On Tuesday I joined the Prime Minister of Macedonia, other ministers and those interested in setting up business in Macedonia for a morning’s presentation followed by lunch at The Four Seasons, Hyde Park, London.
Although I didn’t capture Nikola Gruevski, Macedonia’s Prime Minister, or Dr Neil Collins, Operations Director, Europe, Johnson Matthey ECT from England who talked us through how Johnson Matthey ECT had set up a successful manufacturing plant in Macedonia, which they had recently doubled in size, I did capture the following:
Panel Discussion: Turning Investment Opportunities into Realities
Lord Noon Kt, MBE of St John’s Wood, Chairman and Founder, Noon Products
Kai Peters, Chief Executive, Ashridge Business School
Zoran Stavreski, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Republic of Macedonia
Claudio Viezzoli, Director, Western Balkans, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Tomasz Telma, Director – Europe and Central Asia, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group
Moderator: Courtney Fingar, Editor, fDi Magazine, Financial Times Group
- What are the main opportunities for foreign direct investors in Macedonia?
- What are its advantages and disadvantages as a business location?
- What official incentives are available – grants, loans, favourable tax arrangements?
- How do you deal with the practicalities of setting up business there?
- What difficulties can be encountered, and how are they overcome?
- What is the long-term business outlook for the country?
Dual Presentation: The New Business Haven in South-East Europe
Vele Samak, Minister for Foreign Investments, Republic of Macedonia (above)
Viktor Mizo, CEO, Free Zones Authority, Republic of Macedonia (below)
Why Macedonia? Ideal location, excellent infrastructure, competitive workforce, investment incentives, investor-friendly government
Location: good geographical location, political and economic stability
Infrastructure: first rate provision of transport, telecommunications, energy
Labour market: highly educated and skilled but relatively low cost
Investment incentives: unbeatable fiscal benefits, government support, free zones
Specific opportunities: manufacturing, electrical engineering, automotive, real estate, agriculture, food processing, tourism, IT services, business process outsourcing and more
On-stage interview: Investment Case Study – KEMET Electronics Corporation
Robert S. Willoughby, Vice President, Film & Electrolytic Business Group, KEMET Electronics Corporation
Courtney Fingar, Editor, fDi Magazine, Financial Times Group
KEMET Electronics Corporation is a manufacturer and supplier of capacitors and other electronic components to equipment manufacturers and electronic distributors around the world. Headquartered in Simpsonville, South Carolina, USA, it has 23 production facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, and employs 10,420 people worldwide. In 2012 it opened a new €15m plant in Skopje, Macedonia. Key questions answered in this on-stage interview were:
- What does KEMET’S new facility in Skopje manufacture and whom does it supply?
- Why was Macedonia chosen as an investment location?
- What has been your experience of Investing in Macedonia?
- Knowing what you know now, would you have approached this project any differently?
There were many razor sharp finance people in the room looking for their slice of this new pie, which I guess is the law of the investment jungle… it could be that we organise something locally which would attract smaller businesses struggling to get their products manufactured at a reasonable price… that was where my brain ended up!
Food was great, bacon butties to start the day and a full spread for lunch… was nice to have 2 people make me a nice cup of char 😉
If you’d like to know more about doing business in Macedonia then please complete the form below and I will forward your interest to the right people.
Jonathan L Davey
The Berkshire Blog
“Saying hello to strangers so you don’t have to!”