5 market executives analyze what are the challenges of the construction sector in Greece today, in the context of the 6th Athens Investment Forum.
Petros Suretis (GEK TERNA): There will be a significant delay in public works auctions
Petros Suretis, Authorized Consultant & Executive Member of the Board of Directors of GEK TERNA, referred to the pathologies of the construction industry. As he said, these are the delays in payments to contractors due to paperwork, the fact that the price watchdog remains an “empty letter”, the non-review of project costs, the incomplete studies, the lack of staff that increases construction costs. If these problems are not resolved, “there will be a significant lag in public works tenders” warned P. Suretis, who also emphasized that the problem of lack of human resources remains acute and argued that serious cooperation between the public and private sectors is needed to solve this problem .
Konstantinos Mitzalis (AVAX): A national investment plan is needed
Constantinos Mitzalis, Managing Director & Executive Member of AVAX, also referred to the interrelated challenges facing the sector, who described them as follows:
– to have a specific national investment plan with a horizon of more than 4 years with a convergence of the parties, in order to achieve the implementation of new constructions and the maintenance of older ones
– to ensure the finding of financial resources through PDE and other sources.
– tender procedures to proceed at a reasonable pace without delays due to objections
– to secure raw materials, the necessary equipment and personnel.
Manolis Sigalas (HILL INTERNATIONAL): There should be institutional interventions for workers from abroad
The critical problem of finding human resources was analyzed by Manolis Sigalas, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Europe of HILL INTERNATIONAL. As he said, the problem concerns both talent and workforce and the competition in this field is global.
M. Sigalas presented proposals for attracting engineers, where he said that we must insist on trying to repatriate the talents who have left abroad, providing tax incentives. He also said that good pay and perspective should be given. As M. Sigalas explained, HILL INTERNATIONAL implements a training program for young engineers in projects of international scope, who are not paid by the project itself but by the company, which, as he explained, may reduce profits temporarily but pays off a lot afterwards. Regarding workers from third countries, he said that “an institutional approach and cooperation between the government and the private sector is needed. Within 2024, the necessary institutional interventions must be made so that the projects are not delayed.”
Anthimos Amanatidis (EYATH): The new green headquarters will soon be operational
The company’s managing director, Anthimos Amanatidis, presented the actions EYATH is taking in order to ensure the sustainability of its operation. As EYATH explained, it has started projects to increase the safety of water resources from pollution, the reduction of energy costs, the adoption of RES, the treatment of wastewater, the installation of photovoltaics. “Our strategic goal is to reduce our carbon footprint by 50% and our water footprint by 20%,” said A. Amanatidis, who assured that the company will soon be operating in the new zero-energy green building in the center of Thessaloniki.
Dimitris Nektarios ( DELOITTE ): The big challenges
Dimitris Nektarios, Partner-Financial Advisory of DELOITTE, presented the main challenges of the construction industry as prioritized by industry executives and recorded in a relevant study. These challenges are digital transformation, ESG environmental standards, rising costs – inflationary pressures, contract management – introducing more flexible contracts, public-private partnership with risk sharing, personnel and talent management.