Trade in Macedonia suffered enormously as a consequence of the Ottoman conquest. However, it revived quickly thanks to the arrival of the Jews (16th century), who filled the vacuum left by the disappearance of the Byzantine merchant class.
Afterwards, the course of Macedonia's foreign trade followed the ongoing reshuffling of economic forces in central and northern Europe. The decline in commercial relations between the Jews of Thessaloniki and Venice in the early 17th century opened the door to the French and a bit later to the Austrians, who were extremely interested in Macedonian cotton thread, wool and tobacco.
During the same century, particularly after the Capitulations became more widespread, European merchants (English, Dutch, Scandinavians, Germans and Swiss) who imported glass, iron and textiles and exported raw materials, made their first appearance in Thessaloniki and at the trade fairs.
Meanwhile, the Greek population was claiming an already significant, if not the largest, share of the commercial activity. This was also the period when western Macedonian Greeks abroad were founding trade centers in central and northern Europe.