20 January 2012

Macedonian - Dutch Chamber of Commerce Formed

Nearly 50 Macedonian and about 30 Dutch firms founded Wednesday a common chamber of commerce to work on establishing new and strengthening existing business ties and on boosting investments. The new Dutch-Macedonian chamber of commerce announces promotion of Macedonia's economy in the Netherlands and instruments of the Dutch government to develop the private sector in Macedonia in cooperation with the embassies.
"We'll work together to promote Macedonian products better on the Dutch market, to promote Macedonia's economy in the Netherlands and to provide more investments," the chamber's executive director Bob Smith stated.The Dutch way of running a business, he added, is different than in Macedonia. Being Dutch, we complain of seals, signatures, but this may change in the future. But if you get used to these administrative procedures, working in Macedonia is wonderful. Most of the Dutch citizens that come to Macedonia will stay here to start a business," Smith said.
Dutch Ambassador Marriët Schuurman said that despite the economic crisis there was enormous interest in joint projects and businesses between Macedonian and Dutch companies and in investing in Macedonia. The number of companies interested in cooperation through the common chamber in her opinion confirm the firm relations between countries' economies. "We are convinced that the chamber of commerce will assist Macedonian and Dutch companies to examine the vast potential for cooperation between the two countries in an attempt to heighten ties in trade, investments and economy," Ambassador Schuurman noted.
16.5% of the total investments in Macedonia in 2010 were Dutch and they increased by 40% in the first three quarters of 2011 standing at 110 million euros.
"Investments have been significantly increased. Hopefully, this trend will continue taking into consideration the bilateral favourable political and economic relations. I am convinced that many companies from Macedonia export in the Netherlands and I encourage them despite the crisis to be more innovative and to conquer the Dutch market," Economy Minister Valon Saracini said.
He called Dutch companies to consider Macedonia a friendly country and to invest here having in mind all of the benefits offered by the Macedonian government to foreign investments.
Saracini voiced expectation that both countries would resume their cooperation in tourism. 10,000 Dutch tourists visited Macedonia in 2011.
The new chamber of commerce will also focus on organising business trips and conferences on companies from Macedonia and the Netherlands and on providing information about investment opportunities.

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