Macedonian business culture guide - Learn about FYROM
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Macedonian business culture guide - Learn about FYROM

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http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Macedonia. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at ...

http://businessculture.org - Find out about business culture in Macedonia. This guide is part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project which examined European Business culture in 31 countries looking at business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, work-life-balance and social media guide.

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    Macedonian business culture guide - Learn about FYROM Macedonian business culture guide - Learn about FYROM Document Transcript

    •            |  1     businessculture.org Business Culture in FYROM   http://businessculture.org/southerneurope/former-yugoslav-republic-ofmacedonia-fyrom/ Last updated: 30.09.2013 businessculture.org   Content  Germany   This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the view only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
    •            |  2     TABLE  OF  CONTENTS   Business  Culture  in  FYROM  .......................................................................................................  4   Xenophobia: being a foreigner in FYROM .........................................................................................5   International business in FYROM ........................................................................................................5   General education .................................................................................................................................5   Educational standards ...........................................................................................................................6   Other issues such as transport infrastructure ........................................................................................6   Cultural taboos ......................................................................................................................................8   Business  Communication  ..........................................................................................................  9   Face-to-face communication .................................................................................................................9   Language matters ..................................................................................................................................9   Business relationship .............................................................................................................................9   Making contact....................................................................................................................................10   Personal titles.......................................................................................................................................10   Business  Etiquette  ..................................................................................................................  11   Corporate social responsibility ............................................................................................................11   Punctuality ..........................................................................................................................................11   Gift giving ............................................................................................................................................11   Business dress code ..............................................................................................................................12   Bribery and corruption........................................................................................................................12   Business  Meeting  Etiquette  ....................................................................................................  13   Importance of business meetings.........................................................................................................13   Business meeting planning ..................................................................................................................13   Negotiation process .............................................................................................................................13   Meeting protocol .................................................................................................................................14   How to run a business meeting ...........................................................................................................14   Follow up letter after meeting with client............................................................................................14   Business meals .....................................................................................................................................14   businessculture.org   Content  FYROM  
    •            |  3     Internship  and  placement  .......................................................................................................  16   Work experience .................................................................................................................................16   Internship and placement advice ........................................................................................................16   Social security and European health insurance ..................................................................................16   Safety ...................................................................................................................................................16   Do I need a visa? .................................................................................................................................17   Internship and placement salary .........................................................................................................17   Internship and placement accommodation ........................................................................................17   Cost  of  Living  ...........................................................................................................................  18   Money and banking ............................................................................................................................19   Travelling costs....................................................................................................................................19   Work-­‐life  Balance   ....................................................................................................................  20   National holidays.................................................................................................................................20   Working hours .....................................................................................................................................21   Work culture .......................................................................................................................................21   Health insurance .................................................................................................................................21   Social  Media  Guide  .................................................................................................................  23   Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business .........................................................23     businessculture.org   Content  FYROM  
    •            |  4     Business  Culture  in  FYROM   The following video gives you an overview of the general facts: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ByNcj6b3Fzo) Located in South-eastern Europe, in the heart of the Balkan peninsula, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is one of the smallest countries among its neighbours covering an area of 25,714 km². The territory of FYROM is surrounded by mountains punctuated by valleys and is landlocked between Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Kosovo. The river Vardar, the largest in the FYROM, bisects the country. The population of the country is over 2 million with half commuting to the capital city, Skopje, during the week. There are diverse ethnic groups: Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Vlachs, Roma, Serbian etc. The largest among them are Macedonian (67 per cent) and Albanian (22 per cent). The Macedonian language belongs to the South Slavic group of languages. In written communication the Cyrillic alphabet, consisting of 31 letters, is used. Approximately 65% of the inhabitants declare themselves to be Orthodox whilst 33% are Muslims. The climate is Mediterranean. Summer and autumn are hot and dry whilst winter is relatively cold and wet. FYROM is in the time zone of UTC+1. However, during the summertime (March to October) the clock is changed to summer time UTC+2. Located at the crossroads of various empires, FYROM’s history has been very turbulent. Throughout history both the country’s name and its territory have been subject of claims by neighbouring countries. Some of these disputes are still unresolved. However, on the 8th of September 1991 FYROM declared its independency. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  5     The political system of the FYROM is a multi-party parliamentary democracy with a government consisting of a coalition of parties and an independent judicial branch with a constitutional court. The Government has executive authority and is headed by the Prime Minister. The President represents the country and is elected by general election with a mandate of five years. The legislative body, the parliament, is the most important institution of state authority. Its members are elected every four years. The FYROM has been a member of the United Nations since April 8th 1993 and of the World Trade Organization since April 4th 2003. Further, the Republic of Macedonia is an aspiring member country of NATO. Xenophobia:  being  a  foreigner  in  FYROM   After the Macedonian ethnic group, which comprises 64,2% of the population, Albanian citizens are the most numerous with 25.2% among the other minorities such as Turkish 3.9%, Roma 2.7%, Serb 1.8% and other 2.2% (2002 census). The FYROM ratified the Resolution on implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on 17 September 1997. On the protection of national minorities and their rights and freedoms, the Republic of Macedonia cooperates with the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, UNESCO etc. The fact that two major Albanian parties are represented in the National Assembly (one in government, one in opposition) confirms that minorities play an active role in political life. There are also a number of parliamentarians elected from all national minorities, including the Roma. Persons belonging to national minorities are widely represented in local authorities. In August 2008, the Law on the Use of Languages was adopted, which gives clear legal status to the Albanian language and regulates its use in parliament, government ministries, judicial and administrative proceedings. Public television (MTV) and radio extensively broadcast programmes in the languages of national minorities (Albanian, Turkish, Serbian, Romani, Vlach and Bosnian). There are also numerous NGO’s, whose engagement is primarily oriented towards improving the dialogue and cooperation among the ethnic groups. When meeting foreigners, people from the FYROM are very kind and also very curious of other cultures. They may ask questions that seem inappropriate, such as how much money you earn, what your house is like, etc. A foreigner should not be offended by these questions they are just curiosity about how other people live. International  business  in  FYROM   The FYROM has a small and open economy. The traditional economy is agricultural, but the country is now industrialized and highly integrated within international trade. The FYROM does business with countries around the world, therefore it is essential to go over a few basic rules of etiquette before arriving in the country for meetings and negotiations. General  education   The educational system in the FYROM can be classified into three divisions – primary, secondary and higher education. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  6     Primary level education takes eight years from age seven to fifteen. Students are awarded a Diploma for Completed Elementary Education. Elementary and high school are mandatory. Besides standard high school, there are many vocational high schools in each city such as: technical, medical, chemistry, economy, law, gymnasium etc. and some form of high school is obligatory and lasts four years. On completing high school, students are awarded a Secondary School Leaving Diploma. In 2008, 85% of high school graduates were enrolled in universities. An undergraduate degree would normally be obtained in four to six years. The duration of the studies depends on the type of faculty. For example: Faculty of Economics is four years, Faculty of Law three years, Technological/Metallurgical Faculty five years, Faculty of Medicine six years etc. After finishing the first academic level students can go on to complete Masters and Doctoral degrees. At the state-owned universities there are two levels of fees. Students who have a good grade point average pay 200€ per year, and the fee for those who do not satisfy the requirements for the so called state-fee need to pay more, usually 400€. However, depending on the student’s status, participation fee is higher and can range from 400-600€ per year. This is the so the called private fee. The FYROM has a young and educated workforce. Approximately 45% of the population is under 30 years old. In 2009 the FYROM was recognized as an IT leader in the region for launching information technologies into education supported by the company Intel. Intel awarded 15 Million Dollars to the FYROM Government’s Project “Computer for every child”. Educational  standards   Education is a fundamental human right and in the FYROM special attention is paid to all aspects of it. The internationalisation of higher education encourage the mobility of students and teaching staff which leads to acquiring international experience, is a high priority for the FYROM. Other  issues  such  as  transport  infrastructure   Before arriving in the FYROM it is essential to be familiar with the transportation system ant the possibilities and conditions. Railway Transportation The railway infrastructure was built in 1873 and the total network today is around 925km with 168 railway stations. There are three international routes: • • Ljubljana-Athens railway connects Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Skopje, Thessaloniki, and Athens. Skopje-Bar businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  7     • Budapest-Athens international line runs through Belgrade, Skopje and Thessaloniki. Railway transport is provided by Macedonian Railways, which is publicly owned and the only provider of railway services in the country. Tickets should be bought at the desk at the train station. Bus Transportation Buses travel to every town in the FYROM. As with rail transportation, tickets can be bought at the desk at the bus station. Buses are the only means of public transportation. From Skopje buses travel to Belgrade, Prishtina, Sofia, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Ljubljana etc. Air Transportation FYROM has two international airports: • • Aleksandar the Great in Skopje St.Paul the Apostle in Ohrid The FYROM is well connected to the rest of Europe, the Americas and Asian countries. There are direct flights to Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Rome, Prague, Budapest, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Zagreb, Split, Sarajevo, Tirana and Istanbul. Turkish TAV has operated the FYROM airport since 2008 and has the right to do so until 2028. The airports in Belgrade, Sofia, Tirana and Thessaloniki can also be used, as they are only a few hours’ drive from the FYROM. Road Infrastructure Roads make up the main transport network. The overall road network of the country is 13,278km. However, the road conditions may differ significantly from those in many European countries. Many drivers ignore speed limits or traffic regulations. Driving is on the right hand side of the road and drivers and passengers are required to wear seatbelts. Furthermore, car headlights should be on at all times, no matter what time of the day it is. The speed limits are generally declared on the highway/road signs. Most of the highways are in good condition, but many secondary urban and rural roads are poorly lit and in need of repair. There are pay-tolls and road side emergency services. Taxis There are a lot of taxi companies. Make sure to choose a registered one and always ask for a receipt. The ones who don’t have a fiscal machine in their cars are driving ‘in black’ and will ask for much more money than the drive actually costs. It is recommended to ask how much the drive will cost before getting into the taxi. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  8     Cultural  taboos   Taboos in intercultural business communication are those practices and verbal expressions that are considered to be unacceptable. They don’t differ much from those of the other European countries; however there are some particular issues that need to be taken into consideration. It is rude not to accept gifts or food from others. If you are a guest in someone else’s house, they will continue to give you food and drink, and ask you if you would like more. As they pay so much attention to making the guest feel comfortable, it is considered impolite to refuse this hospitality. Laughing and speaking loudly is considered rude and completely unprofessional. Making noises while eating, belching, hiccupping and picking your teeth or nose in public is considered rude. Homosexuality is also considered a taboo so it is advisable to avoid talking about this subject. When in the FYROM, it is wise to be informed about issues such as the name conflict with Greece and corruption. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •              |  9    Business  Communication   In the current era of intensive globalisation, the marketplace is growing at a fast pace. This means expanding business borders and sometimes customising business practices. The subsections that follow give an overview of the FYROM’s business practice to give a comprehensive picture of business communication in FYROM. Regardless of the situation and place, communicating without creating barriers can only be an advantage and bring benefits. Face-­‐to-­‐face  communication     Macedonians are normally warm, polite and generally welcoming to foreigners. When talking with someone, eye contact is important. The partner might consider it as rude and a lack of respect, if you don’t keep eye contact. Macedonians are direct and would not hesitate to speak up or argue if the topic is of importance to them. They speak fast and loudly using gestures and non-verbal communication. A handshake is an appropriate greeting in professional situations. Language  matters   In the FYROM, Macedonian and Albanian are the most commonly spoken languages. Minority languages include Turkish, Roma, Serbian and Vlach and are spoken less often. Macedonian is a South Slavic language whose closest relatives are Bulgarian and Serbian. There is a major east-west dialectal division and about twenty subdivisions. Macedonian evolved in contact with non-Slavic languages such as Greek, Albanian, Aromanian, and Turkish. Today, young FYROM speakers are more likely to understand English than other national languages. Multilingualism is common in urban areas but less common in rural areas. In the former Yugoslavia, the official language was Serbo-Croatian, a mixture of Serbian and Croatian. Today, most people speak the neighbouring languages, Bulgarian, Serbian, as well as Croatian. Languages taught in high schools and universities are mostly English, German and French. English language education is mandatory starting in elementary school and in almost every company the employees need to have a minimum of basic English. Business  relationship   Having the best product and business don’t guarantee high market placements. Every day practice shows that good business relationships and networks can highlight your business and improve its success in the marketplace. For this purpose the FYROM’s businessmen are organised into various communities, which enables them to share their experience and widen and strengthen their networks. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  10     Making  contact   There are generally no rules for dealing with people you are meeting for the first time. If you want to make a good impression it is important to be courteous, polite and a good listener. Good discussion topics would be work, family, climate, where are you from, leisure activities and regional culture. When meeting people for the first time, it is wise to avoid sensitive political subjects. For people from the FYROM, it is important to establish a personal relationship with a client before doing business. This increases trust in the individual, which is seen as more important than the company for which people work. Personal  titles   Supervisors are addressed as Mr. or Ms. with their last name and also by their function. Colleagues are addressed by their first name. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •              |  11    Business  Etiquette     Business etiquette in FYROM dictates the values and beliefs of the importance a person gives to something. The way values and beliefs are expressed forms the attitude that is then revealed through words and behaviour. Usually unwritten, these values and beliefs govern the expectations of social behaviour within a society, social class or group. Accepting attitudes and values as essential elements of every culture with a huge influence on people’s behaviour can contribute to improved intercultural understanding and reduced misunderstandings when doing business with foreign partners. Corporate  social  responsibility   Institutions, businesses and civil society organisations, with support from the European Union are developing corporate social responsibility in Macedonia. The UN Global Compact was activated in the FYROM in 2004. The FYROM’s network includes 43 companies, NGOs and other members. The National Coordinative Body for Corporate Social Responsibility, which was established with support from UNDP, developed the Agenda for Corporate Social Responsibility that was adopted by the Government of the FYROM. Companies promote responsible management and practice ethical and responsible behaviour which contributes to developing and strengthening the global corporate social responsibility of the country as a whole. Punctuality   In the private sphere of life people from the FYROM have a relaxed perspective on time. 1520 minutes delay is to be expected and is not unusual. Buses and trains are rarely on time. Scheduling appointments has become a necessity in the last couple of years. Time is more valued in business situations, where punctuality is usually required. Although FYROMs work very hard, they value a less stressful lifestyle that allows a work life balance – time for friends and family, a visit to the pub or just a bit of a chat on the corner. Gift  giving   In private situations gift giving is considered normal when visiting someone’s house. The size and value of the gift is not important. In business, small gifts such as a pen, book, wine or pralines would be given to express gratitude for services. It depends a lot on the company’s business culture, the branch and the number of employees, but business gifts are sometimes exchanged at Christmas, New Year and other similar occasions. If this is also a practice in your company you should make sure to reciprocate. It will often be appreciated if you invite the persons you want to thank out for a meal, or buy them a drink after work. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  12     In business as well as in private situations, it is good to offer to pay. In general men pay for women. Business  dress  code     FYROMs pay much attention to their appearance. Therefore, the dress code in a business environment should be carefully adhered to. It is very important to be dressed appropriately and with style for every occasion. Men usually wear a shirt and pants and in certain situations a suit is the most appropriate. In everyday business life women should be dressed in business casual. Bribery  and  corruption   Recognizing the issue of corruption, in November 12th 2002 the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption was constituted to provide the basis of the law for the Prevention of Corruption. It is responsible for identifying conflict of interest issues, areas where problems are most urgent and to offer measures and activities to overcome the problems and the risks. The Action Plan for the period 2007-2011 was primarily based on the following: • • • • • • Political system, the National Assembly and the political parties The judicial system Public administration and local self-government Law enforcement institutions Economic and financial system and the private sector Civil society, media and trade unions The European Commission has acknowledged the continuous progress of the country in the fight against corruption. According to Transparency International, in the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012 the FYROM is came 43rd out of 100 and ranked in 69th place out of 176 countries. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •              |  13   Business  Meeting  Etiquette     Communication has always been the lifeblood of every company. People meet in order to discuss ideas, share experiences, define strategies and develop new directions. According to the results of a survey conducted by the Annenberg School of Communications at UCLA and the University of Minnesota’s Training & Development Research Centre, 40%-50% of executives spend their working hours in business meetings. This suggests that in the modern workplace, where doing one’s job well is only possible through effective team coordination, business meetings are becoming more important than ever. Importance  of  business  meetings   Meetings in the FYROM are formal. Punctuality is appreciated, but not expected. FYROM professionals are not extremely rigid about it. Arriving around the time when the appointment is arranged is appropriate. Greetings go according to status – from higher to lower. If there are women, they are always the first to be greeted. After a few minutes of small talk before beginning, the person with the highest professional rank opens the meeting and usually ends the conversation as well. During the meeting it is acceptable to ask questions, but also expect to be asked many questions, as meetings are primarily held for the purpose of information exchange. Although decisions are made at the top of the company i.e. top down, a consensus with the stakeholders will be reached before making a final decision. It is expected that presentations are done competently and are factual and backed by statistics. Successful ventures never happen fast, as Macedonians like to make sure that all topics have been covered comprehensively first. Business  meeting  planning   An email suggesting an appointment and a short description of what the meeting is going to be about is the usual way of arranging a meeting. If you need to meet an executive you should adjust your plan to the executive’s. A phone call to his or her secretary or directly to the person themselves, if s/he doesn’t have executive status, is also a very common way of setting up a meeting. Negotiation  process   FYROM’s people can be tough negotiators. If you need an interpreter then hire your own for meetings and negotiations. Avoid confrontational behaviour or high-pressure sales tactics. An indirect negotiating style is preferred as being too direct is viewed as poor manners. Do not change members of a negotiating team before a decision is reached or the relationshipbuilding process will have to begin anew. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •              |  14   Meeting  protocol   When greeting people you don’t know very well or with whom you are not familiar, it is normal to shake hands and greet them neutrally. If you enter a room where others are seated, you should shake hands with each person. If you are greeting people you already know, it is expected to show a certain amount of informality towards them. When you are leaving you should also shake hands with everyone present. For less formal situations, a light hug between men and one or two kisses, one on each cheek between women is common. Traditionally and in some formal situations three kisses on alternate cheeks and a handshake is appropriate. In Muslim areas, touching between men and women should be kept to a minimum or may not be allowed at all. Follow the local’s lead if you are in doubt how to act. How  to  run  a  business  meeting   For meetings to be effective it is important to have a clear agenda. The agenda is usually sent out in advance of the meeting to enable the attendees to read it and if required to prepare themselves. The person responsible for running the meeting makes sure that the procedure and housekeeping details are followed. The meeting starts after a couple of minutes of conversation to get to know the other attendees. It is useful to bring printed material/handouts besides a well-prepared presentation with facts, information, simple and understandable visual aids. FYROM people are good listeners and won’t interrupt while someone else is talking, but you should expect many questions afterwards. Follow  up  letter  after  meeting  with  client   After the meeting, agreements or decisions are not made immediately, it may take a couple of days until the agreements are finalised. Business  meals   Fundamental for a successful business lunch or dinner is to make sure you are familiar with the proper eating etiquette. When having a meal with a business partner, remain professional and polite. Business meals, restaurant etiquette and traditional food and drink will be addressed in this section. Business dinners in the FYROM are considered more of a social occasion and a good way to develop relationships. Meals are generally very rich and there will quite often be more food on the table than can be eaten. Macedonians are extremely generous hosts. It is proper etiquette to offer to pay. The host will most probably refuse the offer, but it is important to make the gesture to give a good impression. The bill may be shared with the host, but a foreigner would not be allowed to pay. When in a restaurant shake hands with everyone present. Most restaurant rules are similar to those in other European countries. You should wait to be shown to a seat and wait till your businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •              |  15   elders begin to eat. However, people aren’t going to judge you and tend to be fairly informal. If you are invited for dinner or lunch, be sure to plan to be there for at least two hours, since meals last a very long time due to socializing. Every meal starts with meze, a combination of fresh salad, white cheese, different combination of zucchinis, eggs, eggplant (aubergine), paprika, olives etc. It is usually served with rakija, strong aperitif made from grapes, plums or pears. The main dish includes a mixture of meat, potatoes, vegetable and spices. FYROM’s traditional cuisine offers a variety of culinary delights. It has inherited many tastes from Turkish cuisine, which prevailed during the Ottoman rule, and also from Greece and Italy. Therefore, the FYROM’s cuisine is a combination of Balkan and Mediterranean. The principal food on the menu is a mixture of meat and vegetables, tavcegravce (baked beans), peppers stuffed with minced meat, mousaka (a mixture of meat, potatoes and/or aubergines), barbecues, sarma (made of brine cabbage, fresh cabbage, vine leaves, sorrel), turlitava, pita pastrmajlia etc. Some of the traditional Macedonian meals are not served in the restaurants, for example gomleze, mekici, pogaca, pindzur, ajvar, tursija, but if your host invites you to his house then some of these meals would definitely be served. The FYROM is famous for its wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and mellow Merlot. If you are visiting the FYROM make sure you try them. The minimum legal drinking and smoking age is 18 and is strictly enforced. Smoking in restaurants and coffee bars is not allowed. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •              |  16   Internship  and  placement     Work  experience   There are different kinds of placement opportunities for students. Most of them are trainee programmes offered during the summer holidays and last from one to three months. In comparison with a few years ago, the number of companies offering internships or trainee programs has increased. During internships students can also do their Bachelor thesis. The trainee programs are also intended for those students who have already graduated but who do not have work experience. Universities’ role as an interface between students and companies is very significant, because placements are usually offered through the university. As there are many foreign companies in the FYROM, due to the strong campaign to attract foreign investors, knowledge of the English language is a vital application criterion. Taking into consideration the fact that over 85% of high school graduates enrol in university, the competition for a job is fierce. For this reason previous work experience, participation in student exchange programs and engagements during the studies are a great advantage. Internship  and  placement  advice   There are many practical issues related to international placements that need to be addressed by the trainee or the host company and sufficient time should be set aside for all the arrangements and necessary formalities. The training organisations, educational institutions and home and host organisations are able to help with these formalities. Social  security  and  European  health  insurance   Students should make sure they have valid health insurance and where necessary travel insurance. Remember that the FYROM is a non-EU country so EU insurances do not apply. Persons employed in the FYROM who get paid must make mandatory contributions of 0.5 per cent of their gross annual salary to the Health Insurance Fund of Macedonia. If you are planning to visit areas with wild animals, particularly spelunking in caves with bats, it is strongly advised to make sure that your rabies immunisations are up to date. Safety   In general the FYROM is a safe country. However as in all countries, pick-pocketing, theft, and other petty street crimes do occur, particularly in areas where tourists and foreigners congregate. Do not leave valuables, including mobile phones and electronic items, in plain view in unattended vehicles, especially in Skopje city centre, including the Main Square businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  17     (“Ploshtad”), the City Centre Mall (“Trgovski Center”). In the Old Town areas pickpockets remain a problem. Pickpockets use various diversionary tactics to distract victims; one method involves groups of children swarming around you and asking for money in order to find and take your wallet. Credit card fraud is widespread and caution should be exercised when making a purchase using this method. The number of ATMs in the FYROM is increasing, making the withdrawal of local currency much easier. Do  I  need  a  visa?   In order to accomplish an internship in the FYROM you don’t need a work permit, but you do need a residence permit. Furthermore, if you are a citizen of: European Union member countries, Australia, Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Botswana, Canada, Croatia, Island, Israel, Japan, Malaysia (only for 30 days), Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, United States; you do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days. For all other countries, you will have to apply for a visa in the nearest FYROM embassy. For more information, please visit the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the Law on Work Relations: • • • • • The employment contract should be in written form, and for a defined or undefined period of time. The employer has to register the employee and pay social insurance fees. The lowest legal working age permitted is 15. Cancelling the employment contract in circumstances where the employer dismisses the employee, requires that at least one month’s notice in advance must be given. Paid vacations of up to seven working days due to personal or family reasons are possible. Unpaid leave can’t exceed three months in any one year. Foreign persons can be employed in the FYROM upon obtaining the appropriate visa or work permit. This can be obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Diplomatic-consular offices abroad and upon an employer’s request in the Employment Agency. Internship  and  placement  salary   Placements might be paid, however most of the time they are unpaid. Internship  and  placement  accommodation   Depending on the organisation, a student may need to find their own accommodation. If working with a non-profit organisation e.g. in the field of humanitarian work a room and even food may be provided. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  18      Cost  of  Living     The currency of the FYROM is the Macedonian denar (MKD). Macedonian denar (MKD) notes come in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000, and there are coins of one, two, five, ten and fifty denar. The costs of living are significantly lower than in many European countries. However, when put into the context of the average monthly salary, the costs of living for the FYROM’s people are pretty high. Food Daily menu 300 den (approx. 5€) Meal in a fast food restaurant 194 den (approx. 3,2€) 1 l of whole fat milk 50 den (approx. 0,83€) 1 kg of tomatoes 43 den (approx. 0,72€) 500 gr of local cheese 136 den (approx. 2,27€) 0,5 l beer in the supermarket 40 den (approx. 0,70€) 1 bottle of red wine with good quality 300 den (approx. 5€) 2 l of Coca Cola 73 den (approx. 1,22€) bread 30 den (approx. 0,50€) 1,5 l water 25 den (approx. 0,42€) Housing Monthly rent for an 80m² furnished apartment (expensive area) approx. 27,250 den – 450€ The utilities for one month for two persons are approximately 7000 den – 117€ Clothes • • • A pair of jeans (known brand) approximately 3500 den – 58€ A pair of Adidas trainers 4600 den – 77€ A pair of average shoes 3000 den – 50€ Transport businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  19     • • Monthly ticket for public transport approx. 1200 den – 20€ Taxi 1 km 30 den – 0,50€ Entertainment • • • • • • Basic dinner for two approx. 700 den – 12€ One ticket to the cinema approx. 150 den – 2,5€ One ticket to the theatre approx. 250 den – 4,2€ iPhone4 35 990 den – 599€ One minute of prepaid mobile tariff (no discounts) T-Mobile Macedonia 7,9 den – 0,132€ One pack of Marlboro cigarettes 120 den – 2€ Money  and  banking   Macedonian denar (MKD) notes come in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000, and there are coins of one, two, five, ten and fifty denar. You can only convert the denar inside the FYROM. Restaurants, hotels and some shops will accept payment in Euros (usually) and US dollars (sometimes). ATMs can be found in all of the major towns and tourist centres but not in isolated and remote places. Travellers cheques are difficult to change so do not rely on them, except as a form of emergency back-up money. Credit cards are widely accepted, but do not rely on this, even at a hotel or restaurant. Visa and Master card are the most popular cards. Economic policy and financial stability are the responsibility of the National Bank. The banking system in the FYROM is highly fragmented and is based on Banking Law and the National Bank Law. It is constituted from eighteen banks and eleven savings banks. 71.3% of the banking capital belongs to foreign investors. Fourteen of them are owned by foreign shareholders, of which four are owned by foreign banks (September 30th 2008). The Ministry of Finance is the authorized institution for issuing and revoking licenses for performing financial leasing. There are eight leasing companies that perform financial leasing and around 90% of their capital is owned by foreign investors (December 31st 2008). Payments are made in cash, with cash cards or credit cards. The national currency as mentioned above is the denar (ден). Major Banks are: • • • • • Stopanska Banka Komercijalna Banka NLB Tutunska Banka Pro Credit Bank Alpha Bank Travelling  costs   Usually the student must pay and organise their travel to the FYROM and to the company themselves. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  20      Work-­‐life  Balance     Although the Macedonian nation is still very traditional in some aspects of life (weddings, baptising, celebrations, family life etc.), a more modern way of living can be detected in every aspect of social life. Official working time is from 8am until 4pm from Monday to Friday. Usually the weekend is free, but many private companies also work on Saturday. Employees are entitled to annual leave of between 20 and 26 working days per year with up to seven days paid leave for marriage, death of close family members, professional examinations and other employer requirements. FYROM people spend a lot of their free time together with their friends in coffee bars and restaurants. Families tend to be small and spend a lot of time together and help each other with every-day activities. It is not unusual for children to live with their parents until marriage and to be supported by them until then. There are also families where three generations live together, but this is becoming increasingly less common in urban areas. Family members all help one another with children and work. Men are still considered to be the heads of the household and are expected only to work. Women are expected to juggle a full time work schedule with doing the housework, taking care of the children, making meals, etc. National  holidays   Holidays Date New Year January 1, 2 Christmas Day (Orthodox) January 7 GoodFriday (Orthodox) March / April EasterSunday (Orthodox) March / April EasterMonday (Orthodox) March / April Labour Day May 1 Saints Cyril and Methodius Day May 24 Day oft he Republic – Ilinden August 2 Independence Day September 8 Revolution Day October 11 businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  21     Day of the Macedonian Revolutionary Struggle October 23 Saint Clement of Ohrid Day December 8 Working  hours   Most of the restaurants and bars work every day of the week, even during holidays. The shops are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm. There are extended working hours in tourist areas, Ohrid and Struga, during the season. Institutions and offices: Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 16:30 pm Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Banks: Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 7:00 pm Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 am Work  culture   The FYROM offers a highly qualified, educated and ethical workforce. The average gross monthly salary is 430€. The country has a 40-hour working week with a 30 minute rest period during daily working hours plus sick leave benefits. In accordance with EU standards, flexible employment contracts and flexibility of working time are available in the FYROM. With the aim of stimulating foreign and domestic investments, the FYROM has implemented a very attractive flat rate tax of 10% on corporate income tax and personal income tax. Health  insurance   Public healthcare in the FYROM covers unlimited visits for preventative care, examinations and treatments. All citizens are entitled by law to equal access to health care. Employers take responsibility for registering their employees in the Health Insurance Fund and both employer and employee must contribute to the fund. Employees are required to contribute 0.5% of their gross salary for insurance against work related illnesses or diseases. Most of the medical services covered by the public healthcare system are free of charge. Private healthcare is also available. Private hospitals and clinics are managed by independent doctors and specialists. FYROM citizens can register with any general practitioner of their choice. However, if you are seeking private healthcare for yourself, you must make sure that the chosen doctor has a contract with the Health Insurance Fund. In normal circumstances, patients need a referral businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •              |  22   from their doctor in order to visit a specialist or a hospital. In an emergency no referral is required. Hospitals and clinics are available in all major towns. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  23     Social  Media  Guide     Around one-third of FYROM citizens are active on social networks. In particular, the Macedonian-speaking younger generation under 25s use internet and social networks. This number is far less within, for example, the Albanian-speaking communities. The table below shows that more than half of the ten most visited websites are social networking sites. In particular, during the 2011 elections, Facebook functioned as a significant hub for public debate and political activism. It has attracted a significant majority of more than one million internet users in the FYROM. However, other social networks are also used such as video-sharing sites like You Tube. However, social media in the FYROM is used primarily for personal communication, and only secondarily as a tool for disseminating news. The 10 most used social networks in FYROM are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Facebook Google (including Google+) YouTube Twitter LinkedIn Erepublik Flickr Deviant Art MySpace Badoo Further, there are currently several smaller native Macedonian social networks, with Top.mk among the best known. This represents something between a teenagers’ social network and a mechanism for dating services. Search  and  Social  Media  Marketing  for  International  Business   Learn how to use social media for business from one of Salford Business School’s latest business management courses. The course was jointly researched by the Passport to Trade 2.0 project team and prepared in collaboration with some of the leading digital marketing agencies in the UK. This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) can help businesses and individuals to make the best use of search and social media platforms. businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  24     The course is called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business and is applicable to students looking for placements abroad as well as businesses thinking about new trade links; it comprises the following twelve topics: How to develop a personal brand online (1/12) • • Whether you are a student beginning a job search or a business person planning a new business venture, personal branding can make a difference. Learn about personal branding and why it is important for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=l9LYw0mgtn4&feature=player _embedded How to use Twitter (2/12) • • Learn the basics of using Twitter to develop an individual or business profile. Remember to use hash tag #SSMMUoS to share your learning journey on this course so far! http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=9CVY3pp91Dc&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) (3/12) • • Learn the principles of SEO to ensure that your website and any social media profiles are found by individuals searching for your name, products and services. These basic principles of SEO include keyword research, on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=zw27cRcwtM0&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  25     How to use social media for international business development (4/12) • • Social media networks break down the traditional country barriers, but do you know which networks are relevant for the country you are interested in trading with? Find out in this video how to identify the relevant networks and what social media strategies you might be able to use on these networks. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=Bx-B56AHS4c&feature= player_embedded How to use Facebook (5/12) • • Facebook is currently the largest social media network in the world and it can benefit you as a business as well as an individual. Learn how to develop a Facebook business page and see how other businesses use it and what strategies work for them. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UmRGn-vdcO8&feature= player_embedded How to use YouTube (6/12) • • YouTube was identified as the second largest social network amongst younger internet users as part of the Passport to Trade 2.0 project. Learn how to optimise your video content in order to reach wider audiences for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=G2 0OVpmTBss businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  26     How to use LinkedIn (7/12) • • LinkedIn is one of the three main professional social networks – the others being Xing and Viadeo which are also popular in several European countries. Learn how to make the most of LinkedIn for your profile. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=N6e_EAUQqic&feature=playe r_embedded How to use Google+ (8/12) • • • Google+ is the second largest social network as of January 2013. It is one of the fastest growing social networks and one that has the biggest impact when it comes to search engine results integration for anyone who uses Google as their main search engine. Learn how to make the most of Google+ for you and your digital profiles. http://www.youtube.com/watch? feature=player_embedded&v=8ti 3SPHkEWw How to use copywriting online (9/12) • • Copywriting is a process of translating technical specifications and product descriptions into engaging and understandable customer focused text. Learn about the basic techniques in structuring your online content here. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=5f1hx_f2ONI&feature=player_ embedded businessculture.org     Content  FYROM  
    •            |  27     How to stay legal on social media (10/12) • • Everything and anything you do and say online can be potentially viewed by anyone who has internet access. Always respect the law and familiarise yourself with new options offered to you through a creative commons licence which is popular online. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=eQxDpiHsdk&feature=player_embedde d How to use monitoring and reporting (11/12) • • Whether you are an individual or a business spending time on social media – there has to be a return on your engagement online. How do you justify your engagement on social media to your boss? Listen to the industry experts in this area and see what you might be able to measure in respect of your on-line engagements. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=LbEq7jsG0jg&feature=player_ embedded How to blog (12/12) • • http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=OqVjR7oI8Rs&feature=player _embedded businessculture.org     • Blogging is a process of writing text and sharing content with others. It can help your customers or friends to keep in-touch regardless of social media platforms. Think about the voice you might want to adopt and who your audience might be. Share your thoughts with us by writing a blog post about this MOOC. Tweet us the link to your post on the #SSMMUoS Twitter hash tag. Content  FYROM  
    •              |  28   Passport  to  Trade  2.0  Project  Partnership   Five Universities: Lead partner: Salford Business School, University of Salford, United Kingdom Elena Vasilieva Aleksej Heinze Alex Fenton URENIO research unit at Aristole University of Thessaloniki, Greece Christina Kakderi Nitsa Papadopouloui TSE Entre Research Centre Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland Satu Aaltonen Elisa Akola Institute for Information System Research University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany Verena Hausmann Susan P. Williams Petra Schubert Valahia University of Targoviste, Romania Adriana Grigorescu Leonardo Badea Three Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Spin, Italy Carmine Antonio Donato Dorella De Tommaso Technology Development & Innovation – TDI LTD Bulgaria Milanka Slavova Ivan Stoychev TIS Praha, Czech Republic Anna Klosova Richard Adekeye businessculture.org     Content  FYROM