The settlement in Greek-Macedonia of Greeks from Asia Minor, as well as from Serb-Macedonia and Bulgaria, created great difficulties, since housing and support had to be provided for so many people. The quality of their skills, however, had a beneficial impact on the region's economy and social life.
At the same time, major land reclamation projects were under way, which were also badly needed for the rehabilitation of the refugees. These, combined with the appropriation of the chiftliks and Church property, led to increased production and a real revolution in the agricultural status quo.
The introduction, mainly by the refugees, of new cultivation methods, the founding of cooperatives, the increased labor force after the population exchange, and the policy of protective tariffs on imports, adopted by successive Greek governments, led to production increases and gave a substantial boost to industry, trade, and exports.
Furthermore, the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair, inaugurated in 1926, made a significant contribution to the growth of the regional economy, which was, however, severely set back by the Great Depression of 1929.