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«Slovenia-Macedonia: 20 Years of diplomatic relations 1 Working lunch with the President of the Republic of Macedonia 2 Meeting with Foreign Minister ...»

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Slovenia-Macedonia: 20 Years of diplomatic relations 1

Working lunch with the President of the Republic of Macedonia 2

Meeting with Foreign Minister Poposki 3

Ambassador Bergant met with State Secretary Jovanovski 3

Ambassador Bergant met with the Minister without portfolio Samak 4 In this issue Closing conference on the EU project on more efficient Judiciary held in Skopje 4 Working visit at the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion of Macedonia 5 Trimo General Director Fink on a working visit to Skopje 5 Ambassador Bergant visited the mayor and successful companies in Veles 6 Ambassador Bergant on a working visit at the Slovenian company Roto-M in Vinica 6 Working visit at the company Fructal Mak 6 3 International Fairs held in Skopje 7 Donor’s Conference to assist Roma in Kočani 8 Let’s do it Macedonia! Macedonia without waste 2012 8 Tourist destinations: Postojna and the Postojnska Cave 9 Slovenia-Macedonia: 20 Years of diplomatic relations Skopje, 5 April 2012 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Macedonia as well as between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Macedonia. To commemorate this milestone anniversary the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia, Embassy of Slovenia in Skopje and Embassy of Croatia in Skopje, hosted a reception to celebrate two decades of friendship and partnership between the three respected countries.

Welcoming speeches were given by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia Nikola Poposki, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia Brian Bergant and the Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia Zlatko Kramarić. Cultural program and reception with traditional dishes from Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia followed. For this purpose, the Embassy of Slovenia, with the help of Studio Marketing JWT, prepared a special five-minute film that showed major political, cultural, economic, sports and many other events since the independence of Slovenia until today, and our extensive links with Macedonia over the past twenty years.

The event was attended by many friends of Slovenia and Croatia in Macedonia, among them the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Dr. Gjorge Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister Musa Xhaferi, government representatives, parliamentarians, representatives of the civil society and NGOs, the diplomatic corps, academics, former ambassadors, media representatives, members of the Slovenian Association France Prešeren and the Slovenian center from Skopje, members of the Slovenian Business Club and Slovenian entrepreneurs and many other.

In his speech Ambassador Bergant stressed that the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries provides an opportunity to review the past cooperation, but also offers a challenge to look ahead. He reiterated that Slovenia would like to see Macedonia to become a full member of NATO and started accession negotiations for full membership in the European Union as soon as possible and that in these efforts always enjoyed and will enjoy Slovenian help and support.

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Working lunch with the President of the Republic of Macedonia Dr. Gjorgje Ivanov Skopje, 3 April 2012 The President of the Republic of Macedonia, Dr. Gjorge Ivanov, hosted the I. Working lunch for the Ambassadors of the countries of former Yugoslavia and Albania at the Presidential Palace Villa Vodno in Skopje. As special guests to the invitation responded Ambassador Brian Bergant and the EU Head of Delegation Ambassador Aivo Orav.

In his opening speech, Dr. Ivanov said that the Picture from: www.president.gov.mk proposed format of invited guests represents a new group with which he seeks to meet once or twice a year and expressed his wish to become traditional. He pointed out that this is an informal meeting, at which he wishes to exchange views on the process of regional integration in the EU and NATO, the current domestic political issues and regional cooperation. He also talked about the means of strengthening the economic cooperation, energy integration and joint infrastructure projects.

++ Ambassador Bergant presented the well-known Slovenian support on the integration of Western Balkan countries into the EU and NATO and in the context of regional cooperation particularly highlighted the Brdo Process. After the meeting, on behalf of the present ambassadors and the Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Bergant gave a joint media statement regarding the meeting with the President.


Meeting with Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki Skopje, 20 April 2012 Ambassador Brian Bergant attended the regular monthly meeting of the Heads of Missions of EU Member States and EU Delegation with Minister Nikola Poposki at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia. The regular meeting with ambassadors aims at exchanging opinions on issues of current interest over Macedonia's Union integration. Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said that Macedonia's EU accession dialogue should start as soon as possible since the adoption of such decision would also give a significant incentive to the process of overcoming the name issue with Greece. Minister Poposki also stressed that the country is ahead of a dynamic agenda in its relations with the EU, which is expected to produce additional arguments over Macedonia's readiness to start accession talks. The minister reiterated that technical dialogue is in no way a substitute for the start of the accession negotiations, which remain government’s priority.

Head of EU Delegation Aivo Orav has announced that the Commissioner Füle will again pay a working visit to Skopje on 7th May on a second meeting of the High-Level Accession Dialogue (HLAD) reviewing the progress in implementing reforms in five areas: freedom of expression and professional journalism standards, the rule of law and basic rights, public administration reforms, reforms of the electoral system and strengthening the market economy.

The agenda also includes the regular annual meetings of the Stabilization and Association Council in Brussels on June 23, and the Stabilization and Association Committee in Skopje on May 30-31. Minister Poposki also stressed that the Government and the administration are fully committed to the achievement of determined goals and activities, not only in the five key areas within the HLAD, but also other areas encompassed with the Copenhagen Membership Criteria, in line with the National Programme for Adoption of the EU Acquis Ambassador Brian Bergant met with State Secretary Jovan Andonovski Skopje, 19 April 2012 At the Secretariat for European Affairs Ambassador Brian Bergant met with State Secretary Jovan Andonovski. The interlocutors talked about international development cooperation and technical assistance. Furthermore, they reviewed the status of realized projects that are part of the Memorandum on international development cooperation between Slovenia and Macedonia for 2011 and in this contest as particularly successful example mentioned the new modular school in the Municipality of Ilinden.

Ambassador Bergant and State Secretary Andonovski also talked about the problems with financing of certain projects, about the current situation and plans for international development cooperation and Slovenian technical assistance to Macedonia in years to come.

State Secretary Andonovski expressed the wish for quick defining of the new projects and for signing a Memorandum on international development cooperation between Slovenia and Macedonia for 2012, after the budget correction in both countries will be done. Ambassador Bergant added that after that it will be necessary to arrange a meeting of the Joint Committee of Slovenia and Macedonia, and coordinate a programme of cooperation for the period of 2013-2015.

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Director Fida presented the investment opportunities and potentials of Macedonia and in particular highlighted the importance of the attractive package of tax advantages that was prepared by the government to attract the attention of potential foreign investors. He also presented 10% single tax rate, personal income and 0% tax on retained profit. As a target sectors of interest he especially mentioned automotive industry, ICT, medical instruments, pharmaceutical products, agriculture and food processing industry, real estate, construction, textile and energy sector and tourism.

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Trimo General Director Tatjana Fink on a working visit to Skopje Development Skopje, 11 April 2012 Cooperation The General Director of Trimo, the company for engineering and manufacture of prefabricated buildings, Tatjana Fink, paid a working visit to Skopje. Together with Ambassador Brian Bergant, economic counselor Jernej Tovšak, director of investment Trimo Gregor Macedoni and director of Trimo Macedonia Ilija Jakimoski had a meeting at the Skopje Municipality of Ilinden. Accompanied by Mayor Žika Stojanovski they visited the new modular school in the municipality built by Trimo. This is one of the most modern and energy efficient schools in Macedonia, which was built with Slovenian development assistance. The foundation stone was laid in late October last year, Trimo completed the school last month and now the municipality arranges the surroundings of the school. The official opening of the new primary and secondary school is expected in May, whilst the doors will be opened for students from the new academic year 2012/2013 in September.

For the representatives of Trimo, the Embassy organized meetings with the Minister of Education and Science Panče Kralev, health minister Nikola Todorov and with the head of the investments sector in the Agency for foreign investment and export promotion Borijan Borozanov. The purpose of the meetings was presentation and review of business opportunities for new projects and expanding their business in Macedonia.

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Ambassador Bergant visited the Mayor of the Municipality of Veles Goran Petrov. The Mayor highlighted different opportunities for economic cooperation with Slovenia and especially highlighted the development of transit tourism. Through the Municipality of Veles a new motorway junction 8 and 10 European corridor will be soon opened. The Municipality has made an interesting sport and recreations plan for development of Lake Mladost and construction of a tourist resort with hotels, bungalows and camping site. Veles hosts the Regional Chamber of Commerce office. Mayor Petrov also called for closer cooperation between universities and secondary schools from both countries in order to strengthen the cultural cooperation and expressed his wish for twinning with the Municipality of Celje. As a successful Slovenian company in the Municipality he highlighted the well-visited Shopping Mall TUŠ.

In the framework of company visits, Ambassador Bergant visited some of the most successful companies in the Municipality, Brako Holding, Leov Company, VEMED and Žito Vardar. Most of the companies are highly export oriented and have investment potential. Ambassador Bergant presented the investment opportunities in Slovenia and the businesses opportunities for cooperation with Slovenian companies.

Working visit at the Slovenian company ROTO-M in Vinica Skopje, 5 April 2012 Ambassador Brian Bergant visited the successful Slovenian company ROTO-M in Vinica and met with the Director of the Macedonian branch of the company Zoran Efremov.

Ambassador Bergant visited the production and exhibition spaces. Director Efremov informed him about the successful year 2011, their plans for this year and expressed his satisfaction that the company expects revenue growth and that they have a full complement of facilities and production runs in three shifts. More than half of the production is exported on the main export markets Kosovo, Serbia, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria and Slovenia. The company this year plans new investments in Macedonia and expansion of the production program.

Working visit at the company Fructal MAK Skopje, 26 April 2012 Ambassador Brian Bergant in the framework of regular visits to companies in Macedonia visited the company Fructal MAK. After the change of ownership in Fructal a change of the management in the subsidiary took place, which is from the beginning of this year led by Zoran Djurić.

Ambassador Bergant introduced the excellent cooperation between the embassy and the company in the past and expressed his hope that this cooperation will remain in the future. Djurić briefly introduced the company's plans in Macedonia, where they plan an expansion of the production. He also outlined the specific problems that the company is facing. The Embassy has offered assistance in resolving these problems.

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The Tourism Fair was opened by the Minister of Economy of the Republic of Macedonia Valon Saraqini and the guests were also addressed by the Deputy Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism of the Republic of Bulgaria Ivo Marinov and the Director of the Skopje Fair Gvido Omladič. Travel agencies and hotel managers from Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Slovenia presented their latest and most attractive arrangements. This year’s partner country was Bulgaria which presented with complete tourist offer of the most famous summer and winter resorts, spa and wellness centers, and also with national food and wines. Slovenian Tourist organization, Terme Maribor, Travel agency Panoramic from Ljubljana and Odpotuj from Slovenske Konjice, officially presented for the first time at the Tourism Fair in Skopje.

The Days of Education and Career 2012 were officially opened by the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia Panče Kralev. 45 Universities and 170 faculties from Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Canada, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Denmark and Slovenia presented their educational programmes. The two largest Slovenian Universities, the University of Ljubljana and University of Maribor, also presented their educational programmes to future Macedonian students.

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