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Tax changes could drive Greek shipowners abroad

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Subject

The impact of Greece's economic crisis on its shipping industry.

Significance

The Greek-flagged and Greek-owned fleet represents approximately half the total EU fleet in terms of tonnage. Despite the domestic economic crisis and challenging global operating conditions, Greek ship owners have succeeded in increasing their fleet capacity throughout this period. However, shipping's contribution to the economy and balance of payments is dwindling because of protracted economic uncertainty, the imposition of capital controls in 2015 and more recently the threat of additional taxation.

Impacts

  • A shift towards protectionism in the United States and Europe may undermine global shipping by curtailing the intercontinental goods trade.
  • China's greater emphasis on trade in services will intensify the search for new markets with higher export growth.
  • A culture of small family-held shipping businesses will set a benchmark for the Greek SME sector.
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