Towards a Theory of Internationalization
Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Isabell M. Welpe, Mary Han and Vanessa Ratten
Chapter 14: Internationalization of SMEs: The Case of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Marija Risteska and Zhidas Daskalovski Introduction The aim of this chapter is to focus on the SME sector in Macedonia, a candidate for EU membership, and a former Yugoslav republic with diﬃcult transition in the postcommunist period. Like a few other countries in Eastern Europe the reforms in the last 15 years in Macedonia have been simultaneously focused on two issues: state building and setting up the legal base for a functioning market economy.1 Many of the problems of democratic consolidation were aﬀected by the inter-ethnic relations. Today the political situation in Macedonia is fairly stabilized. However, according to various data, the Macedonian economy can be judged as weak, underperforming and, in many sectors, not competitive on international markets. What is more, the insuﬃcient level of investments (particularly in research and development) and the failure to attract foreign investors are both a reason and a result of the current economic state. In early 2001, Macedonia signed the Stabilization and Accession Agreement with the European Union and became a member of the World Trade Organization in April 2003. Both events started a harmonization process, in which many laws are to be harmonized with the international standards. The post-communist process of liberalization of the economy and the loss of several traditional export markets created both positive and negative eﬀects. Faced with the increasing competition during the privatization process, many socially-owned enterprises have scaled down production, dismissing many employees. On the other hand, in the transformation period many private...
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