Summit Daily Highlights – Thursday 8 November

The main session of the seventh annual Macedonia 2025 Summit opened today at the Marriott Skopje, Thursday 8 November.

Get involved in the Macedonian Project

Macedonians inside and outside of Macedonia need to get involved in Macedonia’s development. We need to use our experience, success and passion to move the country forward. This is the secret to the success of Macedonia 2025 and is the secret to success for Macedonia. As Anthony B. Kim from the Heritage Foundation said, we need to be proactive!

Macedonia needs to be your project.
Anthony B. Kim, Heritage Foundation

Proactive growth

Governments can help their countries be proactive. Strong institutions and economic freedom provide the environment for economic growth. Stability and growth provide the environment for Foreign Direct Investment. FDI and domestic investment push productivity forward.

Simple, lower, and competitive taxes are the best way for countries to grow.
Anthony B. Kim, Heritage Foundation

The key resource is people. Both Germany and Lebanon provide examples on how investment in health, formal education, and on-the-job training can help an economy increase productivity. Improving human capital also helps countries push up wages and escape the middle-income trap. Unfortunately according to a new World Bank report the 11 years for formal education in Macedonia is equivalent to only 6.5 effective years of education. Macedonia needs a system that delivers quality human capital.

The more brains you train even while some drain away many are left behind.
Ghassan Hasbani, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister for Lebanon.

Working Together

Australia’s 27 years of continual growth, Germany’ 2010 reforms, and Lebanon’s recent improvements have been achieved with government and opposition working together. The key is to have a framework for consensus that rests above differences. Agreement between the main political parties on key issues prevents wasteful zig-zagging in government policies and spending. All political parties need to focus on the key economic goals and the broad way to get there. Business, civil society, and people then need to keep the parties accountable.

In many cases business have been successful in spite of Government. Many of the difficulties that companies overcome do not show on international rankings.
Illija Gospodinov, Endava, Macedonia.

A new industry: Cannabis

Macedonia was an early adopter of pharmaceutical only production, and now every week people are coming to Macedonia to check out the opportunities in the cannabis industry. Pharmaceutical only production was an important decision because many European countries are suspicious of companies that also have recreational product.

Cannabis is a unique industry because of the degree of regulation. Government and industry must work together closely. If the government allows the industry to succeed then the industry could generate returns in excess of 1 billion USD per year.

There are also great opportunities in Macedonia for suppliers to the cannabis industry.