Traders pack bags for Iran

The Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) is organizing a business delegation to the Iranian capital Teheran in November, in a bid to broaden Greek business ties with the Middle Eastern state. TCCI, which has 20,000 members, said yesterday a group of businessmen from sectors including construction, energy, telecommunications, shipping and tourism will visit Teheran from November 6 to 10. Trade between the two countries is mostly focused on Greece importing crude oil from Iran. Greece’s ambassador in Teheran, Nikolaos Garilidis, was recently cited by the Iranian press as saying trade between Greece and Iran reached 2.03 billion euros in 2008, with 99 percent of this amount relating to Greek imports of Iranian crude oil. Greek exports to Iran totaled some 8 million euros. Greece, which is heavily reliant on fuel imports, is currently meeting 30 percent of its energy needs with Iranian crude oil.