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newsletter JUNE 2013 c/o Netherlands Embassy Leninova 69-71 1000 Skopje Republic of Macedonia e: w:

NL Chamber was established in J­ anuary 2012 as official Dutch-Macedonian Chamber of Commerce by 50 Macedonian companies, according to the Macedo­nian Law on Chambers of Commerce.

events Stylish Queen’s Day Dinner World Private Label fair Amsterdam Junior Chamber International: exploring Macedonia projects Dairy Farming Macedonia: deploying Dutch knowledge network Modint: Focus on ready made and explore the market members Ambassador Schuurman explored Toranica mine Steel Con builds factory in Stip for Dutch client Vitalia health food at World Private Label fair Amsterdam Konimex on business trip to the Netherlands service Customized business trip statistics Dutch Export EU short New flight times Eindhoven-Skopje Agenda

One third of these companies is partly or fully Dutch owned. Objective of NL Chamber is to promote and support successful business relations between Dutch and Macedonian companies.

Sponsors of Foundation NL Chamber:

photo: NL Chamber

Dutch-Macedonian Chamber of Commerce


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013


Stylish Queen’s Day Dinner On the Dutch national holiday Queen’s Day, NL Chamber organized a stylish dinner for members at restaurant Den i Nokj in Skopje. Maintaining close relations with and amongst the members, catching up with eachother and exchanging ideas, require regu­ lar gatherings. Therefore NL Chamber gladly seized the opportunity of the Dutch ­national holiday “Queen’s Day” on 30 April for organizing a stylish dinner in restaurant Den i Nokj in Skopje, right after the official reception of the Netherlands Embassy at the same location. The rich four-course dinner

of international meat and fish dishes and dessert was highly appre­ ciated by the present members. matching wine Skovin Winery had arranged for wines matching the various courses of the menu, whereas Pivara Skopje provided for Heineken beer and softdrinks.

abdication On 28 January, three days for her 75th birthday, Queen Beatrix announced her abdication per 30 April, with which Queen’s Day 2013 became the day of succession. By law crown prince Willem-Alexander became King of the Nether­ lands at the moment of signing the declaration of abdication. Later that day the inauguration ceremony took place. King’s Day: 27 April King Willem-Alexander decided to celebrate King’s Day on his birthday, 27 April, wereas 30 April was the birthday of his grandmother, late Queen Juliana. Willem-Alexander (46) is married to Queen Máxima (42) and they have three daughters: Princess Amalia (9), Princess Alexia (8) and Princess Ariane (6). For more information, see:

photos: Rijksoverheid, NL Chamber

royal family


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013


World Private Label fair Amsterdam NL Chamber member Vitalia was exhibitor at the fair World Private Label in Amsterdam. Members Konimex and Tinex went to the fair as visitors. In autumn 2012 NL Chamber visited new member Vitalia, producer of health food pro­ ducts. CEO Nikola Vetadzo­ koski explained their long-term experience with exhibiting at World Private Label in Amsterdam and expressed the wish to participate together with other Macedonian companies in a country pavilion in 2014. beyond expectations

fair profile location: Amsterdam RAI Exhibition Centre surface: 87,000 sqm, 11 halls dates: Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29.05.2013 next year: Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21.05.2014 exhibitors: 21,000 from 70 countries sections: only divided in food and non-food most exhibitors participated in regional or country pavilions: country

Austria Belgium Croatia Greece Hungary Latvia Poland Serbia

no. of exhibitors / organizer

53 / Austrian Federal Economic Chamber 43 / Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency 85 / Flanders Investment and Trade 11, including Agrokor / Croatian Chamber of Economy 39, including Kri Kri 23 / Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency 9 / Union of Latvian Fish Processing Industry 112 / Ministry of Agriculture; Region Eastern Poland 13 / Serbia Investment & Export Promotion Agency

Surprisingly, there were three more Macedo­ nian companies exhibiting individually. With enough ­ interest, NL Chamber will ­initiate a joint pavilion for the 2014 edition of the fair.

Bulgaria was present with 16 exhibitors, but like the four exhibitors from Macedonia, all participated individually. Massively present countries were France (140 exhibitors), Germany (347), Italy (238) and Spain (129). China was present with 61 exhibitors in the non-food section and 10 in the food section. There were 51 exhibitors from South Korea. Several companies, like toilet paper producers Paloma from Slovenia, Harmony Slovakia and Hero, Remia and United Coffee from the Netherlands had large individual stands. Click for more information:

World Private Label product groups • • • • • • •

food shelf stable, fresh, frozen beverages only a few exhibitors in beer, wine and liquers health & beauty products pet products household products houseware, do-it-yourself packaging & design

photo: NL Chamber

Serbian country pavilion clearly visible in the middle of the Europa hall.

Retail chain group Tinex always visits the fair with several people from their purchasing department. Konimex, grower and processor of (organic) tea, herbs and essential oils, decided to join NL Chamber to evaluate the potential of this fair. “World Private Label really exceeded all my expectations. For various companies that I got to know before, I now even had the chance to meet with the top management at this fair,” says Viktor Kolovski, CEO of Konimex.


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013


Junior Chamber International: exploring Macedonia No less than 25 young entrepreneurs from Junior Chamber International (JCI) met with the Netherlands Embassy and NL Chamber members on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Entrepreneurs of Junior Chamber International discussing bilateral business opportunities at the Embassy.

entrepreneurial spirit always on the alert Since it was just a weekend trip, the nature of this visit was leisure. But because JCI is a network of young entrepreneurs, the delegation imme­ diately grabbed the chance to learn about the business potential of Macedonia. They visi­ ted the Embassy and met with NL Chamber members: an entrepreneurial spirit is always on the alert. barrage of questions Deputy Head of Mission Peter Verheyen opened the Embassy

on Saturday afternoon for a real barrage of questions on bilateral business opportunities. Unlike their Macedonian colleagues, Dutch entrepreneurs ask a lot of questions during such meetings, which is why Verheyen and NL Chamber director Bob Smit just provided a short introduction, allowing for an extensive series of questions and answers that lasted more than two hours. NL Chamber members Prior to this trip all NL Chamber members received a profile

of the participants with names, companies and description of their business. After the mee­ ting at the Embassy five NL Chamber members in textiles, printing and ICT met with the delegation for a drink. JCI Macedonia Since Macedonia does not yet have a local branch of Junior Chamber International, ­ both JCI Twente and country organization JCI Netherlands ­ ­expressed inte­rest to help setting up a first JCI branche in Macedonia.

Junior Chamber International (JCI) is a non-profit organization of 200,000 entrepreneurs under 40 years of age in 5,000 local branches in over 100 countries. The Netherlands has 99 branches. JCI members take up the responsibility as global citenzens to use their entrepreneurial spirit and creative minds in local development initiatives for a better society.

photo: NL Chamber

The local branch Twente of Junior Chamber International (JCI) took the initiative for a short exploration mission to Macedonia from 14-16 June. Based on the experience with working in Macedonia of one of their members, Gerben ­Abbink, an impressive group of 25 members came to Skopje.


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013


Dairy Farming Macedonia: deploying Dutch knowledge NL Chamber member BiMilk struggles with insufficient domestic raw milk supplies. For Dutch companies and educational institutions in dairy industry as well as for Dutch dairy farmers there are good opportunities in dairy farming development in Macedonia. The dairy farming sector in Macedonia is very fragmented: there are many dairy farmers with less than 10 cows which makes any investment in quantity and quality improvements unfeasible. On the other hand, the larger dairy farms suffer from insufficient feed production, inadequate cow health management and old-fashio­ ned methods and equipment. “Only to meet the domestic demand, we are forced to import condensed milk, whereas our raw milk payments ­ can easily compete with the current Dutch prices,” says Zlatko Najdovski, CEO of BiMilk. Dutch knowledge

emigration Dutch farmers For decades emigration has been a common challenge for Dutch farmers: in a ­ densely

Larger dairy farm in Macedonia. The well-known black-white Friesian Holsteiner dairy cows are less suitable for Macedonian temperatures.

populated country as the Nether­ lands lack of space is hindering growth and also leads to various restrictive regulations. In the old days Dutch farmers moved their business to spacious countries like Australia, Canada, the US and South Africa. More recently, Dutch farmers started emigrating to Poland, Russia and Romania. Najdovski: “A couple of Dutch farmers with each up to a hundred dairy cows on 80 hectares would mean a marvellous improvement to dairy farming in Macedonia. Good pieces of land are already available for 5-7,000 EUR/ha.” showcasing good practice

The Macedonian government agrees with Najdovski: “The Ministry of Agriculture is very

aware of the need to showcase good practices through foreign dairy farmers that set up a business in Mace­donia.” training Ambassador Schuurman personally facilitated the negotiations between BiMilk and PUM Netherlands Senior Experts for a training scheme for dairy farmers. The Memorandom of Understanding on this co-operation is expected to be signed before autumn. Through NL Chamber also the dairy department of the University for professional education Van Hall Larenstein has shown interest to develop a training programme, possibly in co-operation with the recently established Dutch Dairy Campus in Leeuwarden.

photo: NL Chamber

Last autumn, BiMilk invested in the purchase of 700 cows to be placed with their suppliers under favourable repayment arrangements. In order to improve the operation of one of their larger suppliers, BiMilk also arranged for an internship of two Dutch students of Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden in March. See their findings in the box on the next page.


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013

findings Dutch students on dairy farming Macedonia

low quality plastic sheeting leads to cracks...

bad housing leads to draught, resulting in pneumonia...

not spreading manure over the fields is like wasting fertilizer...

...and the upper layer of the ­silage gets rotten

...and sharp edges may cause injuries...

...and overdue maintenance leads to unusable equipment

remains of feed in the manure show incomplete digestion

...while manure storage threa­ tens cow health and hygiene

in-calf cows waiting for delivery


Modint: Focus on ready made and explore the market NL Chamber discussed the ­ opportunities for Macedonian garment producers on the Dutch fashion market: the demand is moving more and more to ready made garments.

Modint is an association of 750 producers, importers, agents and traders in garments, fashion accessories, carpets and home textiles, creating a total annual turn­ over of 9 billion EUR of which 50% is exported. NL Chamber member Karma Bella is also Modint member. Modint has been supportive in the market access activities of the Dutch export coaching programme “Outerwear Mace­donia”, but would normally charge some 12,000 EUR for a customized matchmaking event. See:

“The Dutch fashion industry is still facing declines due to the economic crisis. Moreover, several brands decided to discontinue their CMT-operation, so the market for Macedonian producers is getting smaller,” says Antonio Barberi, international trade consultant at ­Modint. CMT or cut-make-trim is the default way of working of Mace­ donian garment manufactu­ rers: they only arrange for the labour intensive part of cutting and sewing and eventually for

buying the trimmings, whereas the foreign client supplies design, patterns, fabrics, labels and packaging materials. future is ready made Barberi urges the Macedonian textile industry to focus their development on producing ready made garments (RMG). “Who wants to sell on the Dutch market should study the Dutch market, for a start by simply visiting the fashion fair Modefabriek in Amsterdam,” suggests Barberi. photos: NL Chamber

about Modint


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013

Sponsors of Foundation NL Chamber 7

newsletter no. 2 / June 2013


Ambassador Schuurman explored Toranica mine NL Chamber member Indo Minerals and Metals operates two mines for lead and zinc ore in Macedonia. Ambassador Schuurman explored the operations and environmental protection measu­res at Toranica.

Ambassador Marriët Schuurman, NL Chamber director Bob Smit and plant manager Mehta at the highest entrance of the mine

fine particles by crushing and grinding. The result is a mixture of grains of minerals and metals which is mixed with water. Following the froth flotation process, chemicals are added to the slurry to increase the hydrophobicity of the lead. By aerating the slurry, the lead bubbles up to the surface as a froth which is then skimmed. By adding other chemicals to the remaining slurry, the zinc bubbles up as a froth which is then also skimmed.

Skimming zinc concentrate froth

environmental protection IMM is part of the Binani Group which feels very strongly about environmental responsibility:

On Tuesday 21.05.2013 Dutch Ambassador Marriët Schuurman visited the Toranica mine near Kriva Palanka. NL Chamber member Indo Minerals and Metals (IMM) exploits this mine as well as the Zletovo mine near Probistip for lead and zinc ore. Ambassador Schuurman and NL Chamber director Bob Smit were guided around by Mrs Biljana Crvenkovska-Jovanoska from IMM’s Skopje office and plant manager Mr Mehta. froth flotation

The grinder, grinding the ore

Froth of lead concentrate bubbling up and being skimmed

simple market The two final products are lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) concentrate. “The entire production of lead and zinc concentrate is sold on contracts for 3 to 5 years with one single customer. New contracts are closed every year in October in London,” Biljana Crvenkov­ska-Jovanoska ­explains.

“The company’s efforts are focused on prudently using and conserving natural resources and deploying superior technical solutions to prevent ecological contamination.” The un­ avoidable waste of the Toranica mine is stored in a remote basin that is fully isolated from the environment.

photos: NL Chamber

The ore is transported by rail from the inside of the mountain to the processing plant. The ore is first processed into


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013


Steel Con builds factory in Stip for Dutch client Dutch-Macedonian joint-venture Steel Con is constructing a factory for a Dutch company in Stip. The Dutch-Macedonian jointventure in reinforcement bars and steel constructions, Steel Con from Kumanovo, is constructing a factory in Stip. The client is the Dutch-owned company Vitezis, producer of slings for the health care sector. Vitezis is currently renting premises in Stip, but with the growth of the business and the introduction of a new product, sliding sheets, the company was ready for an own, larger building.

Construction of a factory for Dutch Vitezis in Stip by Steel Con.


Vitalia health food at World Private Label fair Amsterdam Health food producer Vitalia exhibited at the fair World Private Label in Amsterdam.

Quite some traffic at Vitalia stand

For the fourth year Vitalia exhi­ bited at the fair World Private Label in Amsterdam. “Also this year we had a substantial number of food trade professionals visi­ting our stand. Sales nego­ tiations are going on,” says Maja Duckinoska of Vitalia. A new product line with Chia seeds and Stevia extracts was selected for the showroom of innovative products and con-

cepts “Idea Supermarket” at the fair. Vitalia already sells to a major Dutch wholesale company as a result of a previous edition of World Private Label.


Konimex on business trip to the Netherlands While visiting the fair World Private Label Konimex also visited several potential clients. na­ged to get in touch with the key stakeholders in ­ (organic) herbs, tea and essential oils trade on the Dutch market.”

photos: NL Chamber

Viktor Kolovski at potential client

While visiting the Netherlands for the occasion of the fair World Private Label Viktor Kolovski, CEO of Konimex, also took the chance to visit several other potential business partners. Kolovski: “This was ­ really a last-minute trip, but with the help of NL Chamber I still ma­


newsletter no. 2 / June 2013


Customized business trip Macedonian companies with a clear idea of potential Dutch business partners, can ­order a customized business trip from NL Chamber. The same goes for Dutch companies, ­looking for Macedonian business partners. Members and sponsors receive a discount. Despite all contemporary ways of communication, including LinkedIn - where the Dutch are amongst the most active users in ­Europe - face-to-face meetings remain essential for ­ fruitful business co-operation. never waste a journey Whether you are a Dutch entre­ peneur looking for partners in Macedonia or a Mace­ donian company with ambi-

tions on the Dutch market, NL Chamber can assist you in developing your business trip, customized to your needs and available time. Most important: never waste a journey! If you are travelling anyway, visi­ting a fair, an existing client or even friends or relatives: do inform NL Chamber about your itinerary, because there might be some interesting opportunities to fill up your agenda!

discount for members The Board of NL Chamber has defined a tariff of 300 EUR/day for composing a programme, scheduling meetings and - if desired - guidance during the business trip. Members and sponsors receive a discount of 50% on this tariff. Costs for transport, accommodation, food, admittance etc. are not included.


With the accession to the EU of Croatia on 1 July, the internal market becomes again bigger. Dutch export to the new EUmembers shows the fastest growth. More than half of that growth concerns Poland and Hungary. However, the share of these new EU-markets in total Dutch export value remains small, whereas non-EU markets gain more importance. Currently, the export to Croatia is 0.1 %. source: Statistics Netherlands


New flight times Eindhoven-Skopje

flight times from On Mondays and EIN 14h10 SKP SKP 17h25 EIN

28 October. Fridays: 16h55 20h20


Budget carrier Wizzair, connecting Skopje to Eindhoven twice a week, will change the

14.07 Fashion fair Modefabriek 15.07 Fashion fair Modefabriek 08.09 Independence Day Macedonia

illustration: Statistics Netherlands, Modefabriek; photo: NL Chamber

Dutch Export EU


NL Chamber / Macedonia: Newsletter 2013 no.02  
NL Chamber / Macedonia: Newsletter 2013 no.02  

10 pages of Dutch-Macedonian business news, with in this issue: PLMA, World Private Label Fair - Junior Chamber International - Dairy Farmin...