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Strategic Investments in Greece on “Fast Track” – a Guide for Private Investors
Law 3894/2010 on the acceleration and transparency regarding the realisation of Strategic Investments, as amended and in force, also called the “FAST-TRACK-LAW”, aims at attracting new investors in Greece, in order to strengthen the Greek Economy and to render the Greek market more competitive at an international level. Below follows a brief description of the definition of the Strategic Investments and the procedure for the subjection to the said provisions:
• The goal is to accelerate the procedure for the implementation of Strategic Investments.
• The goal is to strengthen the Greek economy.
• Strategic are the investments that generate quantitative and qualitative results of major significance for the overall national economy.
• Many benefits for private investors.
Α. What are Strategic investments according to law 3894/2010?
These are productive investments which generate quantitative and qualitative results of major significance for the overall national economy, and which facilitate the country’s exit from the economic crisis. Strategic Investments relate particularly to the construction, reconstruction, expansion, restructuring, modernisation or maintenance of existing infrastructure, facilities and networks: a. in manufacturing, b. in the energy sector, c. in tourism, d. in transport and communications, e. in the provision of health services, f. in waste management, g. in projects of high‐end technology and innovation, h. in the education sector, i. in the culture sector, j. in the primary sector and the processing of agri‐foodstuffs, and k. in the provision of services of the tertiary sector.
The benefits offered by the subjection to the above provisions are not only limited to the development and strengthening of the Greek Economy, but they extend to investors, for example, in case of an investor-citizen of third country, a ten-year residence permit is granted.
Β. Conditions for characterizing an investment as “Strategic”
An investment, as defined above, is characterized as a “Strategic” one, provided that it meets at least one of the following conditions:
1.the total investment cost exceeds one hundred million Euros (€ 100.000.000), irrespective of the investment sector or
2.the total investment cost exceeds fifteen million Euros (€ 15.000.000), in case of investment in manufacturing within already organized receptors according to applicable provisions, or three million Euros (€ 3.000.000), in case of investments which constitute approved projects within the framework of the JESSICA portfolio fund or
3.the total investment cost exceeds forty million Euros (€ 40.000.000), while at the same time the investment in question creates at least one hundred twenty (120) new jobs or
4.the investment in question creates, in a viable and sustainable manner, at least one hundred fifty (150) new jobs or at least six hundred (600) jobs are maintained in a viable and sustainable manner or
5.the total investment cost exceeds five million Euros (€ 5.000.000) for investments regarding the development of Business Parks.
C. Inter-ministerial Committee for Strategic Investments (ICSI)
The ICSI is a ministerial committee, chaired by the Minister of Development, which decides for the inclusion or not of the investment proposals to the Procedures of Strategic Investments, i.e. the procedures provided for the acceleration of strategic investments.
D. Inclusion Criteria
For the inclusion of the investment proposals to the Strategic Investments Procedures, the following shall be taken into consideration:
a) the viability of the investment,
b) the creditworthiness of the investor,
c) the transfer of knowledge and expertise,
d) the estimated growth or maintenance of employment,
e) the country’s development,
g) the strengthening of entrepreneurship and competiveness of the national economy
h) the adoption of innovation and high technology,
i) the increase of exports activity,
j) the protection of the environment and
k) energy saving.
Ε. Hellenic Investment and Foreign Trade Company S.A. (Enterprise Greece), formerly named “Invest in Greece S.A.”- Competencies
This is a société anonyme operating in order to serve the public interest according to the rules of private economy and its object is to attract, welcome, promote and support strategic and other investments in Greece. In the context of the law, the company “Enterprise Greece” accepts applications for the inclusion of investments in the Strategic Investments Procedures, it inspects the business plan, it evaluates the fulfillment of criteria for the characerisation of the investment as Strategic, it makes suggestions to the ICSI for the inclusion of investments in the Strategic Investments Procedures, it operates as an one-stop shop and makes recommendations for the improvement of the institutional framework of investments and the promotion of the international business co-operation.
F. Procedure for the inclusion of Strategic Investments of the private sector
1.Private investors who request the inclusion of their investment proposal in the Strategic Investments Procedures are obligated to file an application to “Enterprise Greece” which is accompanied by a full dossier which inter alia includes, a business plan of the investment, an analysis of the direct and indirect impact thereof on Greek economy, an irrevocable mandate and authorisation to the above company to proceed with all actions required etc.
2.Within a deadline of fifteen (15) business days from the date the dossier of the investment proposal is filed, “Enterprise Greece” is obligated to grants its opinion in relation to the completeness of the dossier, the fulfilment of the criterial and the advisability of including the investment in the Strategic Investments Procedures. The investor is promptly and in writing informed for the contents of the said opinion.
3.Regardless of the provision or not of an opinion, immediately after the lapse of the above deadline, “Enterprise Greece” forwards the application and the dossier of the investment proposal to the ICSI, stating the reasons for which it did not grant its opinion.
4.Within a deadline of thirty (30) business days, the ICSI decides for the inclusion or not of the investment proposal to the Strategic Investments Procedure.
Note: It is pointed out that the above outline of provisions is suggestive and summarizing and aims at providing a quick update in relation to the legal framework. Any subjection of your company to the above provisions and the conditions of this subjection constitute the object of a more complete analysis for which the provision of specialized legal advice is required.
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