US interest in Thessaloniki fair wanes

The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce will not take part in Thessaloniki’s International Trade Fair (TIF) next month, despite its involvement in the exhibition for nearly 50 years, due to little interest being shown by US companies. The Chamber of Commerce said yesterday its decison not to have a stand for the United States was made after US car importers, which normally foot a large part of the bill for the exhibition, pulled out. «Only two of the traditional exhibitors declared participation,» it said in a statement. The main reasons cited by importers for their backing out is the «changing commercial nature and importance of TIF and the general economic crisis that has negatively affected the car market in Greece.» The annual trade fair, heralded by the Greek government as being of international interest, has often been criticized for failing to draw corporate participation and being attended by mostly state-backed companies. Development Minister Christos Folias met with the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce yesterday where they agreed to boost efforts to develop business ties between the two nations. A Greek business contingent is to be sent to the USA and will focus on energy and innovations, according to the ministry.