Marmomac 2019 welcomed the 5th edition of the International Stone Summit, the world conference dedicated to natural stone attended by the leading international associations in marble sector.
This year the main topic of the summit was “The international marketing network for natural stone: experiences, challenges, ideas”, aiming at bringing together the main international marble associations from countries involved with the intention of developing content and stimulating opportunities for discussion and debate focusing on natural stone.
Among other delegates from several countries, Mrs Konstantina Lazis, President and Mr Panagiotis Iliopoulos, vice-president of the Greek Association of Marble Companies of Macedonia and Thrace represented Greece, which has become an important player in marble trade games, as it has been ranked 4th in the world rankings of marble producing countries, according to recent statistic data by the International Trade Center. The members-businesses of the Association of Marble Companies of Macedonia and Thrace produce and export Greek Marble to 120 countries, by covering commercially the biggest part of the international stone market and demand.
In her speech, Mrs Lazis referred to the historicity and the value of Greek marble since ancient times, highlighting what makes it special and exceptional: “The Greek Marble constitutes the combination of rich Greek subsoil, quality of petrification, Greek know-how in marble excavation and processing that already dates five (5) milleniums back and of course the sharp commercial spirit of Greek merchants who were the first in the developing world to trade and export marble volumes by water.”, said Mrs Lazis.
“Those 3 features: 1) Greek Subsoil – High quality petrification, 2) Know-how in Excavation and Processing and 3) Extroversion and sharp commercial judgment were applied by subsequent empiries and the rest of the world by building up to this day important masterpieces of human civilization using Greek Marble.
The contemporary consumer who chooses his house or even certain objects of his daily life to be decorated by a piece of Greek Land, a piece of Greek Marble, feels, knows and realizes that, by using it, the result and the vibes generated carry a part of Greek History and Cultural Inheritance. Moreover, know-how in excavation and processing in combination with extroversion and commercial skills of Greek businesses guarantee an impeccable outcome.”, she added.
As for challenges that natural stone sector has to face and overcome, Mrs Lazis pointed out the rise of artificial stone as one of the most important. More specifically, she said “many projects nowadays use man made, artificial stone. This phenomenon is due to: a) the consumers show the tendency to make the difference, b) the cost for the majority of those types of artificial stones is in many cases lower and c) the consumers are inadequately informed and unaware of the quality features and the Historical and Qualitative Nature and Value of the Greek Marble.”
“It is indisputable that new challenges lie ahead for all natural stones, for all of us who are here in this room today representing the sector of natural marble. And we need to address several serious issues among which the future of our materials, the harsh competition coming from man made, artificial stones and the positioning of the natural stone in the era of climate change, environmental protection and last but not least, circular economy.”, closed Mrs Lazis.