THESSALONIKI – Greece’s growing partnership has helped open the door to the European Union for China – a major investor – while giving Greece a “marble bridge” to China, Julie Haidas, President of the Association of Marble Enterprises of Macedonia-Thrace (SEMMTH) told the news agency Xinhua.
The Chinese port management company COSCO has a controlling stake in the port of Piraeus, making it one of the best in the EU and air links from Athens to China were established, although bloc leaders worry about growing Chinese influence.
Some 50 percent of Greece’s exportable marble goes to China, the rate reaching 80 percent for raw unprocessed marble, she noted, part of a trend that saw Greek exports to China rise 35 percent over 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
“Greece is, in fact, ranked fourth in the world in marble exports. We export 76 percent of our output to more than 120 countries worldwide,” she said.
In the first 11 months of 2021, the Greek marble industry exports rose 25 percent and brought in 332 million euros ($375 million,) said Haidas, who added that the sector has been able to withstand the tough times brought by the pandemic.