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President Ivanov opens international entrepreneurship conference

06. May 2011. | 14:41

Source: MIA

President Ivanov refereed to the consequences from the global economic crisis and the need to support the operations of SMEs as carriers of economic development in every successful country.

Capital and experience are not the most important things in business, but ideas that come from an open mind. Therefore, I believe that our biggest resource are citizens through their diligence, innovation, creativity and commitment, whereas our greatest responsibility is to cultivate the spirit of openness, inventiveness and resolve through education, said President Gjorge Ivanov before participants at the International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development, held under his auspices in Ohrid on May 5-7.

President Ivanov refereed to the consequences from the global economic crisis and the need to support the operations of SMEs as carriers of economic development in every successful country.

"I have seen from meetings with Macedonian businessmen there is potential for their business ideas. I am overjoyed from the increasing presence of the innovation spirit among younger businessmen", said Ivanov, adding that dynamics of the Macedonian economy could be strengthened and sustained only through mutual cooperation of state institutions with the business sector and chambers of commerce.

According to him, the first step towards conquering the future is innovation.

"Our goal is to make Macedonia a country of innovators and innovations. Our goal is to create an economic ambiance where SMEs would compete through new ideas and turn them into products and services. Let's create a state where innovation will not only change our lives, but be our lifestyle", underlined President Ivanov.

John Claxton from the European Commission's Research Directorate-General Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food Research, stressed the strategic objectives of agenda "Europe 2020" aimed towards providing sustainable knowledge-based economic development, but at the same time an inclusive one, i.e. beneficial for all, not only the business elite.

He referred to the development programmes as ways to stimulate innovation in the EU, i.e. the allocated EUR 53 billion up to 2014, EUR 4 billion of which for SME development and support.

Felix Unger, President of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, voiced criticism to Brussels, i.e. bureaucratic obstacles for young entrepreneurs in their efforts to get financial support for their creative ideas.

"Hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs apply for financial assistance in the amount of EUR 20,000-25,000 and are afterwards notified of being rejected, or the funds are approved after a very long period. This is not the way to do things. We must develop clear policies for financing in the EU, so that people know what to expect", said Unger.

The conference on topic "From Entrepreneurial Learning to Innovation and Regional Development" is hosted by the National Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning, funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation, Central European Initiative, as well as domestic sponsors and partners.

The conference is attended by representatives of the European Commission, World Bank, European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, numerous universities, regional agencies, domestic and foreign businessmen.

The conference patrons are the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

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