As a part of the EU, Greece has access to a vast consumer market, i.e. almost 400 million consumers, which it shares with the other EU member states. Since the labor market in Greece has been improving in the last five years and unemployment is kept under 24% (which is still high if compared to other EU states), it shows that the economy is getting steady again. Nevertheless, some GDP fluctuations have been noticed, and there is still room for improvement and progress.
When it comes to trade and the import-export market, Greece is an active contributor to the exchange of goods. Its biggest trade partner was and remains the EU countries zone, of course, especially Germany which stays its number 1 partner. The biggest external partner of Greece is the USA. Still the import-export ratio is imbalanced in Greece whereby imports are almost as twice as high as exports.
In 2015, Greek imports reached over 47 billion in US dollars, and exports stood at 28 billion US dollars. Greece reached a negative trade balance of almost -19 billion in US dollars. The negative trade imbalance used to be worse back in the days when Greece was not a part of the EU. In the pre-EU era, Greece was known for strict trade measures, which it only lifted when it entered the Eurozone. Even if it was a positive change of directions, Greece still has a long way to go.
The Top Traded Goods
Greece ranks high as a trade partner when it comes to exporting food, beverages, and textile. In 2009, when the crisis was still on, Greece suffered a gap in its exports which brought down the economy. In the world export ranking, it only occupied position 65, which was below the EU average. Besides textile, food, and drinks, Greece also exports petroleum products, manufactured products, and chemicals.
Greece has always had a problem with imports, and even when imports declined during the crisis, they increased again in the last few years. Greece usually imports machinery and transport equipment, mostly from the EU and the USA, since they are more technologically advanced than their domestic ones. Other top import products are chemicals and fuels. It is certain that Greece needs to create a regulation framework to tackle its trade imbalance.