2/26/2018
ROUND TABLE ON INCREASING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE DOMESTIC SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF ENHANCING THEIR COOPERATION WITH THE FOREIGN INVESTMENTS WITHIN THE IPA PROJECT OF THE FOREIGN INVESTORS COUNCIL AND THE ECONOMIC CHAMBER OF MACEDONIA

The benefits of the foreign investments in a country include, first and foremost, direct creation of new jobs and generating income, increase of the export and its diversification, inflow of foreign capital in the form of foreign direct investments and creating added value in the economy. The indirect effects are rather more complex and their importance to the greatest part is manifested via their long-term contribution to the economic development. The structural transformations of the economy are considered to be one of the most important ones, as well as the promotion and increase of the openness, indirect job creation and the transfer of technology and upgrading the skills of the workforce.

 

One of the key priorities of the Foreign Investors Council is an intensification of the cooperation of the foreign investors with the domestic companies and their greater inclusion for strengthening the competitiveness of the whole economy.

In that direction, the Foreign Investors Council and the Economic Chamber of Macedonia, together with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering within the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, start a joint project for strengthening the cooperation between the foreign companies and local suppliers that have the potential of becoming their suppliers.

The project will have a duration of 24 months and is financed by EU funds, within the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and is implemented in partnership with the Vienna University of Technology- Institute for Science Management and is supported by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia that is greatly committed and encourages this type of cooperation.

The aim of the Project is to stimulate the relations between domestic small and medium enterprises and the big foreign companies that work in the free zones and beyond, via increasing the productivity and competitiveness of the local suppliers to establish a long-term cooperation so that they can be included in the global supply chain.

On February 21, 2018 in the premises of the Economic Chamber of Macedonia a round table was organized within the project attended by a great number of foreign companies in the country, interested in deepening the cooperation with the domestic companies.

Professor Kocho Angjushev, PhD, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia responsible for economic affairs and for the coordination with the economic institutions attended the round table.

The needs and demands of the foreign investors from the domestic suppliers were identified regarding the quality of the products and services, the competitive price, the terms of delivery and owning the necessary quality certificates so that they can easily connect to the domestic companies and to procure their inputs from domestic companies so that a very significant multiplicative effect would be achieved for our economy.  

When it comes to the cooperation with the local suppliers in the field of overall procurements of companies from the free zones, the number of domestic suppliers is minimal. The cooperation is mostly based on using security services, catering services, maintenance, utility services, and an exceptionally low level of services included in the production process- said professor Kocho Anjushev, PhD, Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. In order for this situation to be changed, the Government prepares the new measures with clearly defined criteria incorporated in the Plan for economic development that will be equally applied to both foreign and domestic companies and they are: permanently established business cooperation of FDI with domestic companies, for procurement of 10% of the production inputs from the domestic companies over the average of the past 3 years, the financial support will be 1% of the value of the procurements; for each additional 10% of procured inputs of the domestic enterprises, the financial support will be increased to 2% of the value of the procurements.

The President of the Foreign Investors Council, Stefan Peter, MSc., said that it is not the first time to discuss the challenges in the cooperation of the foreign and domestic companies stating that the crucial benefit of this cooperation is felt by the two sides and is very significant.

- It is necessary for the words to become deeds and via comprehensive analysis to detect the requirements of the foreign companies and the things they can expect from local suppliers in terms of quality, price, delivery terms and working standards- said Peter.

 Robert Minovski, PhD, leading partner and professor at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Skopje, presented the key points and aims of the Project in front of the foreign companies. The next stage is an organization of a conference which will be attended by both foreign and domestic companies that were potential direct beneficiaries of this project.

At the round table the needs and requirements of the foreign investors towards the domestic suppliers were identified regarding the quality of the products and services, the competitive price, terms of delivery and having the necessary quality certificates in order for having an easier connection with the domestic companies and to procure their inputs from domestic companies  which will contribute to having a more significant multiplicative effect for our economy.

Vlatko Stojanovski