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July 2017

Dimitar Siljanovski, CTO at Global Savings Group GmbH in Munich, will talk about Macedonia as a hub for smart industries at the MK2025 Summit 2017

By | announcements 2017, speakers 2017 | No Comments

Dimitar Siljanovski is an experienced IT-professional, having a strong track record in start-ups and established technology companies. Before joining CupoNation as CTO in 2013, he previously worked as Software architect and developer in multiple companies such as oDesk and Ecorys. He is skilled in management, DevOps, software architectures, and web applications.

As an experienced Chief Technology Officer, Dimitar is globally responsible for all platforms and software related to the Global Savings Group (GSG), the leading operator of digital savings destination websites, mobile solutions, and marketing services, based in the Munich Area. He has been a speaker at multiple conferences including Rocket Internet CTO Summit, Java Conferences and eEducational cConferences in Munich on various subjects including: (“Building and working with remote teams”, “Agile Team Management”, “Changing the Organization and IT Team for Microservices based architecture”). Dimitar holds a Bachelor in Software Engineering from First European University Skopje.

 

Listen to Dimitar’s investment story at the panel Macedonia – a hub for smart industries, at Day2 of the MK2025 Summit 2017 which will be devoted to technology.

To register for the Summit please visit the official Summit web site at www.mk2025summit.com Early bird prices (Regular ticket 200e; Special early bird price for SME’s 100e) which will be valid until September the 1st.

For any Summit related questions feel free to contact our events coordinator at maja.s@macedonia2025.com

Recap of the Summer Diaspora Business Trip 2017

By | Announcements | No Comments

The Summer Diaspora Business trip has the purpose of providing young Macedonian Diaspora with a platform where they can reconnect with their heritage while exploring new opportunities in Macedonia. Besides this, the program has the vision to motivate the diaspora to reach out to the Macedonian business community and learn about its potential for investment and starting a business. This year young professionals from Serbia, Italy, Germany, and Australia had the opportunity to be a part of this program, organized for the second time.

The program unofficially was open with trip to Matka and  Makedonsko Selo, while the official opening happened at the “Alkaloid A.D Skopje” premises, where Mr. Zhivko Mukaetov who is the chairman of the program, welcomed the participants and gave a presentation regarding their work. After the tour around the Alkaloid A.D. premises and their R&D facility, participants became well aware of the work of the company and got a good glimpse of how different sectors function. Afterward, they officially started with their internships at the companies which were previously assigned to them, in accordance to their professional backgrounds.

Besides the internship, Macedonia2025 organized a series of events in order for these young Macedonians to meet country key leaders. The main event was the networking reception which was held on the 19th of June at the Senigallia restaurant by the Vardar basin.

The event hosted over 70 guests who had the chance to hear the participants’ impressions as well as the speeches of MK2025 board members Mr. Zhivko Mukatov and Mr. Zoran Martinovski. The director of MK2025, Ms. Biljana Markovic Stamenova as well as the Ambassador of Canada to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro, H.E. Philip Pinnington also welcomed the guests with a short speech. The ambassador emphasized the importance of the Macedonian youth and that they should avoid leaving Macedonia in order to seek for success. He added that even though our country is facing a lot of problems, with the right attitude, devotion, and persistence, we can do a lot, having in mind that Macedonia is a country that possesses great potential.

Another interesting trip that was realized throughout the program was the visit to the ancient city of Stobi, as well as the tour to the Tikves winery, where the participants together with their mentors and the MK2025 staff had a chance to try some of the best traditional Macedonian meals while tasting some of the best quality Macedonian wines.

The diaspora professionals Kristofer Kostov and Jovana Pavlovich stated:

Kristofer: It is a wonderful experience where you can learn a lot of things. This program is really something worth being a part of. “Helping build a stronger nation” mission is definitely something that I’m interested in contributing to, and that’s why I chose to be a part of this Summer Diaspora Business Trip. I think Macedonia is a wonderful country where people should invest in. People should start appreciating Macedonia as a country as not many people know a lot of Macedonia, and this is exactly what Macedonia2025 is trying to change.

Jovana: I heard about the program and the Macedonia2025 organization, I really liked the work they are doing and that’s why I decided to be a part of it. I am a student of medicine and that’s why I chose Alkaloid as a company to do my internship. I was in the sector of medical marketing and I can tell you one thing – this has been one great experience. We were meeting great people every day and we learned a lot about the business development in Macedonia. I just want to say thanks to Macedonia2025 and Alkaloid AD Skopje for giving me this opportunity.

Macedonia2025 say that they are very proud of the outcome from the program, and are eager to reach a bigger number of participants for the years to come.

Interview with Signori – The Macedonian brand with a fashionable world-class look

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– Signori, what are your current activities and what is your status in Macedonia?

This year we are marking 4 years with Signori. We are grateful that the demand for Signori is continuously growing, people are dreaming of having our outfits and they have a goal to wear our suits when they make a wedding or have a special occasion. We are proud that people from all over the world are coming here and are interested in wearing Signori clothes. At the very beginning, when we started with Signori, we didn’t imagine that our products could be a dream for someone.

Recently we have started cooperating with Scabal and Loro Piana, world brands whose materials are used by the best tailors. These are luxurious and limited materials that are produced in England and Italy. We are grateful that we can use and offer them to our customers. It was a long process to get the licenses in order to sell these materials. At the moment we are the only one in Macedonia using these materials, and there are very few in the Balkans. Our customers are coming from all over the world – Ibiza, Germany, Switzerland, Austria – we have people who are coming especially to Macedonia to make their outfits in Signori.

We are currently continuing our cooperation with Kire Lazarov . We are now preparing a new winter collection for him, where the base is once again these ultra-luxurious materials. Lazarov himself says that he is very happy when he wears our brand and that he feels very comfortable in it. It’s very nice when these words are said by a person at his level. We also have cooperation with Goran Pandev who we will dress for the Super Cup, an event where our brand (logo) will be seen by millions of viewers. Some time ago we opened our own factory, mini-plant, where we already have about 15 employees, with a total of 20 people.

– Compared to 2016, how much did you grow?

Well, I think we can say we grew double the size.

With the growth itself, many new things are being taught and there is constant progress. We are building Signori to be a worldwide brand from Macedonia. We try to show the Macedonia name more often on the world markets, which will show that from here comes something of a quality, ultra-exclusive for people who have a taste and want to be special, different from all others.

When we talk about the products themselves, we now produce shirts, shoes, leather accessories, bow ties – all of these products are produced here by us. From this year we started to produce shorts and jeans as well. Also, for the winter collection, we will start to work more with fur, giving customers more options on what kind of fur they want for their coat.

We are already planning to start with the “Father and Son” collection, which will be quite interesting and intriguing for the family men who want to appear at an event together with their son.

For the first time ever we also held a fashion show in Kosovo, as part of the International Fashion Week, as we have a goal to expand in this market as well. It was superbly received among the people who were present from all over the world – an elite group of people who could only be present through an invitation, where we could show our new creations and tell how a man should look like in the everyday life. We did not want to be a standard fashion show, but to show what Signori is for the true gentleman, the one who wants and knows how to dress. This was the reason why we did not take the standard young models, but men who already wear our suits, and which normally can look rich and luxurious in the same.

– Do you have any plans for regional expansion?

First, we expanded to Cambridge, then Belgrade, and now we are focusing on Kosovo. With God’s will, after some time we would like to continue with the online sales. This is now a huge goal for us, as we would like to meet the demand that comes through the social networks. Our Instagram and Facebook pages are overwhelmed with requests, but we cannot do anything at the moment because we are working to the extent where the client himself must be present. Those who can afford to come to Macedonia, come to us, do custom-made clothes, plus have the opportunity visit Macedonia. On one hand, they spend a good time, and on the other, they see that the whole experience is worth the same as the products from the foreign market, but at least they enjoy a full concept. We have an express line where we make the outfit within 3-4 days, so in this period they have a short break, have the opportunity to visit Macedonia and of course get the clothes they like. We also have clients – grooms, who come as a group and want to wear our suits.

The good thing is that we have many requests. Now we just want to make the whole production process to be perfect, expand it, and enable anyone to order an outfit. We will have M to M (Made to Measure / Ready to Go) for every buyer who will say “here, I love this outfit” so they can get it. We have great benefits that we are in Macedonia, especially about exports, and we are very proud to have “Made in Macedonia” sign on our products.

 

– Does this mean that with the help of your website, future customers will be able to take their own measures, so the process of direct measurement by your side would be reduced?

Yes, they will have a personal profile on the website with full details, starting with name and surname, year of birth, up to the information on how to measure and get their own measures. There will be detailed step-by-step videos through which customers will have the opportunity to measure themselves at home, and with that, we will have an insight into what the measure is for, so we can make them an outfit. Plus, we will offer a special program where we will give a special discount to the first customers who will be able to go to the tailor, something that will be included in the price itself.

We also have a new campaign this year, “Gentlemen’s Club“. Our goal is to animate our clients who are loyal to us in order for them to have a place where they can dress in Signori. It’s nice that all are young and successful businessmen, and of course, there are some older gentlemen, with whom we can exchange opinions and do some networking. It’s like a new movement that we did in Skopje, and I think it works superbly.

 

– Do you import all the materials or there are certain materials that are used from here?

Yes, everything is imported. Every material, especially from the exclusive ones, such as Scabal, is ordered specifically for that client. We never take it in large quantities, because the materials themselves are quite expensive. It is good that we have many clients from the Macedonian market who enjoy this luxury, love it, and are collectors of such things. These suits are more for people who already have 20 suits at home, and wear them every day, in some ways even like track suits.

– Is there a potential for producing such materials in Macedonia?

It used to be, but now I think that this quality cannot be reached because the wool and the cashmere they use are rarer and softer. Our wool is sharper, so to work with such materials, they will first need to be imported and then processed. They have quite specific materials – such as silk from the lotus flower, which is quite unique. They also have waterproof materials on which you can freely spray water and the materials will not leak.

 

– What’s the difference between a regular suit and Signori suit?

The difference is really huge. Let me give you an example. If you go to the store and are keen to buy a dark blue suit, after trying it out you will notice that the suit might be wide in the upper part and thimble in the lower. There will surely be something that will not suit you, and the design will not be anything special because your knowledge of suits is limited. 90% of men do not wear their suits every day. You will see a picture on Instagram of which you will see a super suit you would like to have, but when you go to a store you will encounter something you did not imagine – it would not be “slim fit”, it will not be tailored, in the shoulders might be wider, the length will be different, and so on. And now it would be illogical for you to go to a tailor if you already paid for a more expensive brand, only for someone to unstitch your jacket, so it can tailor it, while you do not know how the final product would look like.

At Signori you receive consultations, whereby we will immediately direct you to the right choice, we will explain you all different materials, we will design the outfit to your standard with the design that most suits you. We want to consult you about suits that best suit you. And now, in the end, the color may be dark blue, but there’s a huge difference when someone says, “Hey, where did you get your suit?” and “Your suit is from Signori, right?”

The difference is in the whole concept. Signori is not just the product, Signori is the approach, the service, the style, the design, the attention being dedicated, the cut. It’s absolutely clear from the first moment when the outfit is Signori, and people already recognize it. The difference is perceptible, and the very feeling when you wear it on yourself is very different. The flexibility of the outfit itself, as well as the materials that we use to make it, are equally important, because not only the outer material but the whole workmanship of the inner part is important, in order to keep the outfit fully fixed and be more flexible when the client moves. Normally, to be comfortable, and to look good as a whole.

Angelka Peeva Laurencic – Founder and manager of ImagePR and MK2025 Summit 2017 speaker

By | announcements 2017 | No Comments

Angelka Peeva Laurencic is a pioneer in the development of PR and communication management. She is a founder and manager of one of the leading communications management and public relations agencies in Macedonia – Image PR. Angelkacharacterized herself with rich professional experience in this area and in integrated communication that derives from the two-decade practical application in the fields of corporate, institutional and political communication. During her work, Angelka has designed and implemented marketing and communications projects for some of the largest companies and political subjects in the country and the region.

Angelka is also a graduate and post-graduate lecturer in the field of Public Relations at different educational institutions and has delivered numerous seminars and courses for different foreign and domestic organizations and institutions such as NDI, IRI, USAID, various governmental institutions, and ministries, and some of the largest domestic and international companies. She is also the founder of the Movement for creativity – “Bravo sine!” supporting young creative minds from Macedonia.

To learn more about the MK2025 Summit 2017 visit our official Summit web page

Recap of the Summer Diaspora Business Trip 2017

By | Announcements | No Comments

The Summer Diaspora Business trip has the purpose of providing young Macedonian Diaspora with a platform where they can reconnect with their heritage while exploring new opportunities in Macedonia. Besides this, the program has the vision to motivate the diaspora to reach out to the Macedonian business community and learn about its potential for investment and starting a business. This year young professionals from Serbia, Italy, Germany, and Australia had the opportunity to be a part of this program, organized for the second time.

The program unofficially was open with trip to Matka and  Makedonsko Selo, while the official opening happened at the “Alkaloid A.D Skopje” premises, where Mr. Zhivko Mukaetov who is the chairman of the program, welcomed the participants and gave a presentation regarding their work. After the tour around the Alkaloid A.D. premises and their R&D facility, participants became well aware of the work of the company and got a good glimpse of how different sectors function. Afterward, they officially started with their internships at the companies which were previously assigned to them, in accordance to their professional backgrounds.

 

Besides the internship, Macedonia2025 organized a series of events in order for these young Macedonians to meet country key leaders. The main event was the networking reception which was held on the 19th of June at the Senigallia restaurant by the Vardar basin.

The event hosted over 70 guests who had the chance to hear the participants’ impressions as well as the speeches of MK2025 board members Mr. Zhivko Mukatov and Mr. Zoran Martinovski. The director of MK2025, Ms. Biljana Markovic Stamenova as well as the Ambassador of Canada to Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro, H.E. Philip Pinnington also welcomed the guests with a short speech. The ambassador emphasized the importance of the Macedonian youth and that they should avoid leaving Macedonia in order to seek for success. He added that even though our country is facing a lot of problems, with the right attitude, devotion, and persistence, we can do a lot, having in mind that Macedonia is a country that possesses great potential.

Another interesting trip that was realized throughout the program was the visit to the ancient city of Stobi, as well as the tour to the Tikves winery, where the participants together with their mentors and the MK2025 staff had a chance to try some of the best traditional Macedonian meals while tasting some of the best quality Macedonian wines.

The diaspora professionals Kristofer Kostov and Jovana Pavlovich stated:

Kristofer: It is a wonderful experience where you can learn a lot of things. This program is really something worth being a part of. “Helping build a stronger nation” mission is definitely something that I’m interested in contributing to, and that’s why I chose to be a part of this Summer Diaspora Business Trip. I think Macedonia is a wonderful country where people should invest in. People should start appreciating Macedonia as a country as not many people know a lot of Macedonia, and this is exactly what Macedonia2025 is trying to change.

Jovana: I heard about the program and the Macedonia2025 organization, I really liked the work they are doing and that’s why I decided to be a part of it. I am a student of medicine and that’s why I chose Alkaloid as a company to do my internship. I was in the sector of medical marketing and I can tell you one thing – this has been one great experience. We were meeting great people every day and we learned a lot about the business development in Macedonia. I just want to say thanks to Macedonia2025 and Alkaloid AD Skopje for giving me this opportunity.

Macedonia2025 say that they are very proud of the outcome from the program, and are eager to reach a bigger number of participants for the years to come.

IN NOVEMBER 2017 THE SIXTH EDITION OF MACEDONIA2025 SUMMIT IS GOING TO BE HELD

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Скопје, 14.07.2017 – На 1-ви и 2-ри ноември, Скопје по шести пат ќе биде домаќин на „Самит Македонија 2025“ кој ќе се одржи во Хотел Мериот. Самитот претставува водечка регионална платформа за споделување на последните светски трендови во бизнисот, инвестициите, технолошките иновации и одговорното лидерство.

Очекуваме повеќе од 30 исклучителни говорници, а дел од оние кои го потврдија учеството се: Ноа Горски, Менаџер за односи со клиенти во Фејсбук; Вук Јеремич,  Поранешен српски министер за надворешни работи; Ацо Момчиловиќ од хрватската Римац Автомобили, производител на најбрзите електрични автомобили во светот; Рубен Вардањан, влијателен руски претприемач, кој преку „Ерменија2020“ реализира значителни социјални инвестиции во родната Ерменија; Тјаша Фицко, Заменик-градоначалник на Љубљана, која го предводи проектот со кој Љубљана стана главен „зелен“ град на Европа и многу други.

Очекуваме интересни дебати кои ќе ги разработат најдобрите практики на економски успешните мали земји, примери за успешно и инспиративно лидерство, технологии на идното време, значењето на медиумите и телекомуникациската индустрија, улогата на социјалните медиуми и платформи, развој на Македонија во регионален центар за паметни технологии, значењето на странските инвестции за земји како нашата, како и примери за „паметни“ технологии и обновливи извори на енергија.

Самитот е уникатна прилика за поврзување и развивање на соработка со повеќе од 300 гости, вклучувајќи и дипломати, извршни директори, претприемачи, членови на академијата, како и бизнис професионалци од дијаспората. Регистрацијата е отворена и овозможува специјални пакети за рана регистрација до 1-ви септември, како и поволности за мали и средни компании.

Повеќе информации на www.mk2025summit.com

Ruben Vardanyan, on the topic of “investment and social entrepreneurship” at the MK2025 Summit 2017

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Ruben Vardanyan is an Armenian-Russian impact investor and social entrepreneur. He serves on the advisory boards of the IFC (World Bank Group) and Fundação Dom Cabral business school in Brazil. He is also a board member at Ameriabank (a major Armenian bank), SOLLERS (Russia’s auto major) amongst a host of other companies, NGOs, public and professional organizations. A prominent financier, Ruben owns a stake in a joint venture with the Otto family in a commercial realty management business in Russia.

He is known both for his financial projects (Troika Dialog investment house) as well as his deep reaching philanthropic programs, such as the first UWC College in Eastern Europe (Dilijan, Armenia) and the Tatev Revival Project, part of which includes the construction of the world’s longest cableway leading to an ancient monastery.

Together with his partners, Ruben has invested about $500M in projects in Armenia, developing a commercial approach that relies on involving blended financing to find solutions to social problems. He has also raised over $500M to finance the first private business school in Russia – a pioneering institution both in terms of scale and in its collaborative nature. In 2015, Ruben co-founded another global project, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors.

 

​Listen to Ruben’s story at our Summit this November, get your early bird tickets HERE

Aco Momcilovic – Chief Human Resources Officer in Rimac Automobili and MK2025 Summit Speaker

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We proudly present yet another keynote speaker at the Macedonia2025 Summit 2017!

Aco Momcilovic is the Chief Human Resources Officer in Rimac Automobili, a Croatian car manufacturer that develops and produces high-performance electric cars, drivetrain and battery systems, headquartered in Sveta Nedelja, Croatia. Rimac Automobili’s first model, the Concept One, is known as the world’s fastest production electric vehicle. While Rimac sells high-performance vehicles under their own brand, the company develops and produces drivetrain systems and full vehicles for other companies.

In this role Aco leads the development and execution of a human capital strategic plan, as well as providing overall leadership and direction to most of the human resources functions (recruitment and selection; talent management and education; leadership development, compensation and benefits, employee relations and inclusion, HRMS). In 2016, through his coordination and strategy implementation, Rimac Automobili received the SAP International Human Resources Award in the category of “Recruiting Top Talent”.

Before this, he was the HR Manager in Billa. There he worked on the introduction of Performance Management and career planning, special projects testing employee satisfaction, and also had the rare opportunity to work on introducing the Mission and Vision into the company.

He is a visiting lecturer at several universities, on topics such as Corporate Culture, Selection of people, Selection of teams, Negotiations, Integration of PR and HR, and also teaches Human Resources Strategy and Planning and Career Development at the Institute for Management.

In his free time, he works on spreading knowledge and connecting people, as a member of several business associations. He is the president of the MBA Croatia Association which gathers MBA alumni and business people in Croatia.

 

Get your early bird tickets for the Summit at mk2025summit.com

*We have a special package for micro and small companies at the price of 100€! The Package includes all the Summit materials, participation in all working sessions, refreshments during panel session breaks, light lunch, attendance at the cocktail reception on November 1, access to the “Get in the Ring” entrepreneurship contest and the Community Outreach Program.

For any Summit related questions please feel free to contact us at office@macedonia2025.com or write to us on our social media.

Diaspora friends, we value your professional opinion (Survey)

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Hello Diaspora Investor, Potential Diaspora Investor or friend of a Diaspora Investor,

To help us understand the experience of the Diaspora Investor please click on the link below and fill out the 2017 Diaspora Investor Survey. Your response is completely anonymous.

 

The 2017 Diaspora Survey is for those members of the Macedonian diaspora who have:

  • Started or helped start a business in Macedonia (even if the company is no longer operating – fill out the survey as if the company was still operating)
  • Have invested in an existing business in Macedonia (even if you are no longer invested in the company – fill out the survey as if you were still invested)
  • Are thinking about starting a business or investing in Macedonia in the next 12 months

 

Please feel free to forward this email on to anyone who you think may fall into one of the three categories above.

The Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MK2025_2017DiasporaSurvey

 

The results will be presented at the Diaspora Investor Summit on 21 September 2017. The Survey is now open and will close by the end of August 2017. If you have any questions or if you need any help filling out the survey, please feel free to contact us at office@macedonia2025.com

Interview with Dimitar Siljanovski, Diaspora investor & MK2025 Summit speaker

By | announcements 2017 | No Comments

• Tell us something about yourself.

My name is Dimitar Siljanovski and I can describe myself as a manager in the IT sector who wants to explore and work with projects related to the development of Web Applications. In my 15 years of experience I have worked with domestic as well as with companies from abroad. In the last 5 years I have commuted back and forth between Munich and Skopje. The various experiences I had throughout the years has provided me with the opportunity to bring a fresh perspective to the Macedonian IT scene. New technologies are my obsession, especially Cloud Computing, Machine Learning, and Block-Chain architecture, and their exploration and usage towards the development of new web applications and services.

• Tell us briefly about your company?

Intertek, a company that operates in Macedonia and cooperates with German Global Savings Group, was founded in March 2015. At the beginning, the company aimed at building a team that will be part of the Munich team. However, we noticed that the distributed teams work great, so besides teams for classic development, we assigned distributed teams that work fully for the needs of Global Savings Group GmbH. Currently, we have 40 employees, and by the end of this year we have envisioned to have another 20 employees. What is characteristic for Intertek is that besides the classical outsource development, the company offers preparation of an overall project and implementation of all processes current in the IT world. This is rarely offered by companies in our country. My goal is to convey my knowledge and experience and motivate other companies to offer complete services to their customers, all in order to stay competitive to the market.

• Why Macedonia?

Macedonia, as part of the Western Balkans, has many benefits for investment in the IT area:

1. The no need for Schengen visa provides an opportunity for frequent and easy travel to IT professionals from Macedonia to Western European countries;
2. Wizzair’s numerous cheap flights allow a frequent meeting of IT professionals from Macedonia with their colleagues and clients from Europe;
3. IT professionals can easily get a visa for America, so traveling to that part of the world is also easy;
4. The English language is at a high level in Macedonia. People have ease in communicating and there is almost no IT professional for whom English is foreign;
5. My connection with Macedonia and the network of people I have here were a major precondition to opening a company here.

• It is known that Macedonian education still focuses on theory instead on practice.

What would be needed to be studied or changed, so young people who now graduate can have a favorable opportunity to be employed by a company like yours? In order to create cadres that will be ready to start working right after finishing a university in Macedonia, there are few things that need to be changed:

1. The ability of the student to work and earn while studying (20 hours per week). The concept of “working student” is very common in Germany. In Munich we got the best company cadres exactly from this type of students. We were working with them for 3 or 4 years during their studies, so after finishing their studies, they joined our company with almost 4 years of experience and understanding for the business model. In Macedonia, there is no legal way for a student to study full-time and be legally employed. I can speak from personal experience that those who are forced to work and study, because of lack of finances, are faced with huge challenges. Their employers must also be very flexible and violate the laws, just so they can allow this opportunity to the young people. Working and studying in the same time is illegal in Macedonia, presenting a big handicap for students, faculty and companies. The practice in many industries has proven to be equal or even more important than theory, so a solution model must be found, so these two aspects are merged into our education.
2. The programs taught in our IT faculties are developed 10 or more years ago. These programs must be upgraded according to the market technologies. The course materials are from 2007 or older, which indicates that something has to be changed in the way of studying.
3. The majors that are offered are very general and students who complete them do not have a specific direction and expertise. It takes 1 to 2 years for graduates to be fully trained so they can become competent in the labor market. The theoretical preparation is insufficient for the business. The business requires practice with the latest technologies.

This is a big topic, and I think I could list many more reasons, but I think that if there is an improvement on these three mentioned points, we will all benefit from it.

• According to you, what can Macedonia offer to the world market, and what the Macedonian market should still develop?

The quality of the Macedonian IT professionals is on a high level. The way of thinking and the ease of accepting new challenges and technologies is competitive with the western European standards and needs. Macedonia can offer intelligent and educated staff that speak and use English language on an enviable level. With training, the same cadres can easily meet the needs of European and American IT services market. There should be an additional staff education for new market demands, such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Date Analysts, Business Analysts, System Administrators, Product Managers, UX Experts, etc. As I explained previously, our faculties produce many generic cadres who must be directed and trained in specific areas. In Macedonia, there is a lack of ecosystem aimed towards development of the abovementioned personnel. Still, this can be achieved through putting into reality some of the following examples:

o Organization of knowledge sharing meetings (example: Meetups)
o Motivation of employees to share their knowledge with employees from other companies through visiting meetings
o Creating IT round tables for managers, CTOs or software architects
o Formation of multiple associations of IT firms (not just MASIT)
o Active cooperation and support of faculties
o Constant communication with the government to enable the environment for this ecosystem
o Organization and support of conferences by IT companies

• Do you have any suggestions for those who want to invest in the IT sector in Macedonia?

I already shared some of the reasons why I believe Macedonia is attractive investment destination in the question “Why in Macedonia”. We have a competent staff and we can answer most of the requirements from any potential customers.
We are small country and that is reflected in the IT sector, but that does not prevent us from delivering teams for large clients that work on meaningful IT solutions.

Investing in Macedonia offers several advantages than investing in the west European countries in terms of:
• Flexibility of work contracts
• Low and simple taxes
• Easy legal and financial regulation in dealing with services (compared to Germany)
• Availability of professional staff as per requirements
• Relatively small professional competition
• Easily accessible communication with faculties for possible collaborations
• A centralized labor market in one to two cities
• Lower operating costs
• Less expensive workforce