Share on:   

12/21/2022

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUPPORTING EXPORTING COMPANIES PRESENTED

In a situation where the global economy is facing a number of risks and considerable uncertainty brought about by external factors that significantly affect the business ambience and the conditions for international trade, the Macedonian export sector is confronted with serious challenges as to keeping its market positions in the regional and international markets, but also challenges as to strengthening its own competitive advantages that were limited even before the crisis.

In line with its strategic commitment and long-term priorities, the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia attaches considerable importance to its activities aimed at increasing the exporting capacity and competitiveness of the Macedonian companies as basis for expediting the economic growth and development of the country.

During the year of its 100th anniversary, the Economic Chamber began with implementation of the three-year Private Sector Regional Integration Support Activity (PSRISA), projected by the end of June 2025, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Aiming at familiarizing export-oriented companies with the opportunities PSRISA has to offer, the Economic Chamber organized presentation on the project before exporting companies from the Tikveš region.

Mihajlo Donev, M.Sc., acting Operations Director for Development, Innovation, and Knowledge at the Chamber, informed businesspeople from Kavadarci, Negotino, Rosoman, and Demir Kapija that the two primary objectives of PSRISA should lead to improvements in the regional and international business cooperation between Macedonian companies and the Western Balkan and EU markets on the one hand, as well as stronger competitiveness of the export-oriented companies and their integration into regional and global value chains on the other hand.

The gravity of the projected three-year activity is evident in the fact that PSRISA will deliver a study mapping the regional commercial and investment potential and an export potential analysis, which will serve as a launching pad for the remaining activities such as:
- organizing 2 conferences annually, namely, Regional Conference for Promoting Intraregional Trade and Business Cooperation with Western Balkan Countries and Regional Conference for Promoting Joint Regional Approach to Attracting FDIs, and conferences for doing business with the EU;
- organizing B2B-meetings, buying missions;
- 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;
- developing a digital export web portal (Easy Export) and an Export Institute, which will include 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.

With these activities, export-oriented companies, but also companies that wish to launch exporting activities, will have new tools and services at disposal to facilitate the preparations for export and access to foreign markets. Particularly important for the companies is the fact that PSRISA involves calls that secure direct support for companies while building exporting capacities, including development of market export strategies/plans, digital transformation, implementation of international quality standards and circular economy, and technical assistance for access to finance provided by consultants who are experts in the relevant field, said Donev.

At the event, prof. Darko Lazarov presented the preliminary results of the analysis identifying the export potentials and opportunities of the Macedonian economy, currently conducted under the project. He suggested that the analysis will help Macedonian exporting companies in their efforts to increase export volume of existing export products to the current export markets, but also to expand the exporting activity by conquering new export markets. Moreover, prof. Lazarov pointed out that the analysis will secure useful information for the Macedonian companies on the possibilities they have for starting production and export of new goods that show comparative advantages.

Being the head expert developing the analysis, prof. Lazarov presented several specific examples of export opportunities for selected products exported by companies from the Tikveš region, noting the largest export potential in the traditional primary agricultural goods (table wine, fresh and frozen vegetables and fruit), food and beverages, metalworking products, but also certain products from the mechanical and electrical engineering industries. He particularly stressed the potential for increasing exports of wine in under 2-liter packaging to multiple markets such as Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Great Britain, Belgium, and other regional and EU markets. 

Companies from the Tikveš region showed a special interest in the calls expected for December-January, opening a discussion on the problems and challenges they face when accessing foreign markets, topics that will be used as basis for the presentations under the public-private dialogue that will be introduced through the National Export Council, which will be established by the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia in the coming period.