Highlights of Day 1 at the MK2025 Summit

posted November 1, 2017

Day1 of the sixth annual Macedonia2025 Summit has just finished. Over 400 people attended to learn and be inspired by speakers such as Vuk Jeremic, former foreign minister of Serbia; Ruben Vardanyan, impact investor and social entrepreneur; Prime Minister Zaev; and Mike Zafirovski. Day 1 highlights are summarized below.  Tomorrow promises to be even better with speakers such as Vanja Josifovsi, CTO of Pinterest; Dana Gavish, VP of Entrepreneurship at Ben Gurion Univsersity; and Aco Momcilovic, Chief Human Resources Officer of Rimac Automobili.

“Macedonia needs to move forward and not stay behind” Mike Zafirovski.

We cannot sit still and wait for EU membership, we are ultimately responsible for our own success. We need constant growth to converge with the EU and to achieve this we must continually transform Macedonia. Innovation is key and is achieved through education and encouraging entrepreneurship. People are our key resource.

“We need to educate people to be employable not just employed”Suan Hiang Lee.

Private business must also play an important role in Macedonia’s growth. Only with the growth of companies can GDP grow. Also companies and individuals can do what government can’t or won’t do.

“Well run companies are a gift and asset to an economy” Mike Zafirovski

Domestic companies typically employ the most people but also typically lag foreign companies in terms of productivity, exports, and innovation. Domestic companies can grow by working with foreign companies and learning from them. Singapore shows that FDI can lift domestic companies.

“FDI and local companies are a win-win” Jerry Naumoff

Foreign companies are not only complementary to domestic companies but are also transformative for the whole economy.

“FDI leads the way in exports and has helped transform the structure of exports and employment in Macedonia”. Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski

In 2007 around a third of workers were employed in manual labor today it is only 13 percent.

Ultimately our future is in our own hands; Macedonia must decide what type of country it wants to be and then needs to unite behind this common vision. We cannot be comfortable with mediocrity.

The best and brightest need to move in the same direction so that we can be bigger than the sum of our parts”. Suan Hiang Lee