With the support of Mr. Eduard Muricki, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and HE Miroslav Toman, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, President of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce (SSK) Danela Arsovska and the President of the Czech Confederation of Industry Jaroslaw Hanak signed the Memorandum on strengthening the business relations between the two countries, as well as increasing the trade exchange. Both countries have a long tradition of cooperation, and focus on intensifying it in infrastructure, automotive, waste and wastewater industry, as well as environmental protection.

Companies from both countries showed great interest in increasing cooperation. Which sectors would you consider to have the greatest potential for co-operation?

Jaroslaw Hanak: The Czech Republic has a long tradition of historical, economic and cultural ties with the Northern Republic of Macedonia and the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Our trade links have a history that dates back to the time of the former Czechoslovakia. Traditional Czech brands are well appreciated and both countries have always had valuable business partners. The high economic potential will be further strengthened with the planned accession to the European Union. Also, part of the main foreign policy priorities is the support of Northern Macedonia for joining the EU, which will be a significant factor in the region. Northern Macedonia has made great progress in reforming its economy in the last decade. The individual chapters of the EU Accession Treaty focus on the economy, industry, modernization of the energy market by renewing existing and building new energy units, as well as environmental protection that has been neglected for years. Additionally, the lack of experience in networking and installation of sewage collectors of all sizes is a great opportunity for Czech companies that have the necessary modern technologies and the acquired experiences to fit into the implementation of environmental protection programs. No less important are the sectors: agriculture, transport infrastructure and many others.

Danela Arsovska: The main sectors where companies from both countries have identified the potential for cooperation are infrastructure, automotive, construction, agriculture with a special emphasis on the food industry, as well as opportunities for realization of water resources management projects, waste industry, environmental protection technologies . We believe that the signed Memorandum will further strengthen trade ties between the two countries and open new opportunities for cooperation of companies, through joint ventures, direct partnerships, and performances on third markets.

Traditionally, friendly relations are working to increase trade and economic relations. Have Czech companies expressed interest in investing?

Jaroslaw Hanak: A strong impulse for further deepening of mutual relations is the joint mixed economic commission that will actively coordinate concrete projects for development of mutual economic relations. We welcome the support of both governments for our exporters and the business community. The importance of the market for the Western Balkan countries for the Czech economy is growing every year. Especially in the last three years, there is dynamic development in the mutual business relations. Members of the Czech delegation have a wealth of experience and valuable knowledge. They represent companies in the field of waste water management, environmental protection, engineering, energy, transport and transport technology, infrastructure, electrical engineering, food processing, employment, consulting, banking and financial services, real estate as well as many others. The representatives of the Czech Export-Bank are also part of our delegation. I strongly believe that this business mission will contribute to the further strengthening of our trade partnerships of both countries and will result in an increase in mutual trade in the future.

 Danela Arsovska: The trade exchange between the two countries has been continuously up in the last year with an increase of 15%, with the potential for enhancing cooperation in direction of reducing the differences in trade. At the same time, in the economic plan for further development of the cooperation between the two countries, we will start intensifying business partnerships and promoting sectors with high potential for achieving success on a bilateral level. Czech companies are interested in cooperating with domestic companies and we believe that the potential to be used is especially in the field of energy, as well as wastewater management, and in the direction of improving the environment as one of the most significant areas with unused potential for growth.

The Confederation of the Industry of the Czech Republic and the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce are very active internationally.