AMIRA ARNON, AMBASSADOR OF ISRAEL
New era in relationships with Macedonia.
With Macedonian knowledge and Israeli expertise, we shall be able to double agricultural production in your country, points out the Ambassador of Israel.
Macedonia is one of the rare countries for which Israel is abolishing the visa regime. This signal and the intensification of the cooperation between the governments and the businessmen mark the beginning of a new era in the relations between the two countries, considers the Israeli Ambassador for Macedonia in Jerusalem, Amira Arnon.
How do you evaluate the relations between Israel and Macedonia?
-This weekend, I am going to Macedonia for the three day manifestations related to Israel. Perhaps, the most important and the most popular of these is the match between the two national football teams to take place on Saturday evening. Of course, I will be there, with flags, and will attentively watch the match. The same evening, the Israeli philharmonic orchestra will give a guest performance in Skopje which is really a big event. The next evening, a theatre from Israel will give performance that will simultaneously be translated into Macedonian. So, we have three big events ahead and I hope that it will be a wonderful beginning of a new era of our relationships.
When will Macedonians be able to visit Israel without visas?
Very soon. In fact, a resolution on abolishment of the visa regime for entry of Macedonian citizens has already been passed in Israel. The administrative procedures for the realization of this resolution are being carried out at the moment.
What are the possibilities for the Israeli companies to invest in Macedonia?
-So far, there have been several Israeli companies that have been involved in projects in Macedonia. I wish there were more, but I know that there is a great interest. For example, a big Israeli juice producer is already located in Macedonia and has a big market for the fruit juices. Recently, a company bought land in the surrounding of Skopje where residential compounds, playgrounds… are to be built. We are very much present in the telecommunication sectors, projects on Internet and, what is particularly important, in scientific farming and agriculture. This is a considerably wide sphere in which we should do much more in my opinion.. I will try to point out the spheres through which we will be able to double the agricultural production in your country by Macedonian knowledge and Israeli expertise.
Are there any possibilities for investment in tourism?
-I was in Ohrid, the wonderful lake has a big potential. I hope that the Israeli people will soon discover this beautiful area. Of course, it is a problem that there are still no direct flights. Both governments have signed an agreement by which the aviation issues are regulated, which means that, if airline companies show an interest, we will be able to fly directly from Israel to Macedonia. It is up to the airline companies to decide, but we are ready to pay more attention to this issue.
Is Israel going to have an embassy in Macedonia soon?
-It is a long process. However, the cooperation goes on. The next weekend, we will be visited by a delegation led by the Macedonian Vice-President of the Government. His host will be the Israeli Minister of Agriculture and they will talk about different agricultural sectors. At the same time, a big delegation of Macedonian businessmen will arrive. To this delegation, we are going to present Israeli companies working in their spheres.
What is the possibility for sale of Macedonian products in Israel?
Israel is an open market. We import Macedonian products from the food industry. However, I hope that we will be able to increase the exchange in future.
Source: “Dnevnik”, May 30st 2007