While Covid-19 lockdowns imposed the concept of working from home, many organizations and entrepreneurs have now recognized that it is a viable option, long past the pandemic. In fact, recently the business community has added a new twist to the concept of remote work, taking it not just out of the office, but even out of the country. With that, the population of digital nomads has expanded – and Greece’s Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis is determined to attract them to his country.
As he announced during the Greek House Davos (GHD) annual meeting which took place in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2023, Georgiadis has plans to create an investment and business environment that will emerge as a win-win proposition for Greece and today’s sophisticated, business savvy digital nomads. In particular, he aims to introduce serious reforms that will make Greece even more investor/entrepreneur-friendly.
Powerful endorsements, effective measures
When Georgiadis proudly stated that Greece had already turned the heads of major players in the global business community, he was not exaggerating. Over the past few years, Greece has attracted giants such as Google, Microsoft, Digital Reality, TeamViewer and Amazon Web Services, among many others, who have established a presence in the country. Record foreign investment helped the country’s economy grow by over 6% in 2022. Georgiadis estimated that growth in 2023 would be in the region of 1.8% – multiples of the EU average – while Greece’s Finance Minister Christos Staikouras seemed confident that 2023 and 2024 would see further acceleration of investments in the country.
This expected trend is being driving not only by the current availability of new technologies and various tax incentives, but also by measures that were designed to establish Greece as an energy hub in the wider region. Thanks to the country’s natural advantages, it is growing into a prime destination for investments in Renewable Energy Sources. To capitalize on the interest in RES, the government has slashed bureaucracy and significantly accelerated the licensing process for investors in this field.
WfH evolves into WfG
While the world was welcoming the Work from Home (WfH) experience, Greece went a step further, by highlighting the Work from Greece opportunity, or as the government referred to it, the ‘Work from Paradise’ invitation. Within the framework of this initiative, the government introduced Greece’s Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) in 2021. Compared to the tourist visa, the DNV is currently valid for two years and can be extended for another year. The fundamental premise is that it allows entrepreneurs whose work and income are generated outside Greece to enjoy a better quality of life in Greece, which is also more affordable than other western countries. Furthermore, the DNV allows them to travel freely across the EU and the Schengen Zone.
Yiannos Trisokkas, CEO and Managing Partner at Velment, makes an important point: “For non-EU entrepreneurs, Greek residency and such freedom of movement could be the make-it or break-it of business success. And given the government’s latest announcements and their plans to make the digital nomad proposition even more attractive, we will be keeping a close eye on Greece, to be able to advise our clients and point them in the right direction, at the right time.”