Greek officials, business representatives attend 1st Skopje Economic Forum

Greece wants to become a catalyst for better cooperation and development among countries in the Balkan region through increased investments and digital transformation of societies, said Ioannis Smyrlis, the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Secretary General for International Economic Affairs, at the 1st Skopje Economic Forum on Thursday.

The minister also referred to Greece’s plans for energy investments with North Macedonia, and mentioned the need for the upgrading of the transportation network between the two countries. Regarding the Prespes Agreement, Smyrlis noted that its faithful implementation is constantly evaluated, as it is a criterion for North Macedonia’s European perspective.

Greece’s Ambassador to North Macedonia Roussos Koundouros said Greece firmly supports the European perspective of countries in the Western Balkans, and the Prespes Agreement provides the basis for the establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership. He too pointed out that its faithful implementation is a criterion for assessing North Macedonia’s EU accession.

President of the Hellenic Industries Association Athanasios Savvakis focused on the investment orientation of North Macedonia and of regional countries, saying that they should come up with a new model of development. What regional governments do to attract foreign investments is very important, he added.

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that his country’s accession to NATO brings security and is a great opportunity for economic growth. In a meeting with Zaev, Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama said the lack of a decision to start accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia is a failure on EU’s part.

The 1st Skopje Economic Forum was organized by the Delphi Economic Forum and the Union of Greek Businesses in North Macedonia.