Share on:   


ECNM organized presentation on New Tools and Services to Increase the Competitiveness of Macedonian Export-oriented Companies for businesspeople from the Pelagonija region under the Private Sector Regional Integration Support Activity (PSRISA) implemented in partnership with the United States Agency

One of the main priorities of the operation of the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia is creating activities that increase the export competitiveness of the companies, considering that only by increasing exports can we start thinking about the economic growth and development. The crises our economy is facing, which are present globally as well, are not an obstacle to outlining activities this period that support exports and assist companies to access markets in the region and beyond. To this end, the Private Sector Regional Integration Support Activity (PSRISA), implemented by the Chamber in partnership with USAID over the following three years, by the end of June 2025, was presented before exporting companies from the Pelagonija region.

Biljana Peeva-Gjurikj, Operations Director for Member Representation and Networking at the Chamber, informed that the exporting capacities and competitiveness of the export-oriented companies will increase through targeted support for regionalization and internationalization of the Macedonian business sector, carried out through various sets of activities focusing on two primary objectives.

1.    Improving regional and international business cooperation between Macedonian companies and the Western Balkan and EU markets, achieved by:
•    developing a study mapping the regional commercial and investment potential;
•    organizing 2 conferences annually, namely, a regional conference for promoting intraregional trade and business cooperation with Western Balkan countries and a regional conference for promoting joint regional approach to attracting FDIs, and conferences for doing business with the EU;
•    organizing B2B-meetings, buying missions; and
•    creating tools for promoting public-private dialogue and creating better business environment for export-oriented companies through a National Export Council, which will be engaged in the policymaking process to increase the export opportunities for domestic companies.

2.    Increasing the competitiveness of exporting companies and integration into regional and global value chains, achieved by:
•    developing an export potential analysis;
•    supporting Macedonian companies while they are developing exporting capacities with market export strategies/plans, digital transformation, implementation of international quality standards and circular economy, technical assistance for access to finance, etc.;
•    developing digital export web portal (Easy Export) and an Export Institute, which will consist of a Training Center focused on developing human resources by organizing trainings and workshops for export-oriented companies and a Research and Analysis Center focused on providing services through comparative analyses to support exporting companies.

Prof. Dr. Darko Lazarov presented the preliminary results of the analysis identifying the export potentials of the Macedonian economy to the companies from the Pelagonija region that attended the event in Bitola. He informed that the analysis applied modern scientific and applicable methodology. Moreover, he pointed out that the primary objective of the analysis was to identify the opportunities for higher export of existing export products that the export-oriented companies export into already existing markets, as well as to identify the opportunities for expanding the exporting activity by penetrating new export markets. 

In addition, the secondary objective of the analysis was to identify the opportunities for export diversification by mapping new products the country does not export at present, but which show potential comparative advantages and real economic preconditions for launching production and export to regional and global markets.

The analysis covered over 5,300 existing and new potential export products and more than 170 existing and new potential export markets. The findings of the analysis will be used to select sectors, products, and markets, as well as export-oriented companies that will receive support under the project through various activities such as networking, export promotion, providing professional services, aiming at increasing the export competitiveness of the domestic export-oriented companies.

Moreover, the findings would be a useful starting point for the current and future economic policymakers in the country when formulating support measures for sectors that show the greatest export potential and doing promotion in export markets Macedonian exporting companies find most attractive, where Macedonian export goods could be sold in the future, pointed out prof. Lazarov.

The analysis may help by steering the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy in establishing new bilateral trade relations and enhancing the existing bilateral commercial and diplomatic relations with countries the analysis suggests show a significant export potential for the Macedonian economy.


Crucially, said Lazarov, the findings of the analysis will assist Macedonian exporting companies in their efforts to increase the export competitiveness in the future by providing useful information about untapped export opportunities in the markets they are already present, but also information about export opportunities to launch exports to new export markets that offer certain benefits in terms of higher import demand, comparative advantages as to tariff rates, non-tariff barriers, or geographically closer relative to other exporting countries.

Such project activity as entering into partnership with USAID is of exceptional importance for the Economic Chamber, considering that practice has shown that Macedonian exports are plagued by many systemic problems; we have an unfavorable export structure, that is, most of the products we export provide a low value added. As a result, we are in a situation where the number of exporting companies, the number of export markets, and the number of products traded internationally is severely limited, and the room for improving this performance is huge, and we believe we will achieve that with most of the projected PSRISA activities.