Q Paper is for Country Culture Project (GREECE)- focus will be based on cultural, social, ethical and religious aspects Home, - Country Culture Project (GREECE) Country Culture Project (GREECE) Introduction The historical background of the country Greece is one of the Mediterranean country located in the south of Europe. The capital city of this country is Athens, the next largest city is Thessaloniki; and is divided into 13 different regions comprising of 325 municipalities. According to the census of 2015 the population of this country is more than 12.5 million inhabitants. The history of Hellenistic eras of Greece have left behind precious ideas, arts and concepts which laid the foundation of the present day's Western Civilization (Knight, 2018). The history of Greece is rich with respect to succession of dominance and invasions. Their history is also known for constitutional monarchy before 1974, which is mainly attributed to the dictatorship. Latter the system of government was changed to the presidential parliamentary democracy and in 1981 the country become a member of European Union (Knight, 2018). Scope of the report The scope of this present report is to evaluate the cultural diversity of Greece. The focus will be based on cultural, social, ethical and religious aspects which will further be link to aspects related to business. In addition to this, the regulatory issues with reference to the local government and foreign investment will also be discussed. Overall, the information will be helpful in determining the objectives such that a multinational company can effectively set up business in the selected country Greece. The social-political framework In the present context, Greece is one of the developed countries which follows open economy system. The national economy from industrial and agricultural sector comprises of 12% and 3% respectively, however the majority of economic input comprises of the service sectors, 85%. Sutter more according to the United Nations World tourism organization, Greece is ranked as seventh most visited countries among the EU. However the economic recession in the country is being faced since the global financial crisis of 2008 (Knight, 2015). Economy of the state is mainly the result and of European sovereign debt crisis. The GDP of this nation is worth 195 billion US dollars, 2016, 0.3% of the world economy. The country's hidden strength is found to be productive for their investment in tourism sector. The parliamentary structure in Greece is republic where the president holds executive power. The president of Republic, formerly appoints the Prime Minister and upon his recommendation at points or dismisses other cabinet members. Greece have a capitalist economy and the public sector accounts for more than 40% of their GDP. That you cannot make sentiment of the country is found to improve by 2016-17 which is because of the agreement between government and investors. The EU/IMF bailout program implemented by the government is the primary reason to spend in the economy, which liberalize the labor market, the product markets were now open, encourages enterprises to generate revenue, cut public payrolls, strengthen tax and enforcement, streamline the investment procedures, and enhances the market competitiveness (Andreasen, Sandleris & Van der Ghote, 2018). In addition, the government also restructured the promotion program named as “one-stop-shop” investment policy which attract the foreign investors. Cultural, social, ethical, religious and other values of society In order to do business in Greece, it is essential to have patience as Greek are expert in bargainers and uses quick judgment. The melee preferred business discussion over a cup of coffee or during business lunch or dinner, however they also execute all modern ways of business dealing. For the business schemes, the traits which are of high importance are the interpersonal skills, communication and family ties. The individual security is sensed with the role of social structure, trustworthy friendship and extended family relationship (Lavdas, 2016). The official language of this country is Greek and majority of its population 97% follow Christianity as their primary religion. The people have very strong belief related to religion and politics however they are open to discussion based on cultural and historical topics. Importantly, people in Greece don't accept criticism about society and routine life from outsiders. According to a report by Lavdas (2016), in order to build and sustain business or personal relationship with Greek people, it is essential to understand and respect their cultural issues. Greek being religiously orthodox, Church plays a vital role in their everyday life. The important events such as weddings, baptism, and funerals are usually held at church, and attended even by people who are not normally attending church (for example youth). How they impact the organization to be set up in the foreign country Greeks are very much proud of their culture and they maintain a professional attitude during business meetings. The way of business dealings are mainly founded based on interpersonal relationship. They vastly prefer face-to-face meeting instead of telephony or email communication. It is also important that for business proposal pushing an agenda or steering discussions are not considered favorably. However, to the topic introduced by Greek or to any proposed concept must be accepted with respect. Although it take some time to develop a trustworthy relationship however the first impression is of paramount importance. It is also important to identify the decision-makers and respect the hierarchy within this system. In the present contact it will be common to find international business offices mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki, because of which the living standards (and cost) in these cities are very high. Overall, the cultural and social events and corresponding interaction forms the basis of interpersonal or economic relationship (Hornuf & Schwienbacher, 2016). The country experienced an economic boom in year 1981 when it was inducted within European Union, However, there was a critical financial crisis in the year 2008. The crisis affect the country because of its planning, and high level of corruption (Knight, 2015). In the present context, the company allows European investments because of the free trade policy. In addition, tourist destinations attract a considerable number of visitors. These places are also attractive for the foreign companies to invest and gain financial transactions in return of products and services. Issues of concern to the local government and people with regards to foreign investment activity As mentioned in the earlier context, interpersonal skills and building a trustworthy relationship is vital for establishing business relationships in this country. Learning of Greek language is one of the toughest challenge for setting the business however English language is now commonly being employed for all business transactions. Since 2015 degrees government have framed an international investment policy which is worth €86 billion, according to bailout agreement. An example of such commitment is the Trans Adriatic Pipeline TAP, Which accounts for the construction business, since 2016. The structural reforms that have created challenges to the investors include the significant pressure with reference to the labor act and the social security tax rates. In addition to this, bureaucracy and corruption also add barrier to the existing firms in market and to for the entry of newer firms. As a member of EU, Greece is also required to meet Eurozone investment regulations. The reforms are existing in energy sector, purchasing land in border region, and certain islands because of national security consideration. Furthermore the financial challenges for investments are also added because the foreign investors can buy or sell shares on Athens Stock Exchange only as a local investors. On the other hand, the government are not aligning in accordance to any investment policies according to the OECD, UNCTAD, and World Trade Organization (WTO). Business facilitations in this country, for example, for the process like digitalization, registration, monitoring of commercial Enterprises, and online (e commerce) processes are managed by organization, referred to as General Commercial Register. In general, it is mandatory for any foreign investment company to be registered with tax registry, social security, business chamber, and local municipality (Díez-Esteban, Farinha, & García-Gómez, 2016). The agencies that support the foreign investment in this country is known as “Enterprise Greece” and is certified officially by the ministry of Economic Development and Tourism. This month's ability of this organization is to provide a complete vision for the services required by international business relationship, international market scenario, and linking with the domestic business development. In addition to this, the organization also offers complimentary services for an investment of more than €20 million. The complimentary support include bureaucratic obstacles, delays, and official approval in conjunction to the investment projects. The licensing procedure for the strategic investments are mainly handled by authority referred to as “General Secretariat for Strategic and Private Investments” (Hovardas, 2015). Apart from the foreign investment, the organization also supports the expansion of Greek company internationally. The definition for the size of Enterprises in this country are in accordance to the EU definition, which means (Ringe, 2017): • Micro Enterprises - The annual turnover below €2 million and number of employees less than 10. • Small Enterprises - The annual turnover below €10 million and number of employees less than 50. • Medium sized Enterprises - The annual turnover below €43 million and number of employees less than 250. From the perspective of US multinational corporation for investment in Greece Despite of the fact that Greece have serious political challenges, the market opportunities remains always open for the US based companies. This includes favoring the opportunity of finding a local partner and sourcing the finances for implementation of projects or commercial transactions. Notably the contraction of bank lending is responsible for drained capital from the domestic market as reported by Tori & Onaran (2017), however the US based products were still accepted by the local community. Owing to the innovation, quality, and technological advancement the US based products are preferred compared to that of the EU or Asian suppliers. In this regard, it is also noteworthy to mention that Enterprise Greece supports the Greek companies to enter the United State government's annual USA investment Summit. The activity not only support the US based investors (newer firms) into the country, but also promotes the investment of Greek companies in US. Conclusions In summary, the present report discusses the cultural economic political social and other related aspects from business investment point of view. It is learned that Greek are proud of their cultural and social customers. In order to establish the business relationship it is of immense importance to frame appropriate interpersonal as well as communicative relationship. From other perspectives such as language, religion, cultural difference, the country shoes no particular barrier for entry of any newer firm. Importantly, it was also learned that the dispute in politics and the bureaucracy does not affect the recent financial establishment and growth. The limits on foreign control and ownership within this country is established according to the policies of Eurozone. Certain restrictions are mended which are according to the border security policies and frameworks of Athens Stock Exchange. The country has its own tax regulations labor act and trade policies, which are in accordance to the established regulations of EU nations. However, they do not follow the investment policy framed by WTO, UNCTAD, and OECD. In addition to this, the recent International bailout program which is an agreement between the Greek government and foreign investors, facilitates the foreign investment. From the market competitiveness, it is learned that Greek people support US based products because of their quality and technological advancement, in comparison to that of European or Asian products. Overall, it is learned that foreign investment into this country is not a prime challenge however establishment of trustworthy relationship and understanding their local traits is of high importance.