31 October 2011

Finnish tourists more than satisfied from Ohrid vacation

Finnish tourists who spent their summer vacation for the first time in Ohrid are satisfied from the visit to Macedonia. The internal poll conducted by the Finnish tour operator “Aurinkomatkat” showed that the guests were pleasantly surprised by overall tourist offer, mostly from hospitality of the Macedonian people.
According to answers by guests given in the poll comprised of 30 questions, Macedonia was evaluated 4.42 of maximum grade 5, which is very positive information, mainly for the tour operator which already has announced increase of charter flights for Ohrid next year.
Director of the Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism Zoran Strezoski said that further attraction of guest should be promoted in services of hotel management from aspect to use world standards.
Ohrid - leading tourist destination in Macedonia.
He added that we should continue to believe that Ohrid and Macedonia have much to offer, to follow world trends, but we should work on alleviation of shortages and improvement of infrastructure.
Around 1.000 guests from Finland spent summer vacation for the first time in Ohrid accommodated in famous hotels. Ten charter flights from Helsinki to Ohrid with 100 tourists were realised.
Tour operator “Aurinkomatkat” which placed Macedonia in its tourist offer, is part of Fin Air company and is one of the largest tour operators in Finland, providing services to over 350.000 tourists per year.
Source: http://www.mia.com.mk/default.aspx?vId=88035744&lId=2&pmId=504

30 October 2011

MIA, Macedonia: “A Name is a Name” documentary to be screened at Global Wake Up Film Festival in Chicago

Skopje. "A Name is a Name" documentary about Macedonia and the Macedonian people will be screened Saturday in Chicago in the frames of the Global Wake Up Film Festival, organised by the United Nations Association of Chicago, Macedonian MIA news agency informed.
"A Name is a Name" documentary is produced by Jason Miko and directed by Icelander Sigurjon Einarson, who lives and works in Norway.
The story line is that of a Scandinavian man who comes to Macedonia, rents a motorcycle, and travels around the country talking to Macedonians from all classes and backgrounds. The traveller, as he is known, never speaks on camera and in fact, we never learn his name or what country he hails from. Instead, his thoughts are conveyed through Sir Andrew Motion with subtitles in English for the interviews. Interspersed throughout the conversations will be Macedonia itself – the stunning landscapes and scenery that make up this gentle country and ancient land.

Organic Food Festival, Macedonia leader in organic production in the region

The organic food production becomes recognisable agricultural production and more accessible for the citizens, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management Ljupco Dimovski said at opening of the 1st Organic Food Festival under the motto "From nature to me" held Saturday at Macedonia Square in organisation of the City of Skopje and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management and in cooperation with the Macedonian Organic Producers Federation. 
Dimovski said that continuous growth and development of organic production has been noted in the Republic of Macedonia. In 2010 the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management registered the biggest growth in this sector according to number of producers and according to certified production area.
Of 321 certified producers of organic food in 2009, their number reached 562 in 2010. The certified production area was increased by more than three times by only one year i.e. from 1.400ha in 2009 to 5.225ha in 2010, Dimovski said. 
The area for organic production of grain was increased by more than 2.300ha for only one year. Also large growth was registered in organic grape growing – from 60.4ha in 2009, the area of organic grape was increased by 244 ha in 2010.
In organic cattle breeding last year compared to 2009 the number of heads was increased by over 2.000. The record increase of number of organic sheep is from 22.000 to 100.000.
Organic producers were paid subsidies at amount of EUR 1,62 million in 2010 according to the Government’s Financial Support Programme. More than EUR 1.78 million is allocated from the budget for support of organic production for this year, Dimovski said.
Thirty organic food producers from the country and the region will be presented today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. providing tasty, natural organic food for tasting accompanied by live entertainment programme by music band "Mama band."
Festival’s goal is to emphasise the importance of natural, organic food for the health of current and future generations but also for maintenance of biodiversity.

28 October 2011

'Macedonia Timeless - Food' Picks up Croatia Award

TV clip "Macedonia Timeless - Food" has received international award for "Impressive Presentation of Macedonia's Tourism Values" at the tourism film festival in Solin, Croatia.
This is the clip's second international award, which acknowledges the appropriate promotion of Macedonia's values as a tourism destination."Macedonia Timeless - Food", produced by agency "Republika", was also rewarded at the Budva international tourism festival, receiving the top gong for a TV clip.

“Vero” opening two new supermarkets in Macedonia

Company “Vero” denied yesterday the media  rumors that it’s leaving from Macedonia and announces opening of two new supermarkets. The company’s officials  said that the market in this country operate profitably.
In the first six months of the year Vero’s profit grew by 25% compared to same period last year.
"The results achieved Veropulos Skopje are among the best throughout Veropulos group. The company has seen continuous growth, has set long-term development policy, and soon, in December this year, will open a new supermarket in Vero Skopje. Next year our investment plan includes the opening of another supermarket, "the company’s officials stated.
"Development plans Veropulos and passion with which people run this company, confirmed that Vero will continue to grow and implement new standards and innovation in retail services,", Costas Teodosiadis, director of  of Veropulos Skopje told to the media.

Macedonia awards geology contract for Lukovo Pole Dam, 5-MW Crn Kamen

SKOPJE, Macedonia 10/27/11 (PennWell) -- A Macedonia utility has awarded a contract to Civil Engineering Institute Makedonia to provide geological investigation services for construction of Lukovo Pole Dam on the Kosovo border and construction of the 5-MW Crn Kamen hydro plant.
AD Elektrani na Makedonija-Skopje (JSC Macedonian Power Plants-Skopje) recruited consultants in April to define geotechnical conditions for construction of the alignment and engineering structures of the dam, 20-kilometer headrace canal, and the small hydro plant.
The 545,544 euro (US$756,432) bid of Civil Engineering Institute was chosen over bids by a joint venture led by Karst d.o.o. and a joint venture of SEA Consulting S.r.l. (Geidata Engineering S.p.A. - INTERGEO Environmental Techology Ltd.)
Lukovo Poleis to be a 71-meter-tall rockfill dam, reservoir, and intake canal to divert water from the Korab Mountains. The project is to divert additional water through Macedonia's existing Mavrovo River cascade, resulting in additional generation at the 150-MW Vrutok, 19.2-MW Raven, and 12.8-MW Vrben hydroelectric plants. Additionally, the 5-MW Crn Kamen hydropower plant is to be built at the primary outlet of Lukovo Pole.

Macedonia Top Business Reformer According To Report

By Svetla Dimitrova
According to its Doing Business 2012 report, issued jointly with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), 21 of the 24 countries in the region, including all Southeast European nations with the exception of Greece, implemented a total of 53 pro-business reforms.
“For the ninth consecutive year, Eastern Europe and Central Asia [are] the world’s most reforming region,” Iva Hamel, private sector development specialist at the World Bank-IFC Indicator Based Reform Advisory, told SETimes after presenting the study’s findings in Sarajevo.
She also noted that four of the countries from this region were among the 12 global economies found to have improved most on the ease of doing business during the survey period.
The majority of countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia made strides to improve the business environment for domestic small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) between June 2010 and June 2011, the World Bank said on October 20th.
Morocco led the list, followed by Moldova and Macedonia, which carried out four pro-business reforms, each, last year.
The 212-page report covers 183 world economies, ranking them on the basis of an analysis of regulations in the areas affecting the lifecycle of domestic SMEs.
The ten indicators used in determining a country’s position include the time and cost to start and close a business, trading across borders, investor protections, registering property, construction permits, enforcing contracts, paying taxes and getting credit, as well as a new category measuring the ease of getting electricity.
Macedonia implemented reforms that made it easier to deal with construction permits, registering property, getting credit and resolving insolvency. This helped the Balkan nation improve its ranking in each of those individual categories and increase its overall ranking.
The country, which leaped 12 places to 22nd in the world, is the Southeast European country where it is easiest for domestic SMEs to do business.
According to Business Confederation of Macedonia employee Aleksandar Jovchevski, the changes have led to a significant increase in the number of SMEs in the country.
“The bulk of them operate in the construction sector, where the demand has grown following the launch of the Skopje 2014 project and further works on Pan-European transport corridors 8 and 10,” he told SETimes.
“Macedonia has made the biggest jump and is now among the top 30 in the world,” Hamel said.
“The wider use of modern technology in bureaucratic processes, which has reduced the time needed for obtaining any type of documents from the relevant services, has also contributed to an increase in the number of newly opened businesses,” Jovchevski said.
“It is not a problem to open a business from a technical standpoint; the challenge is to make it work long-term,” Mile Chupetanski, the owner of the ESKALIBUR engine-retooling factory in Bitola, told SETimes.

The other regional nations that improved their rankings were Cyprus (40th), Turkey (71st), Greece (100th) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (125th). The countries that lost ground were Bulgaria (59th), Romania (72nd), Croatia (80th), Albania (82nd) and Serbia (92nd).

25 October 2011

Cheap Skopje - Rome Flights via Blu-Express Airlines

Italian low-cost airline Blu-express, a division of Blue Panorama Airlines, will introduce regular Skopje-Rome flights on October 30.
The flights are scheduled for Thursday and Sunday, said Italy's Embassy via a press release this morning.
This flight connection will certainly contribute to bolstering the economic cooperation between the two friendly countries, the press release reads.
Few weeks ago a direct Skopje-Venice flight was also promoted.

Tose Proeski Memorial - Among Top Three projects for Building of 2011

Memorial House of Macedonia's late pop star Tose Proeski has great chances to win the People's Choice Award - the building of 2011, launched this year within the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Barcelona.
The Memorial House Tose Proeski has two rivals - the 'Atmosphere' building in Kolkata, India, and the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City. This morning Proeski's Memorial has top the list with 6,900 on-line votes on the following web site: http://openbuildings.com/peoples_choice/waf/leaderboard. The voting is opened by November 4.A total of 704 buildings, located across the globe, have been competing for the award.
Under the support of the Ministry of Culture, the project of Proeski's Memorial will be presented at the Festival's closing day - November 4.Dejan Sekulovski, one of the designers of Proeski's Museum, expressed hope that the project could even win the award.
WAF is the world’s largest, live, inclusive and interactive global architecture event and features the world's biggest architectural contest – The World Architectural Festival Awards.

Stobi on World Monuments Fund 2012 watch list

Archaeological site Stobi is the only Macedonian representative in the group of cultural monuments of universal significance that require global attention on the World Monuments Fund 2012 watch list.
World Monuments Funds released the 2012 list in New York on October 5, including 67 sites and monuments from 41 countries worldwide.
Stobi - remains of a house.
National institution "Stobi" has said this represents a good opportunity to respond to challenges for conservation of Stobi buildings from the aspect of finances and human resources through international projects.
Besides conservation, the second priority is increasing the site's tourism promotion and acquainting the local population with Stobi's significance in a wider sense.
Every two years since 1996, the World Monuments Watch calls international attention to cultural heritage around the globe that is at risk from the forces of nature and the impact of social, political, and economic change.

19 October 2011

Macedonia, Qatar sign deals on investment, tourism

Macedonian authorities say Qatar and Macedonia have agreed to mutually protect and promote investments, as well as to cooperate on tourism.
The office of Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has not made public any details on the treaties signed Monday during a visit to Macedonia by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Macedonia and Qatar also inked agreements on culture, education and health following talks between Al Thani and Ivanov.
The Qatari leader, who is accompanied by a 100-member business delegation, will meet Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Tuesday.

17 October 2011

Emir of Qatar to visit Macedonia on Monday

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, will arrive on Monday (Oct. 17) for a two-day official visit to the Republic of Macedonia upon an invitation by President Gjorge Ivanov.
This is the first official visit by a ruler from the Arab world since Macedonia declared independence. The Emir of Qatar kicks off his European tour in Macedonia, followed by visits to Albania, Poland and Ukraine.On Tuesday, according to the agenda, the Emir of Qatar is scheduled to meet with Premier Nikola Gruevski and with Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski. He is also set to tour Skopje's landmarks and the Old Bazaar.
The visit is significant because it lays a foundation for the political dialogue to be resumed and represents a strong signal for intensifying overall cooperation, especially business ties, President's cabinet says in a press release on Friday.The Macedonian President and the Emir of Qatar at their meeting on Monday will discuss bilateral relations and recent developments in Balkan countries, the Middle East and North Africa.
An emphasis will be put on advancing countries' economic relations - boosting trade exchange and reviewing possibilities for direct Qatar investments in Macedonia's economy.Several bilateral agreements in the field of culture, education, health and economy will be signed during Qatar Emir's visit to Macedonia, reads the press release.
The governments of the Republic of Macedonia and the State of Qatar will ink treaties on mutual promotion and protection of investments, regulation of workers' employment in the State of Qatar and on visa abolition for owners of diplomatic, official and special passports.Both delegations will sign a memorandum of understanding for tourism cooperation between Macedonia's Ministry of Economy and Qatar's relevant body for tourism, a memorandum of understanding in the field of education between the two governments, a memorandum of cooperation in the health-care sector as well as cooperation accord in the sphere of culture.
Furthermore, an agreement for cooperation and information exchange between the Macedonian Information Agency and the Qatar News Agency, a memorandum of understanding between the Macedonian Economic Chamber, the Association of Chambers of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce of Northwestern Macedonia and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as an agreement establishing common business council will be signed.In 2003, Qatar provided financial and political support for the summit of SEE heads of state entitled "Dialogue Among Civilisations", which was initiated by late president Boris Trajkovski.
Macedonia will once again host the summit in 2013, ten years after it was held for the first time.
Macedonia was one of the first countries in the region that opened a diplomatic and consular office in Doha in 2005. Interest has been shown for opening Qatar's embassy in Macedonia in due time, Ivanov's cabinet has said.
Ivanov and Al Thani have held talks previously in 2009 in New York and in 2010 in Doha.
The Qatari delegation will be made up of 100 members, including two members of the royal family and 12 ministers.
During Qatar Emir's two-day visit, the citizens of Skopje will be faced with traffic restrictions.

12 October 2011

Macedonia marks 70th anniversary of Anti fascist Uprising

Macedonia marks Tuesday the 70. anniversary from the beginning of Anti-Fascist Uprising and the National Liberation Struggle.
The Macedonian people responded to the fascist occupation by organizing in small groups at first, in order to avoid detection. At that time, the first sabotage units were created in Kumanovo and Prilep, with their operations starting on October 11, marking the beginning of the Macedonian people's uprising.
In the course of 1942, the partisan movement was also in ascent. Nine detachments were founded acting on a large territory. During the winter and the spring of 1944, the Macedonian Army took important military operations (the February March, the Spring Offensive), causing enormous casualties and damages to the Bulgarian occupiers.
The network of government bodies in Macedonia was spread during 1944, over 800 in number. The preparations for convocation of Anti-Fascist Assembly of Macedonia's National Liberation (ASNOM) were taken by the General Staff and the Initiative Board.
Thus, by the end of the war, the Macedonian National Liberation Army numbered over 56,000 soldiers, with approximately 25,000 victims in this part of Macedonia.
The liberation of Macedonia by its own forces was an outstanding military and political accomplishment of the Macedonian people, and at the same time was a significant contribution by a small people to the anti-fascist struggle in the Balkans and Europe.
In the past 20 years, along with the overcoming of the 2001 conflict and the Framework Agreement that emerged from it, Macedonia, which is full-fledged member of the United Nations, now walks on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration.
On occasion of the holiday, October 11 Award for outstanding achievements in the fields of science, art, economy and other areas of public interest will be presented at the Macedonian Parliament. This year's award recipients in the field of culture are ballet artist Tanja Vujisic-Todorovska, writer Resul Sabani and actor Petar Temlkovski, along with advisor-librarian Mile Boseski in the field of protecting the values of cultural-historic heritage, and businessmen Tihomir Cepreganov in the economic sector.
Governmental and parliamentary delegations will lay flowers at monuments of national heroes in Skopje, Prilep and Kumanovo.
A formal academy was held in the Skopje-based Army Hall on Monday evening, addressed by President Gjorge Ivanov.Moreover, reconstructed building of memorial museum "11 October 1941" opened in Prilep.

CNN's 'Eye on Macedonia'

CNN will start special coverage programme Eye on Macedonia from October 10 to 19. CNN news anchor Jim Clancy will be live every day at 6.30 p.m. with special program hosted from different locations in Skopje and Macedonia.
The focus of CNN program on Macedonia will be Skopje 2014 project, economic development, industry, changes in education and infrastructure, new "Alexander the Great" Airport, the singer Esma Redzepova, company for special film effect FX3X, the director Milcho Manchevski as well as education system and unemployment in Macedonia.Macedonia at its geographic location as crossroad between the East and the West is very important country for business, culture and trade, CNN said in a promotional video clip.
Skopje 2014 is ambitious project aimed at raising the cultural profile of the capital and to improve the infrastructure, "Alexander the Great" Airport window towards bigger economic growth, CNN reports.
CNN's Eye On presented different countries as France, Germany, Poland, Turkey, India, Oman, Bahrain, Indonesia South Korea, Japan...

10 October 2011

First Snow on Shar Mountain

Popova Sapka condition - 10.10.2011
Shar mountain and ski resort Popova Shapka are under a blanket of snow. Most of the ski resort is covered by 5cm snow blanket, while the higher regions of Shar mountain are covered with snow exceeding 20cm, inform Popova shapka hoteliers.
It snowed the entire night, however rain in the morning melted some of the snow.
Ski organization 'Popova Shapka' says they are ready for the upcoming winter season, they have corrected two ski runs, the only thing they are waiting on is snow.
It would appear there will be plenty of snow this year as well. Most of the Balkan region had been covered by snow, earlier than anticipated. Bosnia, Slovenia and Croatia were covered in snow two weeks ago.

Makpetrol Sets up Shop in Solun/Thessaloniki

Macedonian fuel retailer Makpetrol [MSE: MPT] said it set up a fully-owned subsidiary in Greece, Petrolmak S.A., with a capital of 350,000 euro ($472,600).
Makpetrol’s Greek unit is headquartered in Solun as its main business is trade with oil and oil derivates, the company said in a statement to the Macedonian Stock Exchange yesterday.

06 October 2011

AGROKOR opens distribution centre in Strumica


Croatian company AGROKOR opened Sunday in Strumica “AgroFructus” purchasing and distribution centre for vegetables and fruits worth EUR 20 million. The capacity of the centre is around 60.000 tonnes with tendency to soon increase to 100.000 tonnes.
- The value of investment is very important, but what is more important is the fact that it will bring safe purchase and distribution, larger incomes and bigger competition, PM Nikola Gruevski said addressing the opening ceremony of “AgroFructus” distribution centre.
Gruevski said that the centre is new start for the Macedonian agriculture especially in relation to distribution and will be an example from standards point of view for all future potential investors.
- In the time we are living the private sector realises the distribution. From hereon is the task of the Republic of Macedonia to attract investors that will build more such centres, Gruevski said.
Government besides providing distribution also it increased subsidies and intensively works on agricultural land distribution, Gruevski said.
“AgroFructus” is only the beginning of investments that AGROKOR is planning in the country. Ivica Todoric, chairman of company’s management, said that another similar facility will be built close to “AgroFructus” and also other centres in other regions in the country.
- This capacity that Macedonia has in relation to quality and ecological conditions must be used. Only in this way we will increase the competition of production and this will mean better living standards for the citizens, Todoric said.
Thanking the Macedonian Government for the support, Todoric pointed out that Gruevski did not allow time to be wasted in regard to realisation of the investment.
The largest world investors are prepared to come here. It is excellent news for Macedonia, Todoric said and confirmed that AGROKOR considers other investments in Macedonia.
So far the company purchased and exported from Strumica region around 30.000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables and from Valandovo region around 10 million litres of wine.
Deputy PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski, Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply Ljupco Dimovski, Deputy Agriculture Minister Zoran Konjanovski and other officials of local self-government and MPs attended the opening ceremony.

200,000 Euros in Subsidies for Tour Ops who bring Foreign Tourists

By now, some EUR 200,000 in subsidies has been paid to tour operators who brought foreign tourists to Macedonia. The Macedonian Ministry of Economy has informed that even more means have been provided for this purpose for the next year. 
Some EUR 1 million has been projected for 2012. In the meantime, applications for subsidies for July and August are ongoing. Tourists from the Netherlands, Russia and Denmark come to Macedonia, says Zoran Nikolovski of the Ministry of Economy. 
The authorities are overwhelmed by the increase in the number of tourists coming to Macedonia. They expect higher foreign currency influx and Macedonia to be put on the global tourist maps.