Slovenia nurtures open and friendly relations with Macedonia since the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1992. The two countries built a tradition of great partnership, basing their connections on intensive cooperation and constant dialogue at political, economic, cultural and scientific level. Prof. Milan Jazbec, PhD, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Republic of Macedonia, discusses the bilateral relations between the countries and points out the potential FDI areas for Slovenian investors in Macedonia.
European Times: What are some of the high points of your professional career?
Prof. Milan Jazbec: The journalistic and afterwards the managerial position at a newspaper publishing company back in Yugoslavia, in my home town Krško, was the stepping stone of my professional career, which provided me with great business knowledge and experience. My diplomatic carrier started in 1991, when I joined the diplomatic service as Yugoslav Consul in Austria. The third milestone of my career commenced when I was appointed as Deputy Minister of Defence, actively working towards the Slovenian entry into NATO. In 2010, I was appointed as the fourth Slovene Ambassador to Turkey, accredited also to Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran, and in 2016 I was accredited as the sixth Slovene Ambassador to Macedonia, which is the greatest challenge so far, yet to be achieved.
European Times: What are the Embassy’s main activities and goals?
Prof. Milan Jazbec: Slovenia was the first country which established diplomatic relations with Macedonia, and vice versa, Macedonia opened its first embassy as sovereign independent republic in Ljubljana, which clearly displays the profound relationship between the two countries. My main goal is to upgrade everything that has been done between the two countries during the last 25 years of diplomatic relations. Slovenia has been active supporter of Macedonia on its path towards the Euro-Atlantic integrations. Our priority is to continue this process, to widen the network and connect the people and the businesses in the two countries.
European Times: What are the specific areas of interest for Slovenian investors in Macedonia?
Prof. Milan Jazbec: Slovenian investors express strong interest for investments in the field of food-processing industry, the banking-financial sector, light industry and furniture, outdoor equipment and home appliances, construction and engineering, tourism, chemical industry, pharmacy, logistics, electronics, IT industry, energy, textile industry, steel and metal processing industry. Macedonia is great investment opportunity for Slovenia. The business people know each other and their collaboration is developing continuously, but politicians have to widen the horizons and to seek for other opportunities. In this context, I would personally like to recommend for everybody to do business with enthusiasm. Don’t do what other people are doing, but rather focus on specifics and be unique.