The production of chemicals in Greece represents a significant industrial sector that contributes to the growth of Greek economy by producing internationally traded goods of high added value, attracting investments, supporting important sectors of the economy as well as retaining and promoting skilled jobs. At the same time, the chemical industry’s activities have strong multiplier effects reflected on the GDP, jobs and public revenue, generated either directly or indirectly, while exports, higher labour productivity and better pay levels compared to an average Greek manufacturing enterprise place the industry among the sectors that can promote a new development model for Greece.
Every euro spent on purchasing chemical products (at producer prices) increases the Greek GDP by €1.8.
Every job in production and distribution of chemicals is connected with 5.7 jobs in the Greek economy.
The chemical industry in Greece comprises over 900 companies, which directly employ 12,300 people, accounting for 3.6% of total manufacturing employment.
More than 6,100 people are employed in the wholesale trade of chemicals.
Most employees in the chemical industry (approximately 60%) work in highly skilled positions (manual or non-manual), while the rest in low skilled or unskilled positions. The breakdown of employment for the overall Greek economy amounts to approximately 48% and 40%, respectively. Thus, compared to the structure of employment in the Greek economy, the chemical industry appears to offer considerably more skilled jobs.
The production value of the wholesale trade of chemicals is estimated at €642 million.
The evolution of the production index since 2015 has been notable, as the chemical industry’s production index has been higher than that of manufacturing.
The sector’s Gross Added Value (GAV) is estimated at €811 million, representing 6.6% of GAV in manufacturing.
"The chemical industry’s activities have strong multiplier effects reflected on the GDP, jobs and public revenue."
Exports of chemicals amount to €2.1 billion, contributing 5.4% of the total value of Greek exports.
The extroversion of the chemical industry has increased impressively since 2010, with the sector’s extroversion index (export value to chemicals turnover ratio) reaching 69.2% in 2021 from 55.5% in 2010.
The European chemical industry
Europe is the world’s second largest chemicals producer behind China.
Annual sales of chemicals amount to over €500 billion, although Europe’s share of the global chemicals market has dropped.
The trade balance of chemicals is positive with an annual trade surplus of €45 billion.
The chemical industry is the 4th largest productive sector in Europe. It accounts for 17.7% of manufacturing GVA.
It directly or indirectly employs 3.4 million people, the pharmaceutical industry included, representing 12% of the manufacturing workforce in Europe.
Annual Investments by the chemical industry amount to €50 billion, which means that the industry ranks first among productive sectors.