International Human Capital Combined with Innovation Spurring Success

Crossing International Borders


Lou Calamaras, CCWP Director Global Client Solutions CXC Global North America

“The latest survey of the Greek labor market by Manpower Group reported the strongest hiring intentions for over nine years. More than one in four Greek employers say they plan to hire more workers in the second quarter of this year, while just 5% say they expect to cut staff, the survey found. This is common with several countries that faced similar global downturns and it was international human capital combined with innovation that spurred success celebrated today.  Reaching out across borders to cement joint-ventures where mutual interests are rewarded is the key to a lasting, productive global economy.” Lou Calamaras, CCWP, Director Global Client Solutions, CXC Global North America.  Follow Lou on Twitter.

ATHENS—As economic growth returns to Greece after a decade of crisis, so are some businesses that once wrote the country off.

In late April, food retailer Spar opened two new supermarkets on the islands of Crete and Skiathos, the start of a planned 350-store expansion in Greece.

Only two years ago, the Netherlands-based group abandoned Greece after its local partner in a joint venture went under. It was part of a wave of retail-sector failures in a country where household incomes had fallen by one-third since the beginning of the crisis in 2009.

Greece’s prospects look a lot brighter today. Gross domestic product grew by 1.4% last year, the first substantial annual rise since 2007, led by a sharp rise in investment. Business surveys show activity, new orders and hiring intentions at levels not seen for years. Economists expect around 2% growth this year.

After one of the longest and deepest economic depressions of modern times, Greece is finally starting to recover. If sustained, a Greek recovery would end the last chapter of the eurozone’s crisis even more aptly than the scheduled end of the Athens government’s international bailout this summer.

“The worst is definitely behind us,” said Fivos Karakitsos, chief executive of Spar Hellas. Asset prices have fallen so far that it makes sense for investors to return, he added. “If the current stability in politics and the society continues, we will see growth.”

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