ECONOMY

Greece’s marble big in China

China uses an increasing volume of Greek marble each year for its construction, with the value of Greek exports to the Far East country reaching $25 million. However, the Chinese market appears to require even more quantities of Greek marble, according to statements by the Asian country’s trade attache in Greece, Cheng Dayan, during his visit to the northern city of Drama yesterday. Cheng revealed that the aim of his fourth visit to the Macedonian city was to continue promoting exports of Greek marble to his country, with the prefecture of Drama being the top marble exporter in Greece. According to the Chinese official, his country last year imported 118,000 tons of marble from Greece, about 16.4 percent of all its marble imports. The value of exports to China rose from $23 million in 2006 to $25 million in 2007. For China, marble is the biggest import from Greece. Cheng described as very important the fact that demand for low-quality marble has dropped, while demand for products of good-quality, particularly white marble, has risen. China is also interested in other Greek imports, mainly of agricultural products, while maintaining its interest in Greek tourism. Drama prefect Constantinos Evmiridis proposed to Cheng the hosting of travel agents from China. Kyriakos Harakidis, head of the Drama Chamber of Commerce, said a deal is possible between the chamber and Chinese companies wishing to import Greek products.