The Mayor of Makedonska Kamenica, along with representatives from Central Asia Metals, Foundation SASA, and PrimePoint Partners, recently embarked on a study tour to Slovenia. The objective of this tour was to facilitate capacity building and knowledge transfer for the ongoing project “Sustainable economic development of Makedonska Kamenica Municipality.”
During the study tour, the delegation engaged in productive meetings with several Slovenian municipalities that had successfully transitioned from being predominantly driven by the mining industry. They had the opportunity to visit mining museums, business accelerators, and incubators, which played vital roles in supporting the creation of new businesses. Additionally, the delegation also interacted with local tourism organizations and regional development agencies that promote sustainable local tourism and economic development.
The Mayor of Makedonska Kamenica, Mr. Dimcho Atansovski expressed his admiration for the transformative journey undertaken by the Slovenian municipalities and their transition into attractive tourism destinations within a span of 20 years. Recognizing the potential of replicating these best practices, the Mayor stated, “We are at the beginning of this transformative process, and learning from Slovenia’s best practices and challenges they faced could truly serve as a roadmap for our local economic development efforts.”
Ivica Taleski, President of the Sasa Foundation and Deputy GD of Sasa, emphasized the significance of the study tour, stating, “By visiting these cities, we have gained confidence that our economic development project can be a turning point for the future of the municipality. Each destination is unique and needs to build upon its assets but the key to success are people, commitment and collaboration. The presence of business incubators and accelerators has actively involved the youth in sustaining this transformation. We are even more determined to collaborate on this joint project and leave a legacy that will benefit generations to come.”
The project “Sustainable Local Economic Development of Makedonska Kamenica” is primarily focused on transforming the municipality through a community development program. This program aims to foster entrepreneurship development in the areas of sustainable tourism and agriculture and enhance the skills of local entrepreneurs for access to finance and access to regional and international markets. As part of this initiative, developing international relations and collaborations, as well as learning from best practices on a regional level, holds great significance.
“Overall, the study tour to Slovenia served as an invaluable learning experience for the delegation from Makedonska Kamenica. By drawing inspiration from Slovenia’s success, they aim to pave the way for sustainable economic development in their municipality, creating a prosperous future for the local community.” – concluded Maja Blazhev, Program Manager and Senior Advisor – Development Programs at PrimePoint Partners.
The local implementation team of PrimePoint Partners expressed heartfelt gratitude to the hosts in Slovenia for their warm hospitality. Special thanks were extended to Velenje Municipality, SASA Incubator, Trbovlje Municipality, accelerator KATAPULT, DRITL museum, Skiing Center Cerkno, Idrija Municipality, Idrija-Cerkno Development Agency and others for their contributions to the study tour.