28 December 2011

Macedonia's trade exchange with Middle East, Maghreb countries without strategy

Macedonia's foreign trade exchange with countries in the Middle East and Maghreb is occurring incidentally, without a general strategy. Companies' attempts to bolster it are still hampered by unestablished preferential trade, visa regime, complex and expensive procedure for document verification and the lack of diplomatic and consular offices. Modest bilateral regulation is also seen as a problem, it was concluded at a news conference Monday at the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.
Country's total exchange with Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Libya in the period between January and October 2011 stood at 50.7 million US dollars, out of which $15.6 million were accumulated by export and 34.9 million by import. Trade deficit is $19.3 million, while import-export coverage is 44.4%.
Ljubica Nuri of the Economic Chamber said that the Arab Spring did not significantly affect trade exchange, which was boosted with Algeria and Tunisia, but hugely reduced with Libya.
Macedonia in Middle East and Maghreb countries primarily exports agricultural and food products (33.3%) and iron and steel products (39.1%). The import balance includes household products, electronic devices and equipment (26.6%), construction materials (19.8%), petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (12.9%) as well as agricultural and food produces (7.7%)."
Macedonian companies can increase their competitiveness on markets in the Middle East with Halal certification not only of products, but also of services," Nuri stated.Economic Chamber data suggest that this year a foreign-trade surplus has been realised with Iraq, Lebanon, UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and Tunisia, while trade deficit has occurred with Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Israel, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

27 December 2011

Skopje more expensive than London, Moscow

Household appliances, clothing, footwear and many other products are cheaper in London, Moscow and Athens than in Skopje! Although hard to believe, since Macedonian standard and purchasing power of citizens is lower, our search for various offers on websites and looking at world-famous brands showed perhaps an expected conclusion - Macedonians pay the highest prices for the same products in comparison with neighbors and citizens of European countries.
For example, television brand "Sony", ready for viewing in 3D, with a 117 cm screen size, Macedonians paid 1,720 euros, while it is 1,666 euros for the Croats and in Serbia cost 1,500 euros. The Bulgarians in Sofia paid 950 euros for the same TV, almost half of what Macedonians pay.
The same television brand in European countries can be found on an average for 1,150 euros.
Another example is for a new model of child car seat ("Kiko" brand) in Macedonia is 178 euros, while the Brits and other European countries pay between 120-150 euros.
Set of kitchen cutlery from three pieces of Italian brand "Guzzini" in Macedonia cost 31 euro, while Guzzini's website sells them for 19.5 euros."Timberland" shoes in Skopje are selling between 7,000 and 11,000 denars ($140-$200), while simple visit to Timberland's website will see the same shoes ranging from $70 to $75 dollars.

Skopje and Zagreb become Sister Cities

Skopje mayor Koce Trajanovski and Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic signed a Charter of Friendship and Cooperation a few days ago. The goal of the document is to enable the two cities to have mutual goals and results, with a special focus on enhancement of economic and cultural connections.In this way, exchange of experience in the environmental protection, mutual learning about the culture, history and tradition, cooperation between museums and universities, cooperation in education, urban development and state-owned companies will be enabled.
Moreover, the two cities will cooperate within the framework of international organizations whose members they are. Trajanovski said that Zagreb’s experience in the European integration could significantly help Skopje.

Business centre for cross-border initiatives opens in Stip

Business centre for cross-border initiatives opens in Stip as part of project "Cross-Border Business Networking for Sustainable Growth" financed by IPA Cross-Border Cooperation Programme between the Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Macedonia.
The work of the business centre, which operates within Centre for Development of Eastern Planning Region, aims at development and improvement of economy and business cooperation between companies directed to strengthening business climate in cross-border regions between Bulgaria and Macedonia.
Centre offers services in the sphere of informing target groups, mapping economic subjects in cross-border region and informing about local business events, also gives information on changes in legal, financial and customs spheres and connection of legal entities from cross-border region aimed at establishing mutual cooperation.
Head of Centre for Development of Eastern Planning Region, Dragica Zdraveva said that by opening of the business centre and the opportunities it offers will bring development of companies in cross-border region and will attract new investments.
Business centre will operate at the territory of Macedonia’s Eastern Planning Region and Bulgaria’s Blagoevgrad region.

22 December 2011

Fairytale festival in "Feniks"

Publishing house "Feniks" hosts a fairytale festival within its New Year's book fair, held December 20-31 in four Skopje-based bookstores.
Children will have the opportunity to acquaint with the most beautiful international and Macedonian fairy tales in the form of coloring and picture books, as well as attend interactive fairytale readings in culture center "Feniks" near Skopje's Universal Hall.
Creative workshops themed 'fairytale' will be held in several kindergartens, along with fairytale books' promotion.

Macedonia Blanketed by Snow

Snowboarder near the Stone Bridge in Skopje
Heavy snowfalls was registered across Macedonia today.
Skopje was covered 10 cm snow cover while eastern and southern Macedonia are expecting up to 30cm of snow.
The ski season is officially open!

Electronic equipment, tobacco and clothes spur Macedonian Economy

In the first two months of the third quarter this year, volume of the total industrial production grew by 3.2 percent year-on-year, which represents growth slowdown, however it still is much better than any country in the Eurozone.
Despite the fact that growth depends significantly on trends in the Eurozone, Macedonian economy can demonstrate great resistance to negative effects of the environment in line with structural changes in economy and expansion of production capacities, which is expected to contribute to additional increase of the Macedonian growth potential.
Production of electronic equipment, tobacco products and clothes has greatly contributed to the economic growth in the past period.

21 December 2011

MANU marks Blaze Koneski's 90th birth anniversary

A formal meeting will be held Monday marking the 90th anniversary from the birth of the first president of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU), the academician Blaze Koneski.
Also Koneski's monument, artwork of Macedonian sculptor Tome Serafimovski, will be unveiled in front of MANU's main entrance.
The monument is made of white marble and is 2.30 meters tall. The 1.50 meters tall pedestal is made of white marble by Beton construction company.

19 December 2011

Winter arrives in Macedonian Village

Number of Air Passengers Increases in Skopje and Ohrid

In October, the number of passengers on airports in Macedonia increased in comparison with the same period last year.
According to the data published by the Macedonian Ministry of Transport a few days ago, the number of passengers on the Skopje and Ohrid airports reached 57,512, compared to 50,541 passengers last year.
The increase is a result of the increased number of passengers on the Skopje airport, which reported 56,180 passengers, which represents an increase of 17.1 percent. The number of regular flight lines grew as well, by 15.4 percent. In October, there were 689 regular lines compared to 597 lines last year.

16 December 2011

Two companies submit bids for construction of hydro plants Cebren and Galiste

Two companies have submitted bids for the construction of hydro power plants Cebren and Galiste.Economy Minister Valon Saraqini said companies PPC from Greece and CWE from China submitted bids until the expiration of Thursday's deadline.
The tendering commission will complete the bids' evaluation by the month-end and submit it to the Government, which is to pass the final decision on the concessions.
PPC has said in its offer that Macedonian Power Plants (ELEM) is to own 28 percent of shares of the future power plants, whereas CWE has offered 40.5 percent. The share percentage offered to ELEM is the main criterion of the tender.
If the concessionaire is selected, the construction of Cebren and Galiste would begin in 1,5 year, following ELEM's completion of access roads and networking of the new power plants.

Bitola Museum nominated for European award "Luigi Micheletti"

National institution Bureau and Museum-Bitola, which pays special attention to museum operations in line with European standards, has been nominated for European award "Luigi Michelleti", presented by the European Museum Academy (EMA).
EMA national coordinator Gordan Nikolov and EMA official Andreja Rihter said 21 European museums compete for the award.
Nikolov said the Bitola museum was the only Macedonian nominee, since it meets the EMA criteria."The Bitola Museum is visible everywhere. One can see everything at its website, which is unfortunately not the case with other museums. It includes practical information for every visitor, which is owed to the excellent management of this national institution", added Nikolov.
Museum director Liljana Hristova said another EMA monitoring team would visit Bitola in the course of January, in light of the final decision for the "Luigi Micheletti" award.
The Luigi Micheletti Award, established in 1996, is the European prize for innovative museums in the world of industry, science and technics.

14 December 2011

Macedonia's tourism potentials presented in Amsterdam

Macedonia's tourism potentials and Macedonian wines were presented Tuesday before Dutch tour-operators in Amsterdam.
The promotion, hosted by Macedonian Ambassador to the Netherlands Nikola Dimitrov, was attended by 30 tour-operators that are already offering Macedonia as a tourism destination, but also ones showing potential interest.
"The Netherlands is one of our main target markets. Until 2010, Karatanova Tours was in charge of the Dutch market, but following the introduction of the subsidy programme, other tour-operators have shown interest, arranging charter-flights to Macedonia, even from Belgium", said Jordan Trajkov, director of the Agency for Support and Promotion of Tourism.
Ambassador Nikola Dimitrov said there is a realistic chance that offer for Dutch tourists increases in 2012.The Amsterdam event was supported by Dutch governmental agency "Holland Gateway".

Number of Foreign Tourists in Macedonia keeps Increasing

In October 2011, the number of tourists in Macedonia amounted to 49,379 and the number of bed-nights reached 119,198, informed the Macedonian State Statistical Office.
These figures show that the number of tourists increased by 17 percent and the number of bed-nights by 24.1 percent compared to October last year.In the same period, the number of Macedonian tourists dropped by 5.8 percent, while the number of foreign tourists increased by 35.2 percent.
Year-on-year, the number of bed-nights of Macedonian tourists increased by 6.1 percent despite the decrease of the number of tourists, and the number of bed-nights of foreign tourists grew by 41.2 percent. Analyses on what this really means for the state budget will be published in a week.

12 December 2011

Macedonia has a Trade Surplus with Belgium

Belgium is one of rare countries with which Macedonia generates trade surplus.
According to the latest statistical data, the surplus amounted to USD 50 million in 2010 and USD 14 million in the first nine months of this year.
In terms of the total trade with the EU, trade with Belgium accounts for 4 percent. According to the Macedonian State Statistical Office, Macedonia exports tobacco, vegetables, ferronickel, textile products and sugar to Belgium.
On the other hand, motor vehicles, oils, iron, steel and plastic products are imported from Belgium.

06 December 2011

Belgian JetAirFly to Connect Brussels and Skopje

New air connection will be established between Skopje and Brussels by Belgian airlinie JetAirFly.
The ticket cost is set at 79 euros. Flights are scheduled to start on May 11, 2012.
JetAirFly from Brussels will operate in a 'triangle' fashion in it that it is first going to land in Ohrid and then Skopje (Brussels - Ohrid- Skopje).

Kaizer Chiefs close 13. Taksirat festival

British indie-rock band "Kaizer Chiefs" closed the 13. Taksirat music festival with a thunderous performance in a packed "Metropolis Arena" at Skopje Fair on Saturday evening.
Kaizer Chiefs came to Skopje straight from Paris prior to their tour that includes over 20 concerts. The popular English band came for the first time in Macedonia, promoting its 'best of' and latest album "The Future is Medieval".
Besides Kaizer Chiefs, Taksirat's final evening included domestic bands Verka and T.B.Traceri, as well as Clawfinger, Asian Dub Foundation, Fat Joe and Buraka som sistema.
Over the past week, audiences had the chance to see a number of musicians and bands, including Dubioza Kolektiv, Diskobajagi, B-real, Psycho Realm, Atari Teenage Riot, S.A.R.S., Jaya The cat, Kawasaki 3p, Nezni Dalibor, Rise of Artificial, General Woo feat, Lil Bear & Dirty Hairy, Canon, Glasnom, Kanton 6, Project 2501, Raw’N’Wicked, DJ Slave, Scratch That Drum, Shutka Roma Rap, Kreepr and Selector Lazy Face.
In the course of its 13-year existence, Taksirat festival has presented exceptional musical names, including Juliete Lewis, Moonspel, Elemental, Hladno Pivo, Guano Apes, Kiril Dzajkovski, Delinquent Habits, Eye Cue, Weding dub., Fun Lovin' Criminals, The Stranglers, Wailers, Iggy pop& The Stooges, DJ Timo Maas, Тiga, The Roots, Marky Ramone, Swayzak, Neville Staple (the Specials), Manu Chao La Ventura and many more.

St. Clement Award goes to Archeologist

The commission in charge of allocating the St. Clement of Ohrid state award has decided upon this year's recipients in the field of education, culture and art.
Archaeologist Dragi Mitrevski is the winner of the 2011 St. Clement of Ohrid award for his achievements in the area of education, the Ministry of Culture says in a press release.
In the field of culture and art, the recognition is presented to academician and writer Luan Starova and painter Nikola Fidanoski.
The accolade will be presented to this year's laureates at a ceremony on the Day of St. Clement of Ohrid (Dec. 8).
The St. Clement of Ohrid state award is the highest recognition for life achievements in the field of education, culture, art, health-care, sports, environment protection and social activities.

03 December 2011

Macedonia presented as gateway for running Japanese businesses in Europe

Macedonia's investment opportunities have been presented for the first time before the Japanese business community in Osaka. Agriculture, food and wine production, manufacturing of car components and low income tax of 10% compared to high taxes in Japan are the most distinguished sectors, which Macedonia is known for, according to the director of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) for Osaka, Suzuki Yatsushi.
Investment opportunities offered by the Republic of Macedonia as a gateway for running businesses in Europe were presented at the second business forum organised by a government delegation led by PM Nikola Gruevski in cooperation with JETRO before representatives of several Japanese companies from the Osaka Prefecture.
Macedonia, the JETRO director said, in recent years has improved its business procedures and now it is ranked 22nd on the Doing Business list by the World Bank, whereas Japan is 20th on the same list.
PM Gruevski in his address underlined the profound respect of the strong collective working ethics and innovative brilliance of Japan, which has helped the hard-working and intelligent nation of Japan to establish the third biggest economy in the world, the government said in a press release.
"The Republic of Macedonia in the past several years for many has become one of the most pleasant surprises and one of the most positive economic examples in Europe," Gruevski noted.
According to the press release, he said that Macedonia's achievements had been recognised by the World Bank in its Doing Business report in which Macedonia was one of the most improved economies and business destinations, while in the 2012 report it was ranked 22nd, thus being higher on the list compared to 19 out of 27 EU member countries. Macedonia's rating is seen as stable and with positive perspectives in a report recently published by the credit rating agency Fitch in circumstances when the agency has lowered the ratings of over 10 European countries - which indicates that Fitch differentiates Macedonia and its policies compared to other countries. According to Gruevski, it came as a result of the Macedonian government's commitment to improve the business climate and working conditions for both domestic and foreign companies.
"Our goal is to attain economic growth, to develop the private sector and to open new jobs. Consequently, we work very hard to enable favourable conditions for companies to make profits and to achieve double benefit - for companies' management and the living standards of Macedonian citizens," Gruevski noted.
"The government is addressing one of its most important challenges to provide educational opportunities for its citizens that are required by modern societies. Macedonia has significantly increased its funding for education, expanded the access to higher education and boosted the use of computers and Internet in public schools and universities. These measures resulted in attracting many famous foreign companies in Macedonia," the PM added.
By implementing a series of structural and institutional reforms, PM Gruevski said that growth and efficiency were being supported as well as investments leading to dynamic market economy, which on its part provided flexibility for the structural changes needed for Macedonia to succeed on international markets and to adapt towards the challenges on the road to EU accession.
Vice PM and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski also delivered an address at the business forum presenting country's macroeconomic policy, reforms realized in the tax system, cadastre and central register as well as the investment opportunities in the sector of infrastructure and energy, reads the press release.
Business presentations were also delivered by Minister for Foreign Investments, Bill Pavleski, director of the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion, Visar Fida and director of the Directorate for Technological Industrial Development Zones, Viktor Mizo.
The Osaka business forum wraps up the visit of the government's delegation led by Premier Gruevski to Japan, where the PM met with Crown Prince Naruhito and his Japanese counterpart Yoshihiko Noda and other government officials. Two business forums in Tokyo and Osaka were organised during the visit as well.

Macedonian Construction Companies Enter New Markets

Macedonian construction companies are considered one of the best in Europe. Because of this the volume of new work has increased in Slovenia, Albania, Croatia, Italy and Ukraine, whereas on other markets, Macedonian companies reported a decrease. On the other hand, Montenegro and France are new markets.
Construction companies conducted construction work worth MKD 1.7 billion in Macedonia in the first nine months.
This is 8.9 percent less than in the same period of 2010. According to the data of the Macedonian State Statistical Office, construction companies agreed construction work worth MKD 2 billion on foreign markets. This is 48.9 percent less than in the same period last year due to financial crisis.

Macedonia Enhances Cooperation with Argentina

At the presentation of the Argentinean economy and market at the Macedonian Chamber of Economy, future cooperation between Macedonia and Argentina was promoted.
This cooperation represents entry into the South American economic community MERKOSUR, which has a market of 298 million customers. 
This was said by Guillermo Salvador Azrak, Argentinean ambassador in Sofia in charge of Macedonia. He explained that MERKOSUR’s full members are also Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, while Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Columbia are affiliated members.
Azrak added that there is a lot more manoeuvring room and possibilities for improvement of economic cooperation between the two countries.

01 December 2011

Kromberg & Schubert in Bitola

Germany-based company Kromberg & Schubert will start building a plant in Bitola in December. The long awaited plant for production of car cables will start employing workers as of May. At first, it will hire 500 people and then the number will grow to 2,500 people.
Moreover, another six investments in Bitola are expected. They pertain to construction of hotels, but some investors are also interested in timber, food and milk industry. In the meantime, the government’s team presented investment possibilities in Macedonia last week.
Several Austrian and German companies have already announced that they are interested in investing in Macedonia. Allegedly, Siemens and BMW are among the interested investors. Moreover, the government team has already agreed cooperation with Teksport, which already has two plants in Macedonia.

Japan, Macedonia agree to boost tourism, study, business exchanges

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his visiting Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski agreed Wednesday to boost their countries' tourism, study and business exchanges, Japanese officials said.
Gruevski, the first Macedonian prime minister to visit Japan, voiced hope that his visit will strengthen bilateral ties, after Noda thanked the Balkan country for its aid for Japan in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Gruevski also expressed his country's intention to open an embassy in Japan, the Foreign Ministry said.At the outset of their meeting, which was open to the press, Noda assured his visitor that "reconstruction in disaster-hit areas is underway and the supply chains have almost fully recovered.
"Macedonia, which gained its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991, is aiming for economic development through foreign capital.

28 November 2011

German Companies to invest in Macedonia

Several companies from Germany have announced their investments in Macedonia. The agreements are being finalized, but the Macedonian government team has not revealed the names of the German companies yet.
Allegedly, they operate in automobile industry. As soon as the agreements are completed, it will be known which companies responded positively to the government promotion of Macedonia as an attractive business destination.
Interest of German investors has been steadfast and Macedonia can expect more investments from Germany in the coming period, says Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski.
The coming period is very important for the country. Two corridors, Corridor 8 and Corridor 10 have to be completed, economy minister Vladimir Pesevski said.

24 November 2011

Austrian company to launch 1 million euro investment in Vinica

Austria's Texport company in 2012 will invest one million euros for construction of a factory manufacturing workwear. The investor unveiled its final decision on Tuesday at the Macedonian-Austrian business forum held in Vienna. About 150 companies interested in investing in Macedonia attended the event.
The plant will be located in Vinica and is expected to open jobs for 200 people. Production is planned to be launched by the end of 2012, MIA reports from Vienna. Company's managing director Otmar Schneider said that land had been purchased and that project's realisation would be conducted in the winter. This is the third investment in Macedonia by Austria's Texport.
"We've started in 1999 in Skopje with 60 employees, now there are 200... The Kocani plant also employs 200 workers and the new investment is expected to open 200 jobs," Schneider.
He praised the working conditions and workforce in Macedonia, saying it was qualified for production of quality garments. Company's products are mainly exported throughout Europe as well as in South America and Saudi Arabia.Vice PM for Economic Affairs, Vladimir Pesevski said the investment was a proof that Government's strategy to attract investments was prolific. "Forums serve for establishing initial contacts, for triggering company interest and for wrapping up negotiations with companies that have already decided to invest in Macedonia," Pesevski stated.
The Vice PM said that Government's team had held talks with other firms in Vienna and expressed hopes that such positive news would be also announced in the future.
Macedonia's investment potentials were presented before Austrian businessmen, namely in manufacturing car components, the energy sector, IT, textile, agriculture...
Austria is one of the leading investors in Macedonia with an influx of foreign investments of 370 million euros between 1997 and 2010 and takes the prime spot according to the influx of foreign direct investments from 2005 to 2010. This year, the influx of investments stands at 10 million euros. Austrian capital has been invested in telecommunications, banking sector, insurance and other areas.

Numbers of Hotels in Macedonia Increased by 51.2%

In the period of 12 years, from 1999 to 2010, the number of hotels in Macedonia increased by 51.2 percent, from 82 to 124 hotels.
On the other hand, the number of hotel rooms dropped by 4.5 percent, from 5,916 to 5,651, in the same period, while the number of beds decreased by 13 percent, from 14,564 to 12,734, show the data of the analysis on Macedonian hotels in terms of change, which was carried out by Mitre Avramovski of Ohrid Tourism Faculty.
Reasons for such a situation are a chaotic transition and shutting down of numerous hotels built during the period of former Yugoslavia as well as construction and opening of smaller hotels.

22 November 2011

Albanian tour-operators, journalists visit Macedonia

Popova Sapka
Economy Minister Valon Saraqini and Macedonian Ambassador to Tirana Vele Trpevski met Monday with tour-operators and journalists from the Republic of Albania, who pay a visit to Macedonia within project "Promotion of Macedonia's Winter Tourism in Albania".
"Macedonia-Albania cooperation in the tourism field has focused on stay of Albanian tourists in the Ohrid-Struga region, as well as vacations of Macedonian nationals on the Adriatic coast. This project aims at offering Albanians our winter resorts. Moreover, we want to create a joint tourism product for the global tourist by combining their seaside with our lakes and mountains", said Minister Saraqini.
The Albanian guests were presented with the possibilities of winter resorts Mavrovo and Popova Sapka. They also met with Macedonian tour-operators and representatives of country's tourism associations.

Skopje hosts Beaujolais Nouveau Day

Beaujolais Nouveau Day, organised by the French Cultural Center in Skopje, was marked yesterday in the capital.
The event, which aims to present this red wine fermented for only a few weeks and to establish a nice and long French tradition in Macedonia, was opened by French ambassador to Macedonia Jean-Claude Schlumberger.
Beaujolais Nouveau is released for sale on the third Thursday of November and the day is celebrated in many French-speaking and non French-speaking countries.
The Skopje event was held after a hiatus of several years. Managers Dimitar Pavlevski and Aleksandar Vuckovski at the ceremony were introduced into the Beaujolais Nouveau order for their efforts in affirming French-Macedonian relations.

21 November 2011

Both Mak Airports register increase in travellers

The number of passengers transported through Skopje airport "Alexander the Great" and Ohrid-based "St.Paul the Apostle" in October has increased by 18.9 percent compared to the same month in 2010.
A total of 74,703 passengers were transported this October compared to last year's 62,876, said the Ministry of Transport and Communications on Thursday.
The same trend was registered in September, with the number of passengers rising by 25.4 percent compared to last year, i.e. 82,641 to 65,878.

17 November 2011

Macedonia Presenting Its Folklore in China

Macedonia is promoting its folklore in China this week, ending in November 19.
Exhibit "Macedonian Folklore" of Gordana Vrencoska will have the honor the open the event at the Beijing Jintai Art Museum. The exhibit will display photos, items, graphics, along with traditional folk costumes.
Minister of Culture Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska, who is set to open the display, will sign Wednesday a cooperation program for the period 2012-2017 with Chinese counterpart Cai Wu.
In the course of the official visit to Beijing, Minister Kanceska-Milevska will visit several national institutions and meet with chairman of the China Artists Association.
On Thursday, prominent folk ensemble "Tanec" will give a concert in Beijing Century hall, followed by another one in the city of Dalian.

Ohrid's St. Paul the Apostle is Best in Class of Smaller Airports

Ohrid airport: Saint Paul the Apostle
According to the International Airport Council, Ohrid-based St. Paul the Apostle airport is the absolute winner in the group of small airports with up to five million passengers a year. In comparison with September 2011, goods transport growth reached 198.1 percent in a year.
The two Macedonian airports are managed by Turkish TAV. Istanbul-based Kemal Atatturk Airport, which is also managed by TAV, reported the highest growth in goods transport in its group of airports with more than 25 million passengers a year. Leading European airports (Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London) recorded losses in international goods transport (6, 5.7 and 3.7 percent).

16 November 2011

Skovin's Wine popular in Japan

Macedonian winery Skovin, the only winery in Macedonia that exports wine to Japan, will strengthen its position on the Japanese market. The quality of Skovin’s wine was confirmed by experts from the largest Japanese winery, Santori.
The penetration of Macedonian wines in the Japanese market is even more significant if one takes into account that the Japanese market is very picky when it comes to quality. Export to Japan is expected to increase substantially in the coming period. Last year, 500,000 litres of wine was exported to Japan.Skovin has a good quality of wines and manages the quality control well. For this reason, it has been chosen by Japanese consumers.

"Mothers" wins Minsk festival award

Film "Mothers" of Milco Mancevski won award "Film as Artistic Phenomenon" at the Minsk film festival "Listapad", which is its fifth international award.
"I did not even know the film was in competition. It received enormous approval, I had lengthy talks with the audience and interviews", said director Mancevski.
"Mothers", a Macedonian-French-Bulgarian co-production, has been included among 20 films for the European Film Award.

14 November 2011

Skopje observes its Liberation Day

Many cultural, humanitarian and sports events are to mark Sunday the Liberation Day - 13 November - of Macedonia's capital - Skopje.
On the occasion, the '13 November' award will be presented at the cinema 'Frosina' to this year laureates: PhD Nikita Sekutovski, Prof. Ljubinka Bosotova - education; Bojku Fejzi and Dimitar Masevski - art; Boris Pop Gjorcev - journalisam; Bosko Zaborski - sports; Aleksandar Janevski - humanitarian activities; Mico Popovski - business; the Center for Environmental Reaserch and Information 'Eco-Svest'; as well as students - Ivan Antovski, Tasko Smilevski and Aleksandar Stepanovski.
Early today, Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski met with a group of veterans, who fought for Skopje liberation in 1944.
Skopje in November 2011
State, diplomatic delegations are also set to lay fresh flowers on the monuments of Skopje Liberators, Partisan Cemetery and General 'Mihajlo Apostolski' monument.
The program also includes a Red Cross blood donation campaign and several sports events.
Skopje was liberated on 13 November 1944 by Yugoslav Partisan units of the Macedonian National Liberation Army. Soon after, Skopje became the capital of the newly established People's Republic of Macedonia within the Yugoslavia.
In 1963 the city suffered considerable damage from a major earthquake, which killed over 1,000 people. International financial aid poured into Skopje in order to help rebuild the city, which since then has been known as the 'City of Solidarity'.

PM Gruevski meets British businessmen in London

Nikola Gruevski
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski presented yesterday the opportunities for investing in Macedonia to British businessmen in London at an event organized by the British Business Group Macedonia, chaired by Ray Power, the Government said Saturday in a press release.
Traditionally good political relations between Macedonia and Britain, especially affirmed by London's support of Macedonia's EU, NATO integration processes, will also contribute to boosting the bilateral economic cooperation, Gruevski said at the presentation.
The Government, he said, has been working on improving the business climate and working conditions for both domestic and foreign companies in a stable macroeconomic environment.
In this respect Gruevski mentioned the World Bank Doing Business report, which for several years in a row has been ranking Macedonia among the best reformers and attractive business destinations.
Gruevski also referred to the technological industrial development zones and benefits they were offering. They have already welcomed the plants of British companies Johnson Controls and Johnson Metty. For the last four months there has been an intensive investment activity in these zones, namely Johnson Controls is opening yet another plant, while the Italian company 'TeknoHose', US 'Kemet Electronics', Russia's 'Protec Group'  and India's 'Motherson Group' have been working on the realization of their investments.
Prince Michael of Kent, who honored the presentaion with his presence, said he was fascinated by the opportunities for investing in Macedonia and urged British businessmen to learn more about them.
At a separate meeting Gruevski and Prince Michael of Kent shared opinions on possibilities for further development of the Macedonian-British cooperation.

Macedonian Culture Days' opens in Osijek

'Macedonian Culture Days', organised by the Macedonian Cultural Society Braca Miladinovci based in Osijek, opened at the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek on Saturday evening with a play performed by the Anton Panov Theatre from Strumica.
The event, to last until December 1, includes an ethnological exhibition, documentary films, a presentation of a book by Vasil Tocinovski, and a concert of classical music.

Macedonia hosts Days of Ukrainian Culture

Ukrainian, Macedonian Deputy Culture Ministers Yuri Bogutsky and Dragan Nedeljkovic will have the honor Saturday to the Days of Ukrainian Culture in Macedonia.
The manifestation kicks off with the exhibition of art holograms 'Golden Treasury of Ukraine'. The event's program includes the presentation of Mykola Maschenko's and Valeriy Yamburskyy's films 'Bogdan Zinoviy Khmelnytsky' and 'The Day of Defeated' respectively, as well as a concert of the Ukrainian national folk dance ensemble Pavlo Virsky.
On Monday film fans in Skopje will also have an opportunity to see the film 'Platon Angel' - work of art of Ivan Voytyuk.

Skopje's Old Theater to be opened with play by Jordan Plevnes

Skopje, 11 November 2011 (MIA) - With the premiere of "Eternal House" - a play by Jordan Plevnes - Skopje's reconstructed Old Theatre will be formally opened in 2012, Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska told a press conference on Friday.
Jordan Plevnes' text was selected at an open competition for a play which will formally open the Skopje Old Theatre. 13 plays were submitted at the 6-month competition announced by the Ministry of Culture.
The jury responsible for selecting the best play was comprised of academic Georgi Stardelov, academic Luan Starova, university professor Jelena Luzina, actor Petar Temelkovski and theater director Dejan Projkoski.
Jordan Plevnes is a prolific playwright and poet, whose works have been translated and published around the globe. He has been awarded with France's Order of the Knight of Arts and Literature.
"His text 'Eternal House' is based on the abstract and deeply humane notion of the house as an ideal home and focuses on the subject of constant affirmation of one's own identity," the minister said.

10 November 2011

Kanceska-Milevska reports on Ministry of Culture's activities in 100 days of new government

The Ministry of Culture has been continuing to realize its program towards improving the cultural environment in Macedonia and affirming the country's best cultural values across the globe.
Reporting on the activities in the 100 days since the establishment of the new government, Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska said the ministry was functioning in line with clearly set goals--support and nourishment of the traditional and contemporary cultural values, investment in the infrastructure, restoration, conservation and promotion of the cultural heritage, archaeological researches...
Listing the realized projects, she mentioned the new Museum of Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence, overhauling of the memorial house of Miladinovci Brothers in Struga, the Memorial Museum '11 Oktomvri' in Prilep, opening of the City Museum in Kriva Palanka.
In regard to publishing, she mentioned the promotion of 130 volumes of Macedonian Literature, translated in English.
Referring to cultural events, Kancevska-Milevska singled out the observance of the 50the anniversary of 'Struga Poetry Evenings'.Speaking about the international cooperation, Kanceska-Milevska said the 'Days of Macedonian Culture' were organized in Saint Petersburg and Tallinn - the European Capital of Culture 2011.
Furthermore, the Skopje-based National and University Library took part at Frankfurt Book Fair, Macedonia became a UNESCO Executive Board member and Tose Proeski Memorial House won the People's Choice Award.
The Ministry's future projects include a promotion of the new 'Old Theater', Philharmonic Hall, construction of a Film Center, digitization of the audio-visual cultural heritage.
The Ministry will also work on drafting several laws and a national strategy for cultural development, Kanceska-Milevska said.

09 November 2011

Dutch Co. to Design new Skopje Railway Station

Dutch advisory firm Grontmij will design a project for a 2.6 million euro ($3.57 million) reconstruction of Skopje’s main railway station, Macedonia's transport ministry said on Tuesday.Grontmij will also prepare the tender documents for contractor and supervisor of the station's overhaul, the ministry said in a statement sent to MINA.

Macedonia Supporting Low Cost Airlines

Macedonian Government has decided to grant EUR 1,4 million in subventions to low-cost airlines and to that effect a procedure for amending the law on air traffic is already opened, Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakievski said Monday.
The aim is to attract more airlines to use the airports in Skopje and Ohrid, which are expected to introduce new destinations and cut the ticket prices, Janakieski said at the press conference on what his ministry has done for the 100 days since the making up of the new Government.
The ministry worked on realizing the program that won the trust of the electorate, namely resuming the reforms for better infrastructure, safe transport, inflow of new investments and higher living standard for the citizens of Macedonia, Janakieski said.
Listing the completed projects, he mentioned the reconstructed Skopje Airport 'Alexander the Great' - an EUR 100 million - investment of the Turkish 'TAV', construction of the highway 7,6 km-long section Tabanovce - Kumanovo - EUR 15,5 million, legalization of illegal buildings, procurement of new low-floor and double decker buses...

06 November 2011

Tose Proeski Memorial wins People's Choice Award

Tose Proeski Memorial House.
The Memorial House of Macedonia's late pop star Tose Proeski, designed by the 'Syndicate Studio' is the winner of People's Choice Award - the building of 2011, launched this year within the prestigious World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Barcelona.
Over 15,000 people voted on-line for the Proeski Memorial, which also won the majority of the jury votes.
The Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City and the 'Atmosphere' building in Kolkata won the second and third place.A total of 704 buildings, located across the globe, were competing for 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.

Tram is Coming to Skopje

Decades-old idea about a tram in Skopje will be finally realized. The feasibility study has been carried out by consultants of Vialto.
The project has thus entered the second phase, which includes preparation of the tender documentation, which should be completed in January 2012.
Afterwards, a tender for a tram concessionaire will be invited. This procedure will last three or four months. This means that a concessionaire will be chosen already in May or June, announced Skopje mayor Koce Trajanovski.
Analyses show that the investment is profitable, with the possibility of the Town of Skopje and the Macedonian government participating in annual costs, Trajanovski said.

Macedonia Promises Bulgaria Progress on 'Corridor 8'

Macedonia's government has agreed with Bulgaria's that the still imaginary project for Pan-European Transport Corridor No. 8 is a priority, the Bulgarian Transport Ministry announced.
Macedonia's new promises to help launch at last the transport corridor have come at a meeting of Bulgaria's Deputy Transport Minister Kamen Kichev with his Macedonian counterpart Tehir Hani.
Pan-European Corridor No. 8 – a parallel linking the Bulgarian Black Sea ports to the Albanian Adriatic ports via Macedonia along and its extension to Italy, a supposedly vital chain in the proposed shortest route between East and Central Asia and Western Europe – has been talked about for years with grand expectations for boosting trade and development in the Balkans – but has seen little realization.
Probably the most important obstacle for the project is the lack of a railway connection between Bulgaria and Macedonia, with the Macedonian state balking at the construction of several dozen kilometers of line on its territory.
Bulgaria's Deputy Transport Minister Kichev has presented to the Macedonian government the transport road and railway section under construction and/or rehabilitation in Bulgaria that are part of the proposed route of Corridor 8, the Transport Ministry in Sofia said.
These include the Trakiya Highway and the Lyulin Highway; sections from the Sofia-Burgas railway and the Karnobat-Sindel railway; and the modernization of Port Varna and Port Burgas on the Black Sea.
"The project for the construction of the Sofia-Skopje railway is of strategic significance both because it would connect the railway networks of the two states, and because it would held for the completion of the Corridor 8 route," Kichev told his Macedonian counterpart.
He further said the Bulgarian government needs to construct only 2.5 km of railway from the village of Gyueshevo to the Macedonian border.
"We are ready to build it right now if the Republic of Macedonia starts constructing their section," Milcho Lambrev, Director-General of Bulgaria's National Company "Railway Infrastructure.
"The Bulgarian Transport Ministry further says that Macedonia's Ministry of Transport and Communication "is in an advanced phase of the feasibility study for the railway line from Kumanovo to Deve Bair", the missing railway section on Macedonian territory.
"We are optimistic that we will complete the railway in 5 years," the Macedonian Transport Ministry is quoted as saying.

04 November 2011

Days of Macedonian Culture in Estonia

Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska -
Maceodnian minister of culture.
Opening of exhibition "Macedonian Folk Costumes and Embroideries" marks the beginning of event "Days of Macedonian Culture" in Tallinn on Thursday.
The display, set at the National Library of Estonia, is created by custodian Gordance Vidinic.
Days of Macedonian Culture in Tallinn are organized by the Ministry of Culture, aimed towards enhancing international cultural cooperation.
In this regard, Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska is set to meet with Estonian colleague Rein Lang on Friday, as well as visit a number of cultural institutions in Tallinn.
Minister of culture, Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska will also open exhibition "In City", arranged by the Museum of Contemporary Arts, displaying artworks of modern Macedonian art.
Moreover, national ensemble of folk songs and dances "Tanec" will hold a concert in the prestigious "Nokia" hall.In addition, Macedonia's urban culture will be presented through the performance of Kiril Dzajkovski.

03 November 2011

Macedonia's tourism potentials presented in Finland

The travel show organized by the Agency Promotion and Support of Tourism as part of the Government's activities for promotion of the country's tourism potentials was held late Tuesday in Finland capital Helsinki.
Ambassador Kire Ilievski thanked largest Finnish tour operator "Aurinkomatkat" and airline "Finnair" for the successful completion of ten charter flights in the course of the year, but also the team of "Ridman Production", which made a series of photos and videos presenting Macedonia's tourism potentials and cultural heritage.
Agency representatives also met with "Aurinkomatkat" officials, agreeing on a marketing strategy, including participation at tourism fair MATKA in Finland, for the purpose of attracting more tourists for the 2012 season.
Vice Premier for European Affairs Teuta Arifi, who paid a working visit to Finland yesterday, attended the promotion.Similar presentations were held in several Finnish cities in the course of October.

02 November 2011

The Mysteries around Kokino

The crescent moon is seen over a rocky crest filled with astronomical stone markers at the ancient megalithic observatory of Kokino, Macedonia, back on 21 June 2009, the day of the Summer solstice. Kokino includes special stone markers used to track the movement of sun and moon on the eastern horizon.
Kokino was accidentally discovered by Macedonian archeologist Jovica Stankovski back in 2001.
The observatory used the method of stationary observation, marking positions of the sun at the winter and summer solstice, as well as the equinox. The ancient astronomic observatory, located about 80 km north-east of Skopje, dates back more than 4.000 years.
Kokino has been nominated to be included on UNESCO's World Heritage Site list. The importance of the site was confirmed by US space agency NASA, which placed it on its list of ancient observatories.
A Kokino culture may have been found, after a network of 10 temples were discovered in the mountain peaks of the Kumanovo-Kratovo region, dating back to 20th-18th century BC. Stone drawings have also been discovered, especially those of the eagle (associated with storms), and turtles (symbol of country). At least ten figurine objects of humans and animals have been discovered. If Kokino is identified as an ancient civilization, it would be the oldest known in southern Europe.

Johnson Controls Starts moving machines in Shtip

Johnsons Controls will start moving machines to the premises in Makedonska Street in Stip in about ten days.
The company will also launch test production, informed Viktor Mizo, head of the Technological-Industrial Development Zone Bunardzik (TIRZ), at the government session. He announced employment of 300 people in the company as of early next year.
In November, equipment of Chinese company Haier is expected to be delivered to TIRZ. In the past few days, meetings with representatives of Haier were held and investment details discussed. All announced investments in Macedonia are progressing without any impediments.

Canadians Can Receive their Pensions in Macedonia

Approximately 200,000 emigrants in Canada are able to realize their rights of pension and disability insurance in line with the Macedonia-Canada social insurance agreement, which enters into force on Tuesday.
Minister of Labor and Social Policy Spiro Ristovski said at today's press conference that the agreement applies to all individuals who achieved insurance or residence periods taken into account when realizing the right of pension in Republic of Macedonia or Canada, in line with the countries' regulations. The accord regulates the calculation of insurance periods in both countries, thus enabling the individual to realize the right for pension.
"The agreement guarantees the payment of pension in the other contracting state, i.e. provides the opportunity for transfer of Canadian pensions in Macedonia, if the beneficiary returns to live in Macedonia", said Ristovski.
The agreement applies to all individuals who worked in both counties, as well as members of their families. The document includes the principle of equal actions towards individuals working at the territory of the other state.
"By the end of 2011, the Government will initiate the conclusion of social insurance agreements with Slovakia, France and New Zealand, alongside ongoing procedures with Italy and Albania. In the coming period, the Government will also work on concluding such agreements with Norway, Sweden, Great Britain, Spain, Uzbekistan and United Arab Emirates", said Minister Ristovski.Republic of Macedonia has concluded social insurance agreement with 18 countries - Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Belgium, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia&Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Montenegro, Australia and Canada - whereas such an agreement with Denmark is in the process of ratification.
"The application of the bilateral social insurance agreements has resulted in 35,000 citizens using pensions from another country. Approximately 13,000 Macedonian nationals use pensions from Germany, over 5,000 from Poland, 8,000 from Serbia, 2,000 from Switzerland, 2,000 from Croatia, 1,000 from Slovenia etc", underlined Ristovski.

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).