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October 2017

Foreign direct investments – sharing know-how and developing local suppliers

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Jerry Naumoff, CEO at Taskforce BPO, Macedonia will act as chair of the panel consisting of:

Prof. Nikica Mojsoska-Blazevski, Dean of the School of Business Economics and Management at the American College at Skopje, Macedonia, Steven Sharpe, President and CEO of Euromax Resources, United Kingdom, Filip Van Hool, Owner of Van Hool, Belgium and Borijan Borozanov, Plant Manager/Managing Director of Delphi Electronics System, Macedonia. The topic of discussion will be the foreign direct investments in Macedonia and the possibility for sharing know-how while developing local suppliers.

Macedonia is also one of the countries that have the easiest procedures for opening a business – you need less than 48hours to start owning a business. As a result, a number of international organizations have decided to open offices in Macedonia. Therefore, a panel consisting mostly of foreign investors is a good opportunity to learn why they initially choose Macedonia as a location for their businesses, and where there is a room for further improvement. Macedonia being listed 10th among 190 countries from all around the world for the ease of doing business is an impressive fact. But besides that, what are the benefits that these investors are getting out of our country?

We know that Macedonia has what investors want: low cost of doing business, low labor costs, and skilled workforce. But we are also aware that the government has a great potential for improvement of local suppliers’ level of qualifications, developing them into export-ready partners. Prof. Nikica, with years of experience and research in our economy and business industries, will further elaborate on the economic spillover effects of case actions like these are being implemented.

Inviting entrepreneurs, investors, leaders, and doers from around the world to hear their examples, learn from their experience and share the needed knowhow is something we always strive for.

Open economy is the only way to go – the Singaporean Way

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We already count the hours before the official start of the Macedonia2025 Summit 2017. Yet, some speakers decided on some extra fun before the official start. Suan Hiang Lee, current president of the Economic Development Board Society in Singapore, decided to come to Macedonia a few days earlier and spend those days in an exploration of the Macedonian culture and cuisine, as well as share some of his experience to some local events. One of those events was the Rotary Skopje Centar club event, where Mr. Lee shared some of his background and beliefs:

Singapore is a smaller country than Macedonia in terms of geographic size and has no natural resources. However, since independence, Singapore has increased its per capita income over 50 times. That is the result of Singapore making productivity a way of life, educating the population as to why productivity is important. Once that is in place, people receive the required tools, and individual workers are empowered to be responsible for the quality of their final product.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Singapore had to transform from a low-cost producer to a knowledge economy, so looking for best practices was common. But now, Singapore is in a new era where they are at the front, societies look at them, so they have changed their education to focus on innovation.

“Competition is relative, we cannot stand still otherwise we will be overtaken. However, in the process of focusing on innovation, we cannot forget about efficiency. We must work smarter but also continue to work hard. Singapore believes in an open economy. And in the world economy, you have to offer the best conditions to attract investment. There is no prize for being second” Mr. Lee commented.

There was an open discussion about the possibilities for economic growth and development, a topic on which Mr. Lee has a great experience. He shared his vision for the future:

In the new era, it is not about resources but about imagination. And imagination is unlimited. Moving to higher wages is never easy. It has to be done in a holistic way. In Singapore’s case, the leadership had to make sure that the workers were more productive so companies are better off. It had to provide a system of training for workers – skills development fund.

We dared to dream and had clarity of vision. We used consultants to guide us, but we also knew our own strengths and weaknesses. We had to improve to survive. Macedonians are driven and have enormous potential, but you need to get your systems right. And strategic pragmatism is the way”, Mr. Lee added.

Macedonia has a lot to learn from the leading countries of the world. And that is why Macedonia2025 created the Summit, so every year we have leaders from all around the world who will share their best experience and practices.

Macedonia – a hub for smart industries

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IT and IT-enabled “smart industries” hold a promise to help Macedonian economy grow and provide valuable career opportunities for people living in Macedonia.

This promise is only partially fulfilled today. The sector has grown enough to move the needle of the economy and does provide decent jobs for increasing number of people, including a rare opportunity for young people to get good jobs directly from school. However, the sector, heavy on basic IT outsourcing, generates little innovation and is seen by many young people only as a stepping stone to “real” career abroad.

The panel will discuss the variety of approaches to improve the value-add and attractiveness of the sector, such as selling products rather than people, building up IT-relevant industry expertise, outsourcing specialization, and the role of the public sector as innovation-supporting customer of the Macedonian smart industries.

The two panel co-chairs, Filip Misovski and Petar Kajevski, with long experience in the IT sector, will coordinate this panel that will consist of Marta Arsovska Tomovska, Board Member at the UN World Summit Awards & Former Minister for Information Society and Administration of the Republic of Macedonia, Delyan Lilov, CEO at Musala Soft, Bulgaria, Dimitar Siljanovski, Chief Technical Officer at Global Savings Group GmbH in Munich, Aleksandar Memca, Managing Partner at InterWorks, Macedonia and Nikola Bojkov, CEO and Co-Founder at EmbedSocial, Macedonia. We’d like to point to the presence of the investors from the diaspora and the eastern neighbor, who will draw on their personal experience in utilizing Macedonia’s potential in the sector.

Come on 1 and 2 November at the Marriott Hotel to hear how we can bring Macedonia to world standards. Join us

It is all about giving back to your homeland

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On 1st and 2nd November, Macedonia2025 will host the 6th edition of the Macedonia2025 Summit. One of the keynote speakers present at the event is Ruben Vardanyan, 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.

For nearly a quarter of a century, he has invested $500 million in projects in Armenia, developing a commercial approach that relies on involving blended financing to find solutions to social problems. Mr. Vardanyan was instrumental in the beginning stages of the stock market in Russia, contributing to the establishment of common standards and regulations, and taking part in its construction as members of advisory councils in dozens of state and public organizations. He also actively participated in the privatization of the largest companies in Russia, the creation of the RTS stock exchange and institutional infrastructure, the restructuring of Rosgosstrakh, creating the partnership between AvtoVAZ and Renault, bringing Daimler in as a strategic investor in KAMAZ, numerous IPOs and SPOs by domestic companies, including on the international stock exchanges and attracting investments on the domestic and foreign markets. Moreover, Mr. Vardanyan led the establishment of the first private business school in Russia – a pioneering institution both in terms of scale and in its collaborative nature, as well as co-founding another global project back in 2015, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in gratitude to their saviors.

These are just a few of the great deeds this social entrepreneur did in his life. Ruben Vardanyan, humble by nature, yet with huge aspirations, has dedicated his life towards giving back to his homeland. Please join us to hear more from this remarkable entrepreneur and philanthropist at the Macedonia 2025 summit where Robert Arsov, Chairman of the board of Macedonia2025 and Senior Managing Director at the investment banking and capital markets division of Guggenheim Partners in New York, will have on stage conversation with Mr. Vardanyan, discussing how his actions in business led to a path of philanthropy and investing in the largest industry in the world, education.


Join us and get a chance to meet one of Macedonia2025 Summit keynote speakers

Update in 2016 annual figures: Growth steady and increases in investment and FDI

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Macedonia Country Dashboard – Annual figures update

2016 results: Growth is steady, investment is up, and unemployment continues to improve. ‘Ease of doing business released’ for 2017.

The five year average growth rate for real GDP in 2016 (2.5 per cent) is almost identical to the averages for 2014 and 2015 showing that Macedonia has been experiencing steady growth over the medium term. As a result GDP per capita has continued its steady increase (table 1).

Unemployment also continues to fall (23.7 per cent in 2016), however, Macedonia still ranks last among the peer countries in terms of unemployment. Among the peer countries only Bosnia, Namibia, and South Africa have unemployment in the 20th percentile range. However, unlike these countries, Macedonia is showing a steady decrease in unemployment since 2005.

Investment in Macedonia increased in 2016. Investment as a percentage of GDP increased by 9 per cent in 2016 to 25.2 per cent of GDP. FDI increased by 78 per cent to be 5.3 per cent of GDP. In contrast, Government spending decreased in 2016 by -5.8 per cent and is the smallest percentage since independence. The decrease in government spending may reflect the political situation in 2016.

Net exports increased by 10.3 per cent as exports grew faster than imports.

R&D as a percentage of GDP has been released for 2015, and showed a -14 per cent decrease from 0.52 per cent to 0.44 per cent.

The ‘Ease of doing Business’ rankings have been released for 2017 (Doing Business 2018). Macedonia has again posted a strong result and is now ranked 11th in the world, falling just one place from last year. From the peer countries, Georgia has risen from 16 to 9, overtaking Macedonia. Georgia has improved but Macedonia’s relative performance has fallen slightly across the key sub-categories of: starting a business (ranking fell from 4 to 22), dealing with construction permits (11 to 26), and getting electricity (29 to 53)

Borjan Panovski will talk to us about renewable energy and smart solutions at the MK2025 Summit

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Borjan Panovski brings over 20 years of experience in advising, structuring and financing infrastructure and power projects in Europe, UK, USA, Canada, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He started his career at Deloitte & Touche and subsequently spent over 15 years with the global infrastructure and project finance group at DEPFA Bank in senior roles in Ireland and New York. A mechanical engineering graduate from University of Skopje “Cyril & Methodius”, Borjan currently is a Senior Advisor with Rubicon Infrastructure Advisors, a leading infrastructure-specialized investment banking firm where he is responsible for the power and transportation projects in the emerging markets. Borjan currently resides in Manhattan with his wife and three children.

Only 19 days until the summit, hurry up and get your tickets, they are limited.

*All of the companies that will register until the 15th of October will be featured in the Summit catalog.

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Open Call for Executive Scholarships

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JUNE 2018






General Information:

Macedonia 2025 offers a program that combines participation in Executive/Leadership Development courses at some of the top Executive Education Centers in North America with job shadowing at a renowned company. This program is designed to provide Macedonian talented executives with a complete North American experience through access to some of the best executive education programs and some genuine business experience in North American companies.

Macedonia 2025 provides a full scholarship for experienced managers, executives and entrepreneurs from Macedonia. The program is implemented in cooperation with the Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC) at York University in Toronto, Canada. SEEC is an integral part of the Schulich Business School at York University in Toronto, Canada. SEEC provides an education that is focused, practical and immediately applicable. They share a common interest in providing and delivering executive education to professionals from Macedonia. This program will increase participants’ competencies and performance in a continuously changing global business environment. This program also offers a unique networking opportunity that can help export-oriented companies promote their products and services to the global markets.

Schulich Business School, being a part of the York University in Toronto, Canada is ranked among the Top 10 World Business Schools by The Financial Times, Forbes Magazine, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal and the Economist. Founded in 1966, the Schulich School of Business employs over 750 people.  Schulich has an internationally diverse faculty and student body. The faculty is drawn exclusively from both practitioners and academia, and each is an acknowledged leader and innovator in their field. Executive development at Schulich is all about this kind of “just-in-time” learning, focused, practical and immediately applicable to the task at hand.

Program structure:

  • Participants can participate in one executive education module, in a duration of 5 working days during the course of June 2018;
  • Enrollment, tuition or administrative fees associated with the executive program are covered by Macedonia 2025;
  • Participants are required to finance their travel and accommodation costs;
  • Participants have the option to take internship/ job shadowing activity within a Canadian company based on their industry and background;
  • Participants will have the opportunity to meet with a number of Canadian companies and take part of B2B meetings, previously planned and organized by Macedonia2025
  • Participants will have the unique opportunity to network with Macedonia2025 members and supporters that live in Canada at an event hosted by Macedonia2025 members
  • The applicant can select one of the proposed Executive Courses (see list below)
  • Each participant should consider staying in Canada for minimum of two to three weeks (depending on the duration of the secured internship)

Executive course options:

Location and accommodations:

The courses take place either at:

  • The Executive Learning Center at the York University:

Schulich School of Business, York University, 4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Tel: 416.736.5079  

  • The Center also offers accommodations for program participants:

Or at:

  • Miles S. Nadal Management Centre

      Ernst & Young Tower
Toronto Dominion Centre
222 Bay St., Suite 500
Toronto, ON M5K 1K2

      Tel: 416.360.8850

  • For sessions held at the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre, please consider staying at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

Fairmont Royal York Hotel   
100 Front Street West
Toronto, ON M5J 1E3

For any programs scheduled to be held at the Schulich Executive Learning Centre, 4700 Keele Street campus in Toronto, please contact the Schulich Executive Learning Centre Residence for accommodation.  Participants attending our programs will receive a special discounted price of $89.00 plus taxes per night with the promotion code SEEC16.  For further details about the Executive Learning Centre Residence, please visit the website at or call 416.650.8300.

  • In some instances, the program fee includes full program tuition, teaching materials, refreshments and luncheons. Please see the list of courses, for details.


Macedonia 2025 will provide the following services to enrolled candidates:

  • Schedule an interview with an international jury for selection of candidates
  • Provide the applicant with a confirmation letter for visa application purposes
  • Enroll the students at SEEC short course or program
  • Provide assistance to the applicants while they are in Canada to ensure their successful completion of the program
  • Assist participants in finding a host company in Canada
  • Schedule B2B meetings with Canadian companies (depending on time schedules of our partners in Canada)
  • Organize networking event with Macedonia2025 members and supporters
  • The value of scholarship ranges from $4,150  -$5,650CAD depending on the selected program (excluding tax)

The applicant or the company he/she works at will:

  • Personally prepare the visa application and submit the documents;
  • Personally cover all travel and accommodation expenses for the duration of the program;
  • Cover additional expenses not included in the education scholarships;
  • The candidate should consider additional living costs of at least $50 – $70 per day.

Application criteria:

  • Top Macedonian executives, high level managers and proven entrepreneurs at companies located in Macedonia that plan to develop their professional career in Macedonia and to contribute towards the economic development of the country
  • At least 5 – 7 years of relevant experience in a managerial position
  • Preferably, representatives of an export-oriented company
  • University degree or higher
  • Excellent proficiency in the English language
  • Able to adapt to working with international teams
  • Eager to learn, upgrade skills and implement the knowledge within the company
  • Possibilities for company expansion, growth within the company and sharing knowledge within the company
  • Willing to give back to the community and mentor younger professionals

How to apply:

  • Fill out the application form (linked)
  • Send professional resume or short bio (up to 200 words)
  • Send color photo
  • All documents should be sent to

Selection process:

  • Open call is announced on October 5, 2017
  • Applications deadline is February 15, 2018
  • Best fitting candidates will be selected by April 1, 2018
  • The candidates will be evaluated by an independent educational council consisting of the School’s administrative department and designated members of Macedonia2025 Education Board.

o   Only short listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

o   The selection process will try to identify the most eligible candidates taking into consideration the following:

§  Industry/ sector diversity

§  Relevance of educational background and professional achievements

§  Gender diversity

Important notice:

  • Candidates that will receive a scholarship will be required to sign a framework agreement with Macedonia2025, identifying areas of “giving back” to the organization and to the country. Macedonia2025 is a self-funded organization and relies on the support of institutions, organizations, corporations and individuals to donate financials, time, network and expertize towards the organization.  Therefore, all contributions by our education alumni network are welcomed.
  • Candidates that will receive a scholarship will be required to send photos and one page testimonial to Macedonia2025, after the completion of the course and job shadowing for marketing purposes.
  • Candidates are expected to maintain close relations with the organization, to participate on events, transfer knowledge to young talents, share information about Macedonia2025 events and invite their network to participate, to be an active member of the alumni network as well as to assist Macedonia2025 in fundraising activities for educational programs.

Savo Kentera and his personal views on learning and implementing the best case practices in Macedonia and the region

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Dr. Savo Kentera is the President of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, a foreign policy think tank and public policy group based in Podgorica, Montenegro. He was elected vice-president of the Atlantic Treaty Association at the General Assembly held in Berlin in 2008. He is the founder of the Atlantic Council of Montenegro. He was Secretary General of this organization until 2008 when he has been appointed President of the Atlantic Council.

Before joining the Atlantic Council, Dr. Kentera has been the Director of the Center for International Relations of Montenegro. He directs an annual intensive educational program in international security for foreign policy professionals of the region. Dr. Kentera established the Security Magazine, a leading publication devoted to assessing major security challenges for Montenegro and its neighbors. His advice is frequently sought by government, media, and the public on various aspects of Montenegro’s post-independence nation-building and security sector reform process.

Dr. Kentera has lectured and published on several issues related to defense transformation and security integration for South East Europe. He holds a PhD degree in Security Studies, University of Belgrade. He has participated in programs in the United States at the Institute for National Security, and at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His fields of interest are international relations and security studies and terrorism in particular.

Hurry up and get your tickets today, the seats are limited.

Is Your Future Virtual Friend Actually an AI Bot? And What Path does the Technology Pave for the Social Media and Social Media Platforms

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According to a recent research, AI bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020. Let this sink in for a moment.

How far has our social interaction reached in the last decade? Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram. We are more connected than ever, yet, we constantly increase the invisible gap between each other. And with the introduction of AI as part of the overall social media picture, that gap is not disappearing anytime soon.

Artificial intelligence is actively present on the world scene for few years now, and although has a long way to go, the newly incorporated usage of AI in parallel with social media and social media marketing slowly but surely is changing the surface how future communication progress. Some of us have already been part of a communication with social media chat-bot. Most of us enjoy Facebook’s facial recognition, but so does Facebook, as this tool is of great importance for the real-time targeting marketing. And last but not least, Apple’s introduction of a new era of convenience – the Face ID technology. Smart innovations with even hotter implementation.

For a topic of such significance, we wanted to bring on stage representatives that breathe the challenges and opportunities of this technology growth on a daily base.

Chris Pavlovski is founder and CEO of Rumble, a full-service video platform and a top 100 website connecting creators to publishers and advertisers, and helping them better monetize their work through a variety of distribution and licensing models. Chris will chair the panel which is going to comprise of two fireside chats (informal convo) between him and the following gentlemen:

Alek Icev is a Macedonian-American computer scientist and high-tech executive based in Seattle, WA. Alek’s research background is in machine learning, data mining and bioinformatics. He is currently an engineering manager at Google.

Vanja Josifovski is the CTO of Pinterest where he’s responsible for establishing the company’s overall technical strategy as well as leading efforts in the areas of machine learning, search, feeds, and online advertising product development.

We invite you to join us at this year’s Summit and learn more about social media and platforms from these experts as well as from many more speakers concerning other interesting and trending topics.

Register at: