AZESKI IN HIS MONTHLY ADDRESS: INSTEAD OF POLITICAL ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY, EXPORTS MUST BE THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA TO MACEDONIAN BUSINESS
➢ News (08.06.2023, во 15:39:00)
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AZESKI IN HIS MONTHLY ADDRESS: INSTEAD OF POLITICAL ECONOMIC DIPLOMACY, EXPORTS MUST BE THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA TO MACEDONIAN BUSINESSClick for more

Exports must be the Alpha and Omega to Macedonian business and become a top national priority. Instead of engaging in political diplomacy, the state should focus on economic diplomacy," said Branko Azeski, President of the National Export Council (NEC), during the third monthly address organized by the Economic Chamber as part of its latest activities.

"Without exports, this economy cannot sustain itself. It's enough with divisions; let us unite around business if it is the only cohesive factor to help us get out of the situation we are in. Let's make an agreement with the state to regulate the relations between it and the private sector. What is happening to us, with interference in business matters, is destroying the business. 'You can't work on Sundays, you will set your margin this high, you will pay the minimum salary that much...' Everything that is being done is aimed at limiting the autonomy of the entities that create, and this way, we cannot get out of the situation. Export must be elevated to a pedestal," said Azeski in his address.

He provided a broader overview of the social environment before a large number of businesspeople, representatives of academia, and institutions. He noted that there is a significant polarization between the government and the opposition in the country, and that since 2006, the country has been in a continuous campaign that has had a very negative impact on the business.

Azeski also passed on several messages to the policymakers:
Raise the responsibility of officials and civil servants to the highest level to protect the country from abuse of power, abolish the steering boards in institutions, which total 1,320 with 129,000 employees, prevent irregular use of official vehicles by introducing special registration plates, review non-working days, and 'awaken' the correctives to the government.

"We, as businesspeople, expect to be informed of the government's vision once every three or six months in order to follow that process. What interests me is whether I will be able to tell you that you can freely continue your businesses and investments with Bulgaria because we will do it despite the political processes. We are looking for such a person who doesn't talk about local issues; let the municipalities address those. Similarly, populism in economic policies, everything is tied to the often premature elections, and the campaigns carry on continuously. All of this shakes the foundation of the system, and we must overcome it if we want export growth as the ultimate outcome, which will ensure higher standard and Euro-integrations," emphasized Azeski.

His guests, representatives of academia, Academician Goce Petreski and Professor Darko Lazarov from the Faculty of Economics in Shtip, provided a detailed overview of the export situation in the country over the past 30 years, backed by figures and trends.

In 1992, Macedonian exports amounted to 1.2 billion dollars, while last year it reached 8.7 billion dollars. In other words, over a span of 30 years, Macedonian exports have grown sevenfold. During the same period, Slovenia experienced a tenfold increase in exports, while Poland saw its exports grow by an impressive 25 times.

In his presentation, Academician Petreski covered various aspects of cultural change, societal transformation, and investment in education. The main message that emerges from his address is the need for a change in the economic growth model that focuses on export by building greater export competitiveness in the Macedonian economy. As a small country, we have no choice but to rely on exports.

Prof. Dr. Lazarov emphasized that it is clear that two things need to be undertaken: 1) measures and policies on the supply side aimed at increasing competitiveness through companies' investment in modern technology, investment in research and development, and, certainly, the availability of high-quality personnel capable of fitting into work processes; and 2) measures and policies on the demand side, specifically what the government, as well as all of us as actors, can undertake in building export promotion programs, developing marketing capacities, branding, and networking of companies.

 At the event, Olivier Willocx, Executive Director of the Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry (BECI), Professor Dr. Slavo Radošević from University College London (UCL), and Ile Nikolov, CEO of Aktiva company based in Shtip, shared their experiences through video addresses.

This event is organized under the Private Sector for Regional Integration Support Activity (PSRISA), implemented by the Economic Chamber of North Macedonia in partnership with USAID. PSRISA aims to enhance the integration of businesses into regional and global value chains and strengthen their capacity to be competitive in the Western Balkans and beyond, including the European Union.

Chamber Informational department