Greece flag Greece: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Greece

Foreign Trade in Figures

Greece has an export-oriented economy, with trade representing 72% of GDP (World Bank, latest data available). Petroleum products account for both imported and exported items as the country imports crude oil and exports refined products. Medicine, fish and olive oil are among the most exported items. Medicines account for a significant share of imports (4.4%), followed by motor cars.

Trade with EU countries accounts for half of imports and exports. Italy and Germany are Greece's main trading partners with Italy being the top destination for Greek exports (10.5%) and Germany being the main supplier of goods and services (11.9%). Italy (8.3%), China (7.7%) and the Netherlands (6.1%) are the other major suppliers.

Structurally in deficit, the trade balance improved between 2009 and 2016 as imports declined faster than exports. In 2020, exports of goods totalled USD 35.1 billion (-7.4% y-o-y) as imports declined at a faster pace (-10.8% - at USD 55.7 billion). In the same year, exports of services stood at USD 25.8 billion, marking a 42.8% drop, with imports decreasing marginally (-17.5% - at USD 17.4 billion). The World Bank estimates the country’s trade deficit at 7.6% of GDP in 2020, up from a level of 1.7% one year earlier. The latest figures from the Hellenic Statistical Authority show that the total value of imports for the 10-month period from January to October 2021 amounted to USD 60.8 billion (+27% y-o-y), while exports stood at USD 38.7 billion (+29% y-o-y).

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 48,59254,29163,87762,51055,691
Exports of Goods (million USD) 28,13732,64539,50237,90735,169
Imports of Services (million USD) 10,71517,44220,89621,11317,401
Exports of Services (million USD) 27,77737,76843,72944,80725,809

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 64.171.580.081.871.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -19,858-22,389-26,532-25,572-21,135
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -1,713-1,656-3,935-2,008-12,737
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 2.27.48.03.0-6.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -0.48.59.14.8-21.7
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 32.836.541.141.739.4
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 31.335.039.040.131.9

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20212022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 10.215.25.93.12.9
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 4.68.84.73.43.1

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Greece is a member of the following international economic organisations: IMF, European Union, WTO, European Economic Area, ICC, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone (BSEC), OECD, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Greece click here. International organisation membership of Greece is also outlined here.
Free Trade Agreements
The complete and up-to-date list of Free Trade Agreements signed by Greece can be consulted here.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Italy 10.5%
Germany 7.7%
Cyprus 6.0%
France 5.8%
Bulgaria 4.8%
See More Countries 65.3%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Germany 11.9%
Italy 8.3%
China 7.7%
Netherlands 6.1%
France 4.2%
See More Countries 61.8%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

35.1 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 19.8%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 9.1%
Automatic data processing machines and units...Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, n.e.s. 2.0%
Plates, sheets and strip, of aluminium, of a...Plates, sheets and strip, of aluminium, of a thickness of > 0,2 mm (excl. expanded plates, sheets and strip) 1.9%
Fish, fresh or chilled (excl. fish fillets and...Fish, fresh or chilled (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304) 1.8%
See More Products 65.4%
55.5 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals, crude 12.6%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.9%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses incl. those in the form of transdermal administration or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 4.4%
Heterocyclic compounds with nitrogen hetero-atom[s...Heterocyclic compounds with nitrogen hetero-atom[s] only 3.2%
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 2.5%
See More Products 72.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

25.8 bn USD of services exported in 2020
60.91%
19.14%
8.43%
2.95%
2.55%
1.71%
1.68%
1.15%
0.74%
0.51%
0.23%
17.2 bn USD of services imported in 2020
64.66%
8.85%
7.74%
5.25%
3.25%
2.77%
1.86%
1.47%
1.47%
1.36%
1.32%

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: September 2022

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