic reforms in the health sector aiming at the universal, equal and effective care of the citizens.

    [02] Greek current account balance shows 1.0 billion euros surplus in Sept

    Greece's current account balance showed a surplus of 1.0 billion euros in September, an improvement of 104 million on a year-on-year basis, as a result of an increase of 255 million euros in the balance of goods and services surplus, which reached 1.1 billion, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

    The central bank, in a monthly report, said that total exports of goods and services grew faster (12.6 pct) than the corresponding imports (9.1 pct). By contrast, the primary and secondary income accounts deteriorated. The deficit of the balance of goods declined year-on-year, owing to an improvement in the oil balance, which offset an increase in the deficit of the non-oil balance. Non-oil exports rose year-on-year, by 12.2 pct and 15.1 pct at current and constant prices respectively. This rise was offset by an increase in non-oil imports of goods.

    The surplus of the services balance grew by 178 million euros, as in September all subaccounts improved year-on-year. The largest increase was registered in the transport balance on account of higher net air and sea transport receipts. As regards the travel balance, non-residents' arrivals increased by 13.7 pct and the relevant receipts by 2.3 pct. Net other services receipts improved as well.

    In September 2016, the primary and the secondary income accounts deteriorated year-on-year.

    In the January-September 2016 period, the current account showed a surplus of 1.4 billion euros, down by 456 million year-on-year. More specifically, the primary and the secondary income accounts improved, while the balance of goods and services deteriorated.

    The balance of goods showed an improvement of 740 million euros, which reflects the improved oil balance and reduced net payments for purchases of ships. By contrast, the deficit of the balance of goods excluding oil and ships grew, chiefly on account of an increase in the value of imports, while the value of the corresponding exports remained unchanged. It should be noted that, at constant prices, total exports of goods rose by 7.6 pct, reflecting mainly a rise in the volume of oil exports, while non-oil exports of goods also grew by 3 pct.

    The surplus of the services balance dropped by 1.8 billion euros year-on-year, mainly due to a significant decline in net transport receipts, which is largely attributable to capital controls. Net travel receipts also recorded a fall. Total non-residents' arrivals increased by 3.5 pct, while the corresponding receipts declined by 5.5 pct. These developments were offset to a small extent by an improvement in the other services balance.

    [03] Apartment prices down 1.5 pct in Q3, BoG report

    Nominal apartment prices are estimated to have declined on average by 1.5 pct year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, the Bank of Greece said on Monday.

    The central bank, in a report, said that according to revised data, the decline in the first and second quarters of 2016 was 4.3 pct and 2.6 pct respectively, while the average annual rate of decline in 2015 was 5.1 pct.

    More specifically, in the third quarter of 2016, the year-on-year rate of decline in prices was 2.2 pct for "new" apartments (up to 5 years old) and 1.0 pct for "old" apartments (over 5 years old). According to revised data, in 2015 as a whole the average annual rate of decline in the prices of "new" and "old" apartments was 5.6 pct and 4.7 pct respectively.

    According to data broken down by geographical area, in the third quarter of 2016 apartment prices are estimated to have declined year-on-year by 0.9 pct in Athens, 1.4 pct in Thessaloniki, 1.2 pct in other cities and 3.0 pct in other areas of Greece.

    [04] Greek honey exports to China have great growth potential

    "Greece, despite domestic perceptions, is the 34th exporter of honey worldwide, with a market share of 0.34 pct of total value of exports in 2014, and a total export value of 7.47 million US dollars, less than Portugal (9.49 million dollars), Serbia (8.64 million), Moldova (10.1 million), Austria (10.5 million), Denmark (14.5 million), Turkey (20 million), Saudi Arabia (13.4 million), Italy (40.4 million), Spain (112 million), Bulgaria (42.8 million), Romania (43.2 million), Hungary (90.2 million), Poland (24.4 million), Belgium (41.4 million), Ukraine (106 million euros)," the Greek embassy's economic and commercial affairs bureau in Shanghai said in a report.

    In 2013, Greece exported honey worth 8.56 million US dollars, with a market share of 0.44 pct, ranking the country in the 33rd position worldwide. Greece is the sixth honey exporter from Europe to China and the fifth in the EU, however, China absorbed only 4.0 pct of total honey exports from Greece, worth 307,000 US dollars in 2014, or 0.5 pct of total honey imports in China.

    Honey exports to China totaled 307,000 dollars in 2014 and 206,000 in 2013, or 0.51 pct of total honey imports in China.

    Greek honey exports to China were largely insignificant from 2004 to 2012. In 2014, Greek exports totaled 7.47 million US dollars in value, of which 12 pct to Asia, 63 pct to Europe, 22 pct to North America, 1.0 pct to Australia and 0.3 pct to Africa (0.28 pct to Egypt).

    China was the ninth biggest export destination for Greece in 2014, worth 307,000 US dollars, or 4.0 pct of total exports, for a market share of 0.51 pct, the highest rate since 2005 (0.35 pct).

    Greek honey exports to China began in 2006, although the rate of increase lagged behind the rate of exports to East Asia (the value of Greek honey exports tripled in 2014 compared with 2013). The report noted that this development showed that Greek honey has not yet found the right distribution channels in the region.

    Honey imports to China is projected to reach 102 million US dollars in the next two years, which means that if Greek honey wanted to maintain its market share in the country it should boost exports to China by around 430,000 US dollaris.

    An analysis of the competition showed that Greek honey could drain a percentage of 1.5 pct to 2.5 pct from Europe (excluding Ukraine) and a percentage of 0.3 pct to 0.7 pct from Asia and a percentage of 0.1 pct to 0.2 pct from Turkey. Greek exports to China could rise by four times based on realistic and conservatives estimates, to 1.2 million US dollars, or one-sixth of total Greek honey exports in 2014.


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