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Minister Vele Samak
Minister Highlights Macedonia’s FDI Attractions
Vele Samak, Minister without portfolio responsible for attracting foreign investments, represents the new generation of leaders in Macedonia. With a bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Vele Samak brings a very international perspective to Macedonia’s economic development strategies. Formerly holding posts with Citigroup and Microsoft, the Minister has an indepth understanding of globally active enterprises and has been responsible for attracting some of Macedonia’s biggest Greenfield investments to date.
The Minister is very positive about Macedonia’s prospects. He says, “This year is going to be favourable in regard to the inflow of foreign capital to Macedonia. Our recent road shows across the globe have been very effective in presenting Macedonia’s business advantages to potential investors. In 2011 alone we saw many new FDI projects get off the ground, mainly in the automotive, pharmaceuticals and electronics
sectors. In fact, Macedonia attracted a record l303 million in FDI in 2011, double the 2010 total.”
FDI success stories
Vele Samak points out that one of Macedonia’s first Greenfield investments was by US auto interiors manufacturer Johnson Controls, which has been so satisfied with Macedonia as a business base that it launched its second production facility there last year in a l20 million project. Other successful investors include UK enterprise Johnson Matthey, which opened the world’s most advanced emission control catalyst production facility in Macedonia. On March 22 this year, the Minister announced a new FDI project: a l30 million initiative by Germany’s Dräxlmaier Group to produce electrical installations and cables for Mercedes vehicles. The new factory will provide 4,000 new jobs over the next three years.
“New investors are looking for a reliable business partner in the local government, and that’s what the Ministry of Foreign Investments is.”
“New investors are looking for a reliable business partner in the local government, and that’s what the Ministry of Foreign Investments is,” says Vele Samak. He notes that Macedonia offers a number of key attractions for international investors, including one of the youngest populations in Europe as well as one of the highest concentrations of multilingual human resources.
Macedonia is also an ideal base for global companies seeking access to fast-growing regional markets. Vele Samak concludes, “When you put all of Macedonia’s investment attractions into a package, not just for today but for the next five to ten years and beyond, Macedonia has everything it takes to be not just a low-cost business base but rather a new innovation platform in the European market.”