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NRW Minister Liminski pay strategic visit to North Macedonia

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19-21 March 2023, North Macedonia: European Affairs Minister Nathanael Liminski travelled to North Rhine-Westphalia’s partner country North Macedonia for bilateral talks. In the capital Skopje, the Minister was received at government level and exchanged views with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs Bojan Marichikj and Foreign Minister Dr Bujar Osmani on joint projects within the framework of the partnership. Other important topics are the EU accession process and economic cooperation. The aim of the delegation trip is to support the Western community of values and a strong Europe through a variety of close relations in politics, business and civil society.

Minister Liminski as per statement below in its original German-language version: “The answer to Putin’s heinous war of aggression against Ukraine is a united European community of values. We counter Russian attempts to fuel conflicts in the Western Balkans by continuing and intensifying our close cooperation within the friendly family of states. Northern Macedonia belongs to Europe. The state government therefore very much welcomes the fact that the first EU accession conference finally got underway last year. After two years of partnership, we can already look back on many successful joint projects – for example, we have been able to support the development of competitive and sustainable agricultural structures, launched initiatives for civil society and community actors, and arranged counselling, training and internships for young students and graduates to improve their career opportunities.”

The Minister was accompanied by a business delegation invited to the trip by NRW Global Business together with the Dortmund Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The entrepreneurs from North Rhine-Westphalia are looking at North Macedonia as a possible production location with a view to permanently securing currently disrupted or interrupted supply chains and as an investment location. The partner country offers foreign investors particularly favourable framework conditions and has created several special economic zones in the country. The German Chamber of Foreign Trade in Skopje supports the expansion of economic ties.

In Skopje, Minister Liminski visited, inter alia, the Düsseldorf-based manufacturer of pharmaceutical packaging Gerresheimer and exchange views with young professionals, interns and scholarship holders from support projects of the state government. The trainings and internships within the framework of the funded projects in cooperation with the World University Service (WUS) as well as the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) facilitate the transition from studies to the labour market for the participants and offer them custom-fit additional qualifications that they can use on the domestic labour market.

North Macedonia has been a partner country of North Rhine-Westphalia since 1 March 2021 and is supported by North Rhine-Westphalia on its way into the EU. North Macedonia has been an official EU candidate since 2005, and the first accession conference took place in 2022. There are 100,000 people of Macedonian origin living in Germany, 41,000 of them in North Rhine-Westphalia.

For further information

Government of NRW: https://www.land.nrw/pressemitteilung/reise-nach-nordmazedonien-minister-liminski-im-austausch-mit-regierung-wirtschaft

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Image by Land NRW

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