29 October 2012

Wizz Air inaugurates flights from Skopje to six European destinations

As of Sunday, Hungarian low-cost airline "Wizz Air" will start to operate flights from Skopje to six European destinations, subsidized by the Macedonian Government.
The first Skopje-Eindhoven flight will take off today and operate twice a week. It is also the case with the flights to  Milan, Malmo, Munich and Dortmund. The flight to Basel is available  three times a week.
In line with a three-year agreement, the Government allocates Denar 306 million (EUR 5 million) in Wizz Air subsidies.
According to preliminary announcements from Wizz Air, the new flights will cost the company US$ 80 million, accompanied by the opening of 300 jobs.
The airline is mulling the introduction of direct flights to Brussels, Rome and Barcelona in 2013, depending on the needs of Macedonian passengers.
Expected effects from the Government subsidizing are at least 120,000 new passengers in the first year, rising to 135,000 in the second, up to 150,000 in the third.
The figures are solid indicator for the good strategy of this Government, Vice-Premier Vladimir Pesevski said at at the inaugurating ceremony on Sunday.
"We expect a larger inflow of tourists to Macedonia next year as a direct result of our investment in low-cost air traffic," Presevski said.
Wizz Air Group Executive Vice President John Stephenson said he was very happy that today the company was opening its 16-low cost base in Skopje.
"Since our announcement for the new six attractive destinations, over 25.000 customers, from Macedonia and countries we are linking Skopje to, have booked tickets, raising the total number of Wizz Air passengers to more than 100.000 from the launching of our operations in the country less than a year ago," Stephenson said.
He expects for the number of passengers to reach 300.000 in one year-period. Stephenson also extended gratitude to the Macedonian Government for its support of the promotion of tourism by low-cost flights.
"We are celebrating today's opening of the base by offering tickets at favorable prices of only Denar 550 (about EUR 9) on wizzair.com," Stephenson said.
Wizz Air is the largest low-fare, low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe and operates a fleet of 38 Airbus A320 aircraft from 16 bases with 245 routes connecting 78 destinations across 27 countries.

27 October 2012

Inauguration of direct Skopje-Dubai flight


Macedonia has gotten its first link to the Middle East on Monday. Starting from today FlyDubai launches two Skopje-Dubai flights per week, namely on Monday and Thursday.
Skopje is FlyDubai's regional center for this part of the world.
"We are certain that the Macedonian route will be successful," low-cost carrier CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith said today at a press conference.
The new line will bring UAE tourists to Macedonia, who wish to get familiar with the country, he said.
"By adding Skopje as our destination, we connect UAE with yet another market that has been underserved thus far. This move demonstrates our commitment to the region and  offers more choice to our customers, increasing international travel options and avenues for trade," the CEO said.
The flights offers a network of 150 destinations to the citizens of Macedonia, including Australia and Middle East. The ticket price for Skopje-Dubai flight is at EUR 390.
This project will be beneficial for all involved parties, namely FlyDubai, Macedonia's Government and TAV Airports Holding, TAV Macedonia Director Murat Ornekol said.
"Launching of the direct Skopje-Dubai flight will be rather beneficial for the Macedonian Diaspora in Australia. It is also the case for citizens of Macedonia and their neighbours, who may now fly directly to Dubai from the Skopje Airport - Alexander the Great," Ornekol said.
Low-cost carriers, such as FlyDubai, offer flights at substantially lower prices in comparison to regular airliners, Minister of Transport and Communication Mile Janakieski said.
"Regions included in their network very often see swift economic development," he added.
Founded in March 2008, Flydubai is the first low fare airline based in Dubai with the fastest growth rate among the world's newly established airlines. Since the start of operations in June 2009, the company has developed a network of over 50 destinations in the Persian Gulf countries, Middle East, North Africa, Indian subcontinent, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe and a fleet of 26 aircrafts.

"The Third Half" to be screened in Los Angeles in November

"The Third Half" by Darko Mitrevski is one of the ten Oscar contenders from non-English speaking countries which will be screened in Los Angeles in early November at the American Film Market.
Mitrevski's box office hit will be screened on Nov. 4 at the Wilshire Screening Room in Beverly Hills.
"These special screenings aim at providing publicity and seeking US distributors for the ten European movies. 'The Third Half' in the running to be shortlisted for Best Foreign Language Film will be screened before distributors and international buyers as well as before members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences," the Film Fund of Macedonia has said.
The screenings are organised by the European Film Promotion and the EU's Media Programme.
A record number of films (71) are vying this year to scoop the Oscar for best foreign language feature. Five films will be selected as official nominations, which are going to be announced on Jan. 10. The award ceremony is scheduled to take place on Feb. 24.

15.000 arrangements for Macedonia sold to Austrian tourists for next spring

 Fifteen thousand travel arrangements and eight Vienna-Ohrid charter flights have been sold for next spring.
"MacSun-Travel" - an Austrian/Macedonian travel agency - announced the figures to the Macedonian ambassador to Austria, Gjorgi Filipov at a Vienna fair of tour operators, where Macedonia presented its tourist potentials.
The arrangements sold for the spring of 2013 are three times more than the arrangements realised this year.
Macedonia is also included in the catalogues of the Austrian company "KLUG touristik GmbH". Its owner has told the ambassador that the decision to offer Macedonia as a tourist destination had been made following the interest of Austrian tourists and the positive experiences cooperating with "MacSun Travel".
The event was intended solely for business partners, tour operators and hotel managers.

21 October 2012

Diaspora to establish investment fund in Macedonia

Mike Zafirovski - Chairman of the
Macedonia 2025 Board of Directors.

Macedonia 2025 and SEAF will establish a new investment capital fund, focused on growth of the Macedonian enterprises.
The establishment of SEAF Macedonia I Fund was announced Friday by the organisation of the Global Investment Forum, taking place in Ohrid.
In addition to investing, the members of Macedonia 2025 - a group of successful entrepreneurs and CEOs of international companies with Macedonian origin and living in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia - will offer to Macedonian businessmen mentorship and access to markets.
"The fund is first of its kind where the diaspora is a catalyst and leading investor putting an emphasis on the fatherland and the region. It's our great pleasure to collaborate with SEAF in an attempt to create a successful fund and to pave the way for new funds. Our board of directors is thrilled with the idea of helping SEAF in the development of business leaders and successful businesses in Macedonia  and allowing access to our global network of business connections," stated Mike Zafirovski - Chairman of the Macedonia 2025 Board of Directors.
"Our goal is to spread as a network and to help our homeland. We expect nothing in return, only pride. We hope Macedonia will become a more prosperous country," Zafirovski said.
According to Deputy PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski, thus far the diaspora was not present with investments. "However, it provided logistics to the Government's efforts in organising investment forums, establishing contacts with other companies willing to invest, for instance the plant of Kemet Electronics, which was inaugurated yesterday by Mike Zafirovski."
"There has been similar support, but the announced fund will enable finances to be invested in new companies starting their business," Stavreski noted.
He added that the Ohrid summit was an exceptional chance to compare positions and viewpoints on investing in Macedonia and businessmen to be informed about the investment potentials.
At summit's opening, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski outlining the Government's activities in search of foreign investments and those that had been already launched, said that Macedonia was already considered as an attractive investment destination, seen by international companies as "an important gate toward Europe."
"We will continue our efforts to attract foreign investors and your help, support and idea will be more than welcome," Gruevski said adding the Government would resume maintaining sound economic policies and implementing further reforms.
SEAF establishes the fund as a result of its first successful fund - SEAF Macedonia, which was the first Macedonian venture fund that supported companies such as Tinex, On.Net, Krug (Dnevnik) and Login. SEAF chairman and co-founder Hubertus van der Vaart has stated: "SEAF believes that the Macedonian entrepreneurs are one of the best in the world. We are delighted at the idea of supporting a new group of entrepreneurs together with Macedonia 2025 and promoting economic growth and development in one of the most beautiful countries in the world."
Conclusions will be drawn at the forum containing recommendations and expectations from top business leaders in Macedonia and the diaspora, focusing on supporting, encouraging and improving investment efforts in Macedonia.
The summit, which brings together 350 participants, is held under the motto "Discovering Opportunities: Leveraging Business Diaspora to promote trade, investments and economic growth".

Ohrid hosts Macedonia Global Investment Summit

Ohrid, Macedonia.

Strengthening of cooperation between the national business community and the diaspora is the goal of Macedonia Global Investment Summit, which begins in Ohrid on Thursday, organized by "Macedonia 2025".
The summit, which brings together over 200 participants, is held under slogan "Discovering Opportunities: Leveraging Business Diaspora to promote trade, investments and economic growth".
The plenary sessions and working panels will include businessmen from Macedonia and the diaspora, Government officials and leaders of renowned international companies.
Participants will debate on global political outlook and economic prospects; doing business in Macedonia; investment climate in Macedonia: a perspective of existing FDIs; globally competitive Macedonian products: successful business models of cooperation between Macedonian and diaspora companies; financing investment projects, from micro finance to financing big projects; leveraging diaspora to create economic opportunities.
Several competitive industries have been identified, such as infrastructure, energy and natural resources; information and computer technology; manufacturing, agribusiness and food processing; real estate, construction and tourism; financial services, and many more.
Summit conclusions will contain recommendations and expectations from business leaders from Macedonia and the diaspora towards supporting, urging and enhancing investment efforts in the country.
Organization "Macedonia 2025" was established by renowned members of the Macedonian diaspora in Crown Point, Indiana in 2007. It opened the Skopje office in 2011. Macedonia 2025's mission is to assist in positioning Macedonia as a preferred destination for foreign direct investment, promote transparency within government and corporate practices, and inspire future business leaders in Macedonia.

300 Foreign Students enroll at Ss Cyril and Methodius University to study Macedonian

300 foreign students have enrolled at Macedonia's biggest university Ss. Cyril and Methodius in a program to study Macedonian language from September 2012 through May 2013.

Macedonian geographical dialects in the Balkans.

Should they pass the exam, they will be granted a certificate which will allow them to enroll into any of the Ss. Cyril and Methodius colleges for the next academic year.

This program is designed to prepare students in learning Macedonian so they can later enroll and be successful in their studies.
The 300 foreign students mostly come from the European continent: Turkey, Serbia, Bulgaria, Holland, Lithuania, Spain, Croatia, Slovenia etc.

17 October 2012

Five years without Tose

Musical and sports events will mark Tuesday the fifth anniversary from the death of Macedonia's pop icon Tose Proeski.
Tose's hits will be shown on a big screen at national arena "Philip II" in the evening, preceding and during the halftime of football match Macedonia-Serbia.
Special programme "Forever in Our Hearts" will be broadcast at the Macedonian Television following the match, with Macedonian singers performing Tose's songs.
Marathon runners, who started their race in Nova Gradiska - Croatia, should arrive in Krusevo today. The 4. Memorial International Volleyball Tournament was also held in Tose's hometown.
His Memoriam Home has been visited by 180,000 people during the 1,5 year from its opening.
His fans organized the "Starry Sky" on October 5, marking the anniversary from his final concert. The events also have a humanitarian character, highlighting Tose's greatness as humanist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Ten days ago the 'Tose Fan Forum' organized the traditional blood donation campaign, whereas the Red Cross of RM will launch today the campaign on the International Day against Hunger - October 16.
On 16 October 2007, Tose Proeski died in a car accident on the Zagreb–Lipovac highway near Nova Gradiska, Croatia. He was a passenger along with his manager Ljiljana Petrovic in a Volkswagen Touareg driven by Georgij Georgijevski. The Touareg crashed into the back of a truck and then into the median barrier, killing Tose instantly. Of the other two passengers, only the driver suffered serious injuries. October 17 was pronounced a national day of mourning in Macedonia. After his death, the Government honored him with title "Meritorius Citizen of Macedonia".

Tehnoma 2012 opens at Skopje Fair

Two hundred exhibitors and 600 companies from Macedonia and abroad are to be presented at the 38. International Trade Fair of Metallurgy, Electronics, Non-Metals and Build and Construction, Security and Protection - Tehnoma 2012, held on October 16-20 at Skopje Fair.
The 12th International Fair of Handcrafts and Small-Scale Industry and the 32nd International Exhibition of Inventions - Makinova are taking place simultaneously with Tehnoma.
Minister of Environment and Physical Planning Abdilaqim Ademi and the Skopje Fair director, Gvido Omladic declared the fair open at a ceremony on Tuesday.
Speaking about the importance of the fair, minister Ademi said it represented a great opportunity for accomplishing international trade, especially in the field of energy efficient and environmental technologies.
"I firmly believe that small and medium enterprises from Macedonia and the region will successfully use the chance to establish business contacts and regional networking and to attract possible investors," Ademi stated.
Tehnoma, he added, is recognised as a promoter of the development of industrial economy in the region.
15 companies from Greece and Slovenia, 20 firms from Croatia and 10 from Bulgaria will hold national presentations in the course of Tehnoma 2012.

16 October 2012

Adam of Govrlevo exhibition opens in Ljubljana

An exhibition "Adam of Govrlevo" will open Monday evening in Ljubljana-based cultural and congress centre "Cankarjev dom."
The exhibition, which is organised by the Museum of the City of Skopje, "Cankarjev dom" and the Institute for Mediterranean Heritage, Koper, will run until Nov. 16.
"Adam оf Govrlevo" іs а Neolithic sculpture found by archaeologist Milos Bilbija оf the Skopje City Museum. More than 6,000 years old, it is the oldest artefact found in the Republic of Macedonia and among the oldest in the world.

13 October 2012

Nine Macedonian companies in SeeNews TOP 100 SEE 2012

Macedonia  has nine entrants in this year SeeNews TOP 100 SEE chart - the only annual ranking of the top companies, banks and insurers in the region of Southeast Europe.
The chart includes Okta Refinery at number 59, three Macedonian banks, i.e. Komercijalna Banka at number 56, Stopanska Banka AD Skopje at 59 and NLB Tutunska Banka at 64.
Macedonia has five representatives in the TOP 100 Insurers ranking for 2011, unchanged from the previous year. Triglav Osiguruvanje AD (former Vardar Skopije AD) is the country's top insurer at the 64th spot in the ranking for 2011. The other Macedonian insurers on the list are Eurolink Insurance and Sava Osiguruvanje AD (former Sava Tabak AD) - 83 and 84, QBE-86 and AD Insurance Policy Skopje-98.
The best SEE company in 2012 is Romania's OMV Petrom S.A.; Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) - the Romanian Commercial Bank tops the list of banks, while the SEE leader of insurers is Zavarovalnica Triglav from Slovenia.  
The fifth edition of the SeeNews TOP 100 SEE was released on October 11, 2012. The annual ranking (www.top100.seenews.com) includes the best performing companies registered in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
"For the first time we have included research on Turkey and Greece, setting the scene for companies from the two countries to enter the TOP 100 rankings in the future," says editor-in-chief Mira Karadzhova.
The edition features three major charts - TOP 100 Companies, TOP 100 Banks and TOP 100 Insurers, as well as additional rankings, company and country profiles, interviews and feature stories on major events and trends in Southeast Europe (SEE) in 2011.
The SEE economies set out on the path of recovery last year, trying to beat the challenge of sluggish demand for their exports in the eurozone, their main trading partner. The performance indicators of the companies in the SeeNews TOP 100 SEE rankings give clear evidence that albeit difficult, their progress is steady.
SeeNews (www.seenews.com) is the business news and market intelligence supplier which publishes the annual ranking of the biggest companies in Southeast Europe.

12 October 2012

Lazy Holidays

The film was made in the town of Ohrid in Macedonia (Ohrid). In our travels we bring a few photos;). The best way to preserve memories is shooting video. In this way, better get to know the country and people, we establish direct contact easier. We remember an elderly couple, resulting in a small shop with regional products, Sanja sculpture, street vendors corn, cotton candy, and ... hairdressers, who opened their bets after dark.
But Ohrid is primarily a city full of monuments which have been inscribed in 1980 on UNESCO World Heritage List.
In the film, left for the church of St. Sophia, in which are preserved frescoes of the eleventh century, the ancient theater, the church of St. John at Kaneo of the fourteenth century, the church of St. Panteleimon, the walk ends at the fortress of Tsar Samuel, resulting in the X-XI centuries. However, the city has much more to offer. With beautiful Ohrydu soon show you a few more production. Stay tuned!

Domino's Pizza opens in Macedonia

Domino's Pizza has opened its first store in Macedonia, A second store in the brand new Skopje City Mall is also nearing completion. The company's management has extensive experience that makes it well-positioned to develop Domino's into a leading brand in Macedonia. Domino's Pizza now operates in over 70 markets worldwide.

Domino's Pizza new logo.
Domino's Pizza the recognized world leader in pizza delivery, has opened its first store in Macedonia, with the promise of hot, delicious pizza for the residents of the capital city of Skopje. The grand opening event included many prominent individuals in the local community, including U.S. Ambassador Paul Wolhers, who got the first pizza straight from the oven.

Master Franchisee Paul Tsouloufris worked together with three partners – Nebojsa Stameski, Boban Angelovski and Sasha Georgievski – to get the business up and running. A second store in the brand new Skopje City Mall is also nearing completion. The company's management has extensive experience that makes it well-positioned to develop Domino's into a leading brand in Macedonia.

"I am proud of the team that got this store up and running and we're pleased to be the first store to open with the new Domino's logo as well," said Tsouloufris. "We are looking forward to providing this community with hot, fresh pizza to their doorstep as we work to become the leading pizza delivery restaurant in Macedonia."
Domino's Pizza now operates in over 70 markets worldwide, with nearly half of its global retail sales coming from international stores, generating roughly a third of its operating income. 

More from the Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/Dominosmk

11 October 2012

11 Oct - MACEDONIAN Anti-fascist Uprising day

The Republic of Macedonia marks an anniversary since the start of the Day of People's Uprising against Fascism and National Liberation War, on October 11th 1941.

The Macedonian people responded to the fascist occupation by organizing an insurrection. At that time the first sabotage units were created. Kumanovo and Prilep detachments were founded, their actions started on October 11 being the beginning of the Macedonian people uprising. During 1942 the partisan movement were also in ascent. Nine detachments were founded acting on a large territory.

During the winter and the spring in 1944, the Macedonian Army has taken important military actions (the February march, the Spring offensive), causing great damage to the Bulgarian occupiers.

During the period of 1944 the network of governmental organs in Macedonia has been spread, over 800 in number. The preparations for convocation of the ASNOM have been taken by the Headquarters General and the Initiative Board.

Thus, by the end of the war, the Macedonian National Liberation Army numbered over 56,000 soldiers, and this part of Macedonia alone provided about 25,000 victims.

The liberation of Macedonia by its own forces was an outstanding military and political accomplishment of the Macedonian people and at the same time it was a significant contribution by a small people to the anti-fascist struggle in the Balkans and Europe.

On holiday's occasion, October 11 Award for special and eminent achievements in the areas of science, culture, art and journalism was presented Sunday at the Macedonian Parliament.

Fresh flowers at partisan graves and tomb of General Mihajlo Apostolski.

10 October 2012

Macedonia a crossroad for international companies to enter European markets, says FinMin

Macedonia is a fast-growing economy at the crossroads between East and West, North and South, which mitigates the work of businessmen operating in Macedonia to export goods in any European country.
This is how Deputy PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski presented Macedonia as a favourable business destination before Indian companies at a business forum in Chennai.
"Macedonia is a fast-growing economy compared to other countries in Europe, which means we are comparing the country with other European countries with a growth rate of one to two percent. Prior to the crisis, Macedonia registered an average growth rate of 5-6% and at the same time it coped with the crisis more easily than other European countries. Growth rate in 2010 and 2011 was 3% owing to export, which is increasing by 25 to 30% at an annual level. This is a result of the foreign direct investments i.e. companies that have opened their own businesses in the free economic zones," FinMin Stavreski said at the business forum.
He underscored that Macedonia was a candidate country for EU membership. "This fact is important for every businessmen, because it provides a high level of stability and predictability of the legislation, policies and regulations, which are crucial for the business itself."
Chennai, which is the fifth Indian city where the Macedonian government delegation presented the country's investment opportunities at business events, is ranked in the Forbes' Top Ten Fastest-Growing Cities list.
Chennai's metropolitan area is taking full advantage of India's soaring industrial sector, particularly the booming automobile sector. Electronics, led by Dell, Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens, Sony and Foxconn, are also booming. Chennai is home to India's second-largest entertainment industry, behind Mumbai.
Tuesday's presentation was held in cooperation with India's largest chamber of commerce CII - Confederation of Indian Industry.
The government delegation, also including Minister for Foreign Investments Bill Pavleski and Directorate for Technological-Industrial Development Zones director Viktor Mizo, has already held presentations in New Delhi, Bangalore, Trivandrum and Hyderabad.

08 October 2012

Over 35 events held on 8th White Night in Skopje

Skopje hosted on Saturday evening the eight "White Night", which was launched by Skopje mayor Koce Trajanovski. He opened an exhibition "'60s: World, Skopje and Its Citizens" in the Museum of the City of Skopje.
"White Night this evening brings an explosion of aesthetic and creative energy, which I believe will leave no one indifferent while visiting the city square, the Skopje Old Bazaar and other cultural institutions," Trajanovski said.
The main event of the evening was on 'Macedonia' square, where local artists, including actors, choreographers, directors, designers, acrobats, musicians staged a multimedia performance "The Place I Am At".
Over 35 events - exhibits, film and video art screenings, concerts, literary readings, theater performances and sporting manifestations took place on more than 20 locations across the capital.
This year's "White Night" had a retrospective theme to present the Skopje art scene in the past 50 years.

Macedonia's investment opportunities promoted before Indian businessmen

A government delegation led by Vice PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski is paying a visit to India, where Macedonia's investment opportunities are presented before businessmen.
The delegation, which also includes the minister in charge of attracting foreign investments, Bill Pavleski and the director of the Directorate for Technological and Industrial Development Zones, Viktor Mizo, is expected to visit four Indian cities - Gurgaon, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Chennai.
As part of its five-day visit to India, the delegation on Friday held  meetings with representatives of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

06 October 2012

ArcelorMittal investment in Skopje plant

Plant "ArcelorMittal Skopje"  presented Thursday a new EUR 3,5 million investment in a zinc plating line.
The investment covered a reconstruction and full automation of the steel mill's zinc plating production line, which is expected to increase output volume and quality.
It will enable a more efficient technological operation,  better energy efficiency and productivity, reduced emissions of air polluting substances and their continual monitoring.
The Ministers for attracting foreign investments and environment, Vele Samak and  Abdilaqim Ademi respectively, welcomed the new investment. 
Government officials, many businessmen and general managers of the most influential companies in the Balkan steel industry attended the event.
ArcelorMittal is the world's leading steel and mining company. Guided by a philosophy to produce safe, sustainable steel, it is the leading supplier of quality steel products in all major markets including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging. ArcelorMittal operates in 60 countries and employs about 260,000 people worldwide.

The iBalkans Full 3.0 version

The iBalkans Full 3.0 version available on the Apple Store NOW!
Compatible with iOS 6.

Inter-cultural Communication in the Balkans is Easy Using an iPhone

An international consortium of language and technology experts has created an application for the Apple iPhone / iPod / iPad that allows easy intercultural communication between all Balkan languages. iBalkans is a multimedia, multilingual phrasebook for the relatively unstudied languages of the Balkans: Albanian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Turkish, Serbian, Slovene and English, French, German and Russian. The unique application is built on the simple idea that "language is power" and that knowing to read and speak even a few simple phrases can help the visitor gain access to the rich local cultures.

iBalkans is truly a unique computer assisted language learning application intended for both visitors to the Balkans and people living there who wish to communicate with their neighbors across language barriers. It is much more than a travel phrasebook and allows the user to enter into the very center of the rich and varied Balkan cultures. With iBalkans loaded onto ones iPhone, visitors to any country in South Eastern Europe can easily communicate with the locals, thereby enabling trips off the beaten track and into the very heart of the Balkans.

The most remarkable feature of iBalkans is the phrases themselves. Phrases are divided into topics: Food and Drink, Travel, Essentials, Conflict-What Conflict?, Romance, Life on the Street and the innovative Ten Phrases that Can Save Your Life. Thus, iBalkans is a very contemporary phrasebook for all types of travelers. It contains all of the basic and traditional phrases found in most printed phrasebooks (days of the week, months, numbers, etc.) but it also contains many phrases that are unique to the Balkans and really represent the Balkan mentality ("I am on your side," "No thanks, I can't eat anymore," "I could drink all night!", or even "Try to be on time next time.").

The technology behind the application follows closely the features of Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch and the new iPad. It is easy to use and designed according to Apple's Human Interface guidelines. iBalkans is simple to download, install and learn. The user chooses his source language and target language and then scrolls through intuitively designed groups of phrases. The user chooses a phrase and immediately is provided its equivalent in the target language. The user reads the phrase and presses its button to hear the correct pronunciation by native speakers. It is easy to change source and target language so iBalkans can be used in any country in any language environment.

iBalkans is designed by language professionals and uses native speakers and guides for all languages. All multimedia elements were recorded in the Balkan countries. The sound quality is professional and the speakers are fully involved in the translation of phrases. iBalkans is also a pedagogically sound way to improve ones knowledge of any of these languages. Languages in non-roman scripts (Bulgarian, Greek and Macedonian) also include a handy transliteration button, which allows the user to easily read the phrase. The application includes a Quiz feature that allows the user to assess his knowledge.

iBalkans is a true multimedia phrasebook and includes 850 useful phrases for any combination of the Balkan languages. The flexible approach used to design the application fits the needs of different users in different language settings. The user has complete control over which languages he installs on the application and which phrases are to be highlighted. For example, an English-speaking visitor to the western parts of Macedonia may wish to install both Albanian and Macedonian as well as English as the three languages to be used. Or a French-speaking visitor to Serbian-populated areas of Romania may wish to install Romanian, Serbian as well as French. A Serbian tourist in Turkey may wish to add Turkish to his version of iBalkans.
It is easy to download iBalkans directly at Apple's iTunes or simply search for iBalkans for more details. iBalkans comes in two versions: iBalkans Full which contains all phrases in all languages and iBalkans which contains all phrases in 3 languages (the user choose which languages to install but can always add more languages later ). iBalkans costs $4.99 (with three languages) and additional languages cost $1.99. iBalkans Full costs $14.99. There is also a free version, iBalkans Lite, with only a few phrases.

iBalkans is designed and created by professional linguists and IT specialists and is intended for anyone wishing to communicate in these languages. It is a perfect companion for summer travels to Greece, Albania, Turkey, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Romania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. For those travelling to the US, UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France, Germany and Russiait is the ideal way to make oneself understood on travels abroad. iBalkans is already being used on five continents by hundreds of diplomats, businessmen, students, travelers, tourists and NGO professionals.

Corporate Identity: iBalkans was conceived, designed and developed by an international consortium of language experts, pedagogists, translators, programmers and IT specialists. Vapa is quickly becoming a recognized leader in developing innovative cross-cultural communication applications, networks and training. Vapa also advise developers and designers on product development and work with universities, government agencies, NGOs, and industry to span the world's cultures.


05 October 2012

Carrefour hypermarket opens in Macedonia

On 4 October 2012, our franchisee the “Marinopoulos SA” Group will opened its first hypermarket in Macedonia, in the city of Skopje. 
The “City Mall Skopje” Carrefour will have a sales area of 3800 m² and will be located in the town centre in Macedonia’s largest shopping centre with 150 stores, a bowling alley, cinemas and space for 1500 cars.

It will be Marinopoulos’ 8th hypermarket in the Balkans. Macedonia has a population of 2,050,000, with 700,000 people living in Skopje.

04 October 2012

Skopje City Mall opens today

The new Skopje City Mall, which officially opens late on Wednesday, will offer renowned global brands and local trademarks to consumers from Macedonia and the region.

The EUR 70 million investment will open over 2,000 jobs. Zara, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear, Bershka, Carrefour are just some of the brands selling their products in Skopje City Mall.
The facility also includes a multiplex 3D cinema, bowling facility, cafes, restaurants, cosmetics, bookstores, children's corners, services and other content, along with a 1,300-capacity multi-storey car park.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski, Karpos Mayor Stevco Jakimovski, as well as CEOs of investing companies Fashion Group and Balfin, Zoran Antic and Samir Mane respectively, will attend today's formal opening of Skopje City Mall.
According to announcements, Skopje City Mall aims at meeting needs of domestic and regional consumers, becoming the most successful shopping center on the Balkans.

Info-museum section at Skopje airport opens

The Customs Administration will acquaint passengers on their rights and obligations when entering and leaving the country through an info-museum section, comprised of a display, banners and brochures on the type of goods that are allowed and forbidden, i.e. commodities to be reported with customs.
Customs Administration director Vanco Kargov opened the section at Skopje-based airport "Alexander the Great" on Wednesday, in the attendance of Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska and Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska.
"The goal is to give passengers entering or leaving the country simple information, since they are not exposed to unnecessary difficulties. This is a practice used by other countries too", said Kargov.
Special glass showcases include different types of commodities and items that are allowed or forbidden for entry and exit, commodities and items subject to customs taxes, trademark commodities and items, products of animal origin, artifacts and archaeological items subject to protection by international conventions, as well as info-brochures towards improving the passengers' knowledge of their rights and commitments when entering or leaving Macedonia's customs area.
The section is placed in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Museum of the City of Skopje, the Cultural Heritage Protection Office, Confiscated Property Management Agency, and the Ministry of Interior.

Macedonian, Austrian companies hold business meetings

Macedonian firms will hold business meetings with renowned Austrian companies in the field of environment at the Economic Chamber of Macedonia on Wednesday.
Austrian companies specialized in environment friendly technologies aim at finding partners for distribution/representative offices, importers to Macedonia, end consumers, offer of services and know-how, licenced firms, joint venture partners, research of production potentials of Macedonian companies, joint partnership/participation at international windmill projects, windmill parks etc.
Minister of Environment and Physical Planning Abdilaqim Ademi is set to open the business meetings, also organized by the Trade Department within Austria's Embassy to Macedonia, as well as the Carinthia Chamber of Commerce.
Presentation "Environment Friendly Technologies" will be held prior to the business meetings.

03 October 2012

Kumanovo hosts 15th Days of Comedy festival

The 15th international festival "Days of Comedy" starts Monday evening in Kumanovo. Ten comedies from Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Kosovo will be performed at the festival.
"The festival has been organised for 15 years. The first year I hoped that Kumanovo would accept it and that the event would become traditional. Now I can freely say that the festival enriches the city's cultural life," said Risto Stefanovski, a member of festival's council.
The festival each year is better and better and hopefully one day it will host European productions, organisers have said.
"Days of Comedy" festival is financed the Ministry of Culture.

Macedonia-Estonia business forum in Skopje

Energy, agriculture, IT and tourism are the sectors where Macedonia and Estonia can enhance bilateral cooperation, agreed participants at Monday's business forum in Skopje.
"I am convinced that today's event will enhance existing and create new business ties between Macedonia and Estonia, through the use of prior business experience and friendly relations", said Economy Minister Valon Saraqini in the opening address.
He added that bilateral economic cooperation should increase, with today's forum representing a good opportunity for this.
Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts said history was written in Skopje, expressing hope the forum was just the beginning of numerous business meetings between the two countries.
"I hope these two days will be fruitful and enable the launch of new businesses. I believe there are opportunities for enhancement of business relations in the textile and metal industries", added Parts.
Total trade exchange with Estonia in 2011 was approximately US$ 1,6 million, whereas Estonian investments in Macedonia amounted to EUR 1,22 million.

Macedonian wine to be promoted in Netherlands and Poland

Eleven Macedonian wineries from the association "Wines from Macedonia" will promote their wines in the Hague and Warsaw from October 21 to 24.
Macedonian wineries including Tikvesh, Stobi, Skovin, Dalvina, Bovin, Popov, Dudin, Kamnik, Ezimit, Popova Kula and Filovski will present wines before Dutch and Polish connoisseurs of fine wines, importers and distributors.
According to the marketing strategy for exporting wine in the EU, prepared by the wineries, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Switzerland have been assessed as the most perspective markets for the Macedonian wine.
Dutch Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) support the promotions. Macedonian embassies in the two countries and Agency for Foreign Investment and Export Promotion through its economic promoters are also included in the organisation of the promotional events.
So far, Macedonian wine was presented in Helsinki, Chicago, Washington and New York. As a result of wine promotion in China, seven wineries have already signed export contract. The promotions held during this year are supported by international donors - CBI and USAID.

01 October 2012

EBRD loan for overhaul of Railway rolling stock

Macedonian Railways (MZ)Transport will overhaul its rolling stock through a EUR 50 million loan provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), following Monday's signing of the agreement between Vice Premier and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski and MZ Transport director Oliver Derkoski with EBRD Head of Skopje Office Elena Urumovska.

The EUR 50 million will be used for the procurement of 150 freight cars, 4 diesel-engine passenger car sets, 2 electric-engine passenger car sets and reconstruction of 6 electric locomotives.
Vice Premier Stavreski said the cars' procurement would significantly increase the thriftiness of MZ Transport, since costs for maintenance of the rolling stock would be cut, while the company's competitiveness would increase, thus creating conditions for better services of commodities and passengers.

"This investment represents the start of a mini-investment cycle in the railway sector, which also includes reconstruction of the Corridor 10 railroad and construction of several sections", said Stavreski.

Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski said the procurement would secure up to 1,800 new seats for passengers that use MZ Transport services.
"The new passenger cars would be manufactured in line with European standards, enabling comfortable transport, fully air-conditioned and with access for handicapped persons", said Janakieski.
A tender is to be scheduled by the end of this or the start of next year, whereas the supplier would be known by mid-2013.

Head of the EBRD Office to Skopje Urumovska emphasized that the railway modernization process supported by the bank would result in changes beneficial for passengers and transporters.
"Besides the procurement of new cars and the reconstruction of the electric locomotives, the loan also provides funds for improvement of the energy efficiency of the workshops and introduction of an energy efficiency system within the company", said Urumovska.

24-hour modernized control of goods and passengers at borders introduced

24-hour control of the transport of passengers and goods at borders is provided through the upgraded one-stop shop system on permits for import, export and transit of goods and tariff quotas (EXIM system), which is now an electronic link between the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Customs Administration.
"The introduction of the system on October 1 will be another blow to the unfair competition and time will be saved for controlling transporters," Transport Minister Mile Janakieski told a press conference held Wednesday with the director of the Customs Administration, Vanco Kargov.
The system will enable transport of good by local and foreign transporters to be completely registered, while illegal transportation will be reduced at the same time. Records will be kept for all kinds of transportation of passengers as they will be controlled and abuse of transport permits is set to be eliminated, according to him.
"Both the Ministry of Transport and the State Transport Inspectorate are going to have an insight into international transport in Macedonia and possible illegal transport. Economic operators on the other hand will cross borders for a shorter time. At the same time,  the accelerated control will significantly reduce and eliminate transition of foreign vehicles or buses on the territory of Macedonia that steal the businesses of local transporters," Kargov stated.