Strategic investments and improvement of the investment landscape by accelerating the procedures for private and strategic investments.

Strategic investments and improvement of the investment landscape by accelerating the procedures for private and strategic investments.

Law 4864/2021 entitled “Strategic investments and improvement of the investment landscape through the acceleration of procedures in private and strategic investments, creation of a framework for spin-off companies and other urgent provisions for development” was published in the Government Gazette.

Strategic Investments are private investments, considered to be crucial to the national or local economy due to their potential to make significant qualitative and quantitative contributions, in certain sectors such as employment, productive reconstruction, as well as to the promotion of the natural and cultural environment of the country following the basic socially fair, without exclusions, balanced and sustainable developmental principles having as main characteristics capital attraction, extroversion and export activity, innovation, competitiveness, integrated design, conservation of natural resources in the perspective of a circular economy and high added value, mainly in sectors of economic activity of international products or services.

Strategic investments are classified into the following categories depending on the incentives provided: Strategic Investments 1, Strategic Investments 2, Emblematic Investments of great significance, Fast-Track Investments, Automatically classified as Strategic Investments.

A. Strategic Investment Categories

Strategic investments are divided into sub-categories, depending on the conditions required for inclusion per category.

A.1 Strategic Investments 1

  • Total Budget: > 75.000.000 € or
  • Total Budget: > 40.000.000 € and Annual Work Units (AWU): 75

A.2 Strategic Investments 2

  • Total Budget: > 20.000.000 € concerning one or more of the following sectors: agri-food, research and innovation, biotechnology, cultural and creative industry, robotics, artificial intelligence, medical tourism, waste management, space industry, or if the investment concerns the digital transformation of the business or the provision of cloud computing.
  • Total Budget: > 30.000.000 € and AWU: ≥ 50
  • Investments within Organized Receptors of Manufacturing and Business Activities: Total Budget: > 20.000.000 € and AWU: ≥ 40

A.3 Emblematic Investments of Great Significance

  • Investments implemented by distinguished legal entities that promote the green economy, innovation, technology, the economy with a low energy and environmental footprint, as well as investments that significantly strengthen the Greek economy and its competitiveness at an international level

A.5 Automatically classified as Strategic Investments 

  • Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) (regardless of the budget)
  • Projects of Common Interest (PCI) (regardless of the budget)
  • Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI) (regardless of the budget)
  • Investments of spatial organization of enterprises (development of business parks of Law 3982/2011), in an area of more than 500 acres and with a total budget of > 10,000,000 euros

Special provisions for Renewable Energy Investments (RES)

Investments in energy production units are classified as Strategic Investments, if cumulatively, and with the individual conditions of the category they apply for, they also meet the following two (2) conditions:

a. They fall into one of the following categories:

  • Systems that combine a power plant from RES and a system for the production of “green” hydrogen, provided that the generated electricity is exclusively used for the production of hydrogen.
  • Installations of offshore wind and/or floating photovoltaic parks RES projects that interconnect areas of the country via submarine cable, which areas have not been interconnected and are not planned to be interconnected with the National Electricity Transmission System, in accordance with the approved, at the time of the application for inclusion, Ten-Year Development Plan of the National Electricity Transmission System
  • RES projects of fully controlled electricity generation according to par. 14 of article 2 of Law 4414/ 2016 (A’ 149)

b. They have a budget of at least 75.000.000 euros.

B. Incentives and Benefits granted.

The following categories of incentives and benefits are granted, linked to the specific categories of Strategic Investments, as specifically mentioned above.

B.1. Residence Permit and Tax Residence (Article 1, Par. 2)

Up to ten (10) executives of the implementing entity with their families are granted with a Residence Permit in Greece, while they may maintain their tax residence abroad, for the income that is not acquired in Greece.

B.2 Spatial Development Incentive – (ESHASE) (Article 7)

It is possible to draw up Special Plans for the Spatial Development of Strategic Investments (ESHASE), which is approved by a Presidential Decree.

B.3 Tax Incentives (Article 8)

The following Tax Incentives are granted:

  1. Stabilization of income tax rate for 12 years, from the completion of the investment plan.
  2. Tax exemption i.e., the exemption from the payment of the income tax on the profits made before taxation, that derive, based on the tax legislation, from all the activities of the enterprise, after the deduction of the tax of the legal entity, which corresponds to the profits distributed or withdrawn.
  3. Acceleration of the tax depreciation of fixed assets that have been included in a particular investment plan by increasing the relevant rates by 100%. The final increased rate may not exceed 40%, if the initial depreciation rate is more than 20%.

B.4 Fast-track Licensing (Article 9)

All licenses and approvals for the implementation of Strategic Investments including spatial permits are issued within forty-five (45) calendar days.

B.5 Subsidies (Article 10)

For investments classified as strategic, aid is provided in the form of a grant, which consists of a capital to cover part of the aided costs and calculated as a percentage of them.

B.5.1. Eligible Costs

  1. Subsidy for the recruitment of disadvantaged workers and people with disabilities, in accordance with Articles 32 and 33 of Regulation (EU) 651/2014. This benefit/aid, summed together with any other State aid received by the implementing entity, may not exceed EUR 5.000.000 (per investment project).
  2. Subsidy for research and development projects, in accordance with Article 25 of Regulation (EU) 651/2014, in cases where the project concerns industrial research, experimental development or feasibility studies. The aid granted in this category, summed with any other State aid received by the implementing entity, may not exceed:
  • EUR 20.000.000/ investment project, for industrial research projects
  • EUR 15.000.000/ investment project, for experimental development projects
  • EUR 7.500.000/ investment project for feasibility and preparation studies

B.5.2. Subsidies for “Emblematic Investments of Great Significance”

Investment projects that are classified as “Emblematic Investments of Great Significance” may also receive the following benefits, alternatively or cumulatively:

  1. Cash grants, consisting of the provision of capital by the State to cover part of the aided costs as a percentage of them.
  2. The leasing subsidy, which is the coverage by the State of part of the instalments paid under a leasing contract concluded for the acquisition of new machinery and other equipment and is determined as a percentage of the acquisition value of the latter, which is allocated and included in the instalments paid.
  3. Subsidies for employment, consisting by the State covering part of the wage costs, for the new jobs created and are linked to the investment project.

The above benefits are granted as individual benefits/aid, either under Regulation (EU) 651/2014, or following an approving decision of the European Commission.

For this category, investments that are implemented within the Delignification Zones (Z.A.P.) may receive this benefit/aid at a rate of one hundred percent (100%), calculated on the percentage of the aid intensity provided for under the Regulation (EU) 651/2014.  Investments implemented outside Z.A.P., may receive the above-mentioned aid at the rate of eighty percent (80%).

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