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announcements 2017

Highlights of Day 1 at the MK2025 Summit

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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

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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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.

Pierre Gurdjian will tell us about the economic perspectives and growth of Armenia at the MK2025 Summit

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Pierre Gurdjian is Philanthropy Partner with the RVZZ Foundation. In addition he is an expert in executive leadership and change management.

He is also the President of the Board of Directors of the Free University of Brussels (ULB), one of Belgium’s largest universities, Vice President of the board at UCB (a Belgian biopharmaceutical company), and Board member of America Bank.

Pierre was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company for 27 years, including 7 years as Managing Partner of the Belgian-Luxemburg office and international responsibility for McKinsey’s Human Capital practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Pierre is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and past President of YouthStart Belgium and Harvard Club of Belgium. He has also been involved in numerous leadership forums, with an emphasis on building leadership with wisdom. Pierre also teaches a graduate course on ‘The CEO Perspective’ at the Solvay Business School of the Free University of Brussels (ULB).

Moreover Pierre helped develop the ‘Armenia 2020’ Think Tank and is involved in numerous humanitarian and entrepreneurial initiatives in Europe and Armenia.

Pierre holds a degree in Commercial Engineering from the Free University of Brussels and a MBA from Harvard Business School.


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Who are the trend shapers, and what opportunities and challenges are lurking behind the corner in the media and telecom industry

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The border between the global telecom providers and the media are coming to an end. We are first-seat viewers in the process of convergence and almost seamless links between the “classical” telecoms or cable operators with the media companies, where the services like communication, content distribution, and content production are not anymore only in the hands of the standard players.

With the rise of technology innovation and the new ways of content distribution, the entrants like Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, Zattoo, etc. brought huge disruption to the traditional business models. Even the very big players are pressed to innovate rapidly and adapt or just disappear. As a matter of fact, a recent survey showed that 74% of the brands could disappear overnight, and people would not care.

Trends come and go. The technology twist within the telecom industry echoes for faster growth, better service, and cheaper prices. That’s why we witnessed the Comcast’s $30 billion takeover of NBC Universal and AT&T’s blockbuster $85bn agreement with Time Warner. Just looking for customers’ money without initial before-hand investment is ludicrous nowadays. Netflix and Amazon spend between 4-6 billion dollars per year on original content alone. And although the tech firms are the ones that will lead the innovation march, broadcasters can add value to the system in so many ways.

But what is the next thing in which the major players will invest themselves in? And what other opportunities or challenges are lurking behind the corner and what are the risks of creating larger communications groups? What about the dominance of technology giants and the public trust in technology behemoths? (Think Fake news, data privacy, lack of regulation, etc.). And last but not least, what should be the role of the regulators?

Dr. Vlaho Kostov, R&D Executive and Head of CEE and Mediterranean region at Panasonic, Germany, will chair this interesting panel for which we are sure many of the present guests will have something extra to say or comment. Branko Stanchev, CCO at Makedonski Telekom, will address the transformation and the challenges within the Telecom industry. Stan Baaijens, CEO at Funke Digital TV and Steering Board Member at DVB, Holland and Ivan Skenderovski, Founder and Managing Partner of Salience, Dubai, and Francesco Sciacchitano, at Italian communications authority for AGCOM, Italy, and senior legal expert for Media and Telecommunications Law,  will discuss the broader aspects that occur in the world of media and telecommunications. Darko Ratkaj, Senior Project Manager at the Technology & Innovation at the European Broadcasting Union, Geneva, will contribute to the technological developments from the perspective of the public service media.

This panel and dozen others will make this year’s Macedonia2025 Summit. We invite you to be part of it.

Suan Hiang Lee and his Stand on the Economic Perspectives and Growth of Singapore

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Suan Hiang Lee, a former senior civil servant in Singapore served as Deputy MD of Economic Development Board and CEO of Standards Productivity and Innovation Board, National Productivity Board, Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and National Arts Council.

He was also Chairman of PSB Corporation; Chairman of Singapore Note & Coin Advisory Committee; Deputy Chairman of Old Parliament House Ltd; Deputy Chairman of International Federation of Arts Councils & Cultural Agencies; and Council Member of International Standards Organisation (ISO).

He is currently President of EDB Society; Chairman of Anacle Systems and Global Cultural Alliance; and a Director of several listed companies including Perennial Real Estate, Viking Offshore & Marine, CITIC Envirotech and Advance SCT.

He was awarded the Singapore Public Administration Gold Medal, World Academy of Productivity Science Award, World SME Association Award, JETRO  Award (Japan), Asian Productivity Organisation Award, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (France) and NTUC Friend of Labour Award.


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Viktor Nelepa to talk about renewable energy sources and smart solutions at the MK2025 Summit

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Viktor Nelepa is a successful Macedonian businessman based in Dubai. He is the founder of both Didea Media and PME International. Didea Media is an innovative marketing, animation, and industrial design firm that is best known for its ‘Smart Palm’ project in Dubai. Smart Palm is a solar-powered recharge, information and wi-fi access point. PME International provides a complete range of specialized aviation and logistic services.

Viktor started his career in Skopje in marketing and logistics before moving to Dubai with Supreme Foodservice GmbH as International Transport Manager. In 2006, he was appointed General Manager Aviation of Supreme Aviation in Dubai, which helped supply the US Military and NATO in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Viktor has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pristina University and a master’s degree in law from FON University in Skopje.

​25 days to go until the summit! Get your tickets at​ 

Dimitar Bogov will give insights on facing internal and external challenges regarding financial shocks at the MK2025 Summit

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Dimitar Bogov has been Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia since 2011. He has 23 years of working experience including nine years on management positions in the government sector, one year in business consultancy and four years on a senior position in the largest Macedonian bank. He held managerial posts in the State Statistical Office and the Ministry of Finance involving production of macroeconomic statistics, economic analysis, macroeconomic forecasting, economic policy proposals and negotiation with the IMF.

From 2002 to January 2007, he worked as a chief economist in Stopanska Banka AD Skopje, a member of the NBG Group where he was responsible for economic and market analysis, business planning, management accounting and risk management. From February 2007 to May 2011, he was a Vice Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia responsible for financial markets, foreign exchange reserves management and payment systems. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Vienna Initiative 2.

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Executive Director Sonja Šmuc on women in leadership at the MK2025 Summit

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Sonja Šmuc is an Executive Director of the Managers’ Association of Slovenia (MAS) since 2005. Sonja focuses on development of Slovenian management and leadership to encourage competitiveness of Slovenian businesses. Sonja is also a specialist in women’s leadership.  Sonja has also served as a Treasurer of CEC – European Managers, a European confederation of managerial organizations with headquarters in Brussels. In 2006 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia co-awarded her with bronze award for innovation in publishing. She is also a co-author of a book on managing export risks. Before joining MAS she was editor-in-chief of magazine “Manager”, which specialized in leadership and management.

Sonja is the author of more than 700 business related articles. She has a degree from the Economic Faculty in Ljubljana, and she attended courses at Stanford University of California, Vienna’s Wirtschaftsuniversität and IEDC – Business school of Bled.


Less than 10 days until the early bird discount finishes! Get your Summit tickets at

CEO of Funke Digital TV to talk about the opportunities and challenges in the telecom industries at the MK2025 Summit

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Stan Baaijens walked in his father’s footsteps by joining the Funke Company more than 35 years ago. Funke Digital TV, based in the Netherlands, is a leading supplier of digital products for the television industry being active in more than 50 countries. Stan, as a second-generation owner of this company starting 1992, managed to bring growth to the company which reached its 60th anniversary this year.

As a pioneer with a passion for the industry, Stan Baaijens has set up several commercial and technical innovation projects all over the world. As a drive towards trends and the future innovations, Stan transformed Funke Digital TV’s strategy in order to be at the forefront of future market needs and expectations.

He is also an expert on understanding consumer needs, the broadcasting industry, and penetrating the growing digital TV market. Stan represents CE producers in the DVB Project (Geneva) and is on the steering committee, the promotions and communications module (PCM) and the DTT promotion and monitoring group (DPM at EBU). DVB is an industry-led consortium that promotes an open standard for digital TV and other broadcasting.


There are only 2 weeks left until early bird registrations close, hurry up, you can register now and pay on a later date! For more information visit