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Enhancing Mutual Economic, Cultural and Social Initiatives between Macedonia and Bulgaria

Slika Zore Temelkovski-2

Formed in 2011, the Macedonian-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit business association, with main goal to develop the economic relations between the two countries, creating link between the companies with common interests and promoting the business activities. Zore Temelkovski, President of the Macedonian-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, points out the main priorities of the association.

European Times: What are the milestones of your professional career?

Zore Temelkovski: Having the chance to create large social network as a former basketball player, led me to the position of being one of the founders of the Macedonian Basketball Federation. When the country entered in new democratic and social changes, I was elected as a member of the Parliament for two mandates. Being an economist and foremost entrepreneur, I have established the first private company in Macedonia – Ino Spektar, marking the beginning of a new era of entrepreneurship in the country. Focusing my business relations on Bulgaria and Slovenia has proved as a successful business strategy. This was the main reason I was elected for the President of the Macedonian-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

European Times: What are the main priorities of the Chamber?

Zore Temelkovski: Our main priority is to promote the economic relations between the companies, bringing together the markets of Macedonia and Bulgaria. Bulgaria is the sixth trade partner of Macedonia, but trade is mainly composed of non-ferrous metals and oil products. In this context, the Chamber advocates for expansion of the bilateral trade, rising up from the constant €700 million to €1.000 million per year. The key to accomplish all this is to develop better infrastructure, bridging Black with the Adriatic Sea through Macedonia and making the Corridor 8 competitive. The construction of the railroad to Bulgaria, which should be finalized in 2022-Th, will bring the expected results, but I personally believe that there is even greater benefit if highway to Sofia is constructed. Other priorities of the Chamber are the common energy policy, especially around the pipelines, the establishment of interstate investment fund for export companies and cooperation on the development of joint products in order to conquer third world markets.

European Times: Why should foreign investors target Macedonia?

Zore Temelkovski: One of the most successful Bulgarian investments in Macedonia is Minstroj, but we cannot underestimate the other companies. We also have a lot of small and medium size companies that slowly but surely enter the market with their own products, getting bigger every day. I would like to encourage new foreign investors to come and invest in this region. This is a country with very talented and educated people capable to respond to any challenges, fulfilling the European criteria.