The seventh Summit100 Business Leaders was successfully completed with a plenary panel, where Rasim Ljajić, Deputy PM and Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications and Kocho Angjushev, Macedonian PM Deputy, participated.

Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Rasim Ljajić said that the countries in the region needed to reach a final decision on whether they were for nationalism or pragmatism. “We lag behind a lot. While others advanced and invested in infrastructure and digital skills, we were in wars. That gap cannot be easily crossed,” said Ljajić.

Macedonian PM Deputy Kocho Angjushev said that Macedonia wanted to be a friend with all the countries in the region and that it would continue working in that direction, adding that he hoped that Serbia would recognise

Macedonia as a friend and a partner.

SAM President and BoD Chairwoman of the Summit100 Stanka Pejanović said that enabling free flow of people and goods through joint projects was a great opportunity for the entire region: “First of all, we need to stop youth from leaving and help them via various funds, but with a clear platform of how to get them come back. To brand the region as a region of smart people who can compete in the global market rather than a region of cheap labour.”

Alkaloid Skopje CEO Živko Mukaetov said he was honoured to be a member of the Summit100 Business Leaders Board and that this year’s event continued to fight for economic growth and improvement of the quality of life in the region.

“The seventh Summit100 Business Leaders has reached a conclusion that the region needs even closer and stronger cooperation. In the course of two days, we have heard from the speakers a lot about facilitation of trade between the countries, talked about brain drain in the countries of the region and what we can do to prevent youth from leaving for work and how to attract those who have already left to come back. Other topics have included digital platform-based areas in trade, agriculture, infrastructure, joint projects aimed at improving regional competitiveness. The seventh Summit100 has shown that there is still strong inclination towards business cooperation within the region, and that message has been clearly sent to the attending politicians, so we hope that at the eighth Summit in 2019 we will present what we have done meanwhile,” says Jelena Bulatović, SAM Executive Director.

The two-day Summit100 Leaders gathered more than 150 participants from Serbia and the countries of the region and more than 70 domestic and regional media representatives in the Serbian capital.

The Summit100 initiative gathers the most prominent business leaders of Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Albania. The Summit100 was initiated by the Serbian Association of Managers (SAM), the Managers’ Association of Slovenia (ZM) and the Croatian Employers’ Association (HUP), with other business partners from the region subsequently joining in. The first annual event was organised in Aranđelovac in October 2011, and the previous one in Skopje i October 2017.