Guide to Exporting

Exports bring many advantages

The most important of these are: increased sales, competitiveness in multiple markets, higher profits and reduced risk of being present in only one market. Exports help you build global competitiveness as well as a greater reputation in the domestic market.

Exports from the Republic of Northern Macedonia are a significant driver of increasing production capacity on the domestic market. About 80 percent of the exports of the Republic of Northern Macedonia are made in 10 countries, including the member states of the European Union, as well as Serbia and Kosovo. This percentage also includes the share of exports made by foreign companies that use state subsidies. Of the member states, exports to Germany are the largest, accounting for more than 40% of total exports. Most of the products exported from Macedonia are: textile lin products, bulk wine, parts for the automotive industry, steel, electro metal products, tobacco and others.

In order to start exporting, it is necessary to make strategic decisions regarding:

  • changes in planning,
  • changes in the organization and management of resources in the company itself
  • improvement and improvement of the production process,
  • investing in products that will make you competitive in the foreign market,
  • increase of production capacities,
  • market research,
  • increasing the number of employees
  • to have certain financial resources that will support export operations
  • export license and to have a foreign currency account
  • operating website
  • excellent knowledge of foreign languages

Possession of information on communication infrastructure
Successful export companies always have innovation-oriented management, think globally, and believe in the forces of market and competition. You will be considered a successful exporter if you have been successful in the domestic market before and have a product that can hardly be copied by another company, which gives it uniqueness and greater importance and reliable sales.

One of the main drivers for successful entry into the foreign market is promotion, and this is achieved through participation in fairs, exhibitions and conferences, which are a great opportunity to meet potential customers and consumers. More than 2,500 fairs are held each year around the world, so your chances for this type of presentation are almost limitless.

The conditions for trade, ie export and import on the international market are regulated by a series of regulations. The World Trade Organization, of which our country is a member, was established to ensure the highest possible level of trade freedom, is to create conditions for the elimination of trade barriers between countries.

There are also so-called. free trade agreements between different groups of countries aimed at boosting their trade. The Republic of Northern Macedonia is a signatory to several such agreements, including CEFTA (agreement between Central European countries), EFTA (with Switzerland, Norway, Ireland and Liechtenstein), as well as free trade agreements with Turkey and Ukraine. With the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the relations in the trade shoulders of our country with the EU members were regulated.

To assess export readiness, answer the following questions, which will give you an idea of ​​whether your company is export-ready:

  1. Does your company already have an export product or service?

    a. Yes, it is produced regularly
    b. We are currently in the process of producing a prototype
    c. At the moment we only have an idea for such a product
     
  2. How much is your product already sold on the market in Macedonia:

    a. The market share of the product in Macedonia is large and is constant
    growth
    b. The product is sold in the country, but its market share is small or
    stagnates
    c. The product is not sold in Macedonia
     
  3. To what extent your product is sold in more than one of the largest cities in Macedonia (Skopje, Tetovo and Kumanovo)

    a. The product is sold in more than three cities
    b. The product is sold in more than one of the largest cities in
    Macedonia
    c. The product is sold only locally, in one city
     
  4. To what extent you have already managed to export your product / service

    a. Our exports are regular and proactive
    b. We export on an irregular basis
    c. We do not export
     
  5. If there is a need to increase the volume of production, we would achieve it through:

    a. Existing assets, equipment and staff
    b. Training of new staff
    c. Investments in new production plant and equipment
     
  6. Significant funds are needed for product development and export marketing. You plan to finance these investments through:

    a. Working capital / cash flow
    b. Bank loan
    c. We do not have sources of funding
     
  7. In your business plan, you have planned the costs of developing export markets, which include market research, export market visits, product samples for potential partners, brochures, website, etc.

    a. Yes, up to 10,000 euros
    b. Yes, up to 5,000 euros
    c. No, we do not provide for this purpose.
     

  8. Describe the management of your company

    a. Management has experience in exporting
    b. Management is committed to the idea of ​​sustainable exports
    c. Management has built a good reputation when it comes to
    compliance with deadlines in business deals
    Mr. Management currently has no export experience
     

  9. Your company has already developed promotional materials, such as product brochures, videos or catalogs.

    a. They exist and are already available
    b. They are in the preparation stage
    c. We do not have such materials
     

  10. The company has already conducted research on foreign markets

    a. Yes, detailed research as well as market visits
    b. Yes, secondary research, conducted by Macedonia
    c. We have not conducted any research on the foreign market 

 

If you answered no to most of the questions, you should not be discouraged, it means that you still need to work on your export skills.

The Sector for Support of Export Activities is at your disposal for consultations in the field of export and the difficulties you face during the export activities at the following e-mail address: export@investnorthmacedonia.gov.mk.

When deciding to export, companies need to develop export plans that will be their guides in the process of the implementation of the activities in internationalization. The most common process of planning on the export activities starts with analysis of the company itself and its capacity to export, analysis of the business environment and screening of potential export target markets as well as deciding on the ones with greatest opportunities for the exporter.

When decided on the target market, the company should choose the most appropriate entry mode and then develop suitable plans for the implementation of the marketing strategy and adoption of the elements of the marketing mix to the conditions and needs of the new markets. The most important decisions refer to the choices related to the product, distribution, promotion and pricing.

Product or service to be exported:

  • Modification of the product to the target market requirements
  • Technical and quality characteristics of the product
  • Standardization and quality control issues
  • Legal and marketing requirements on the local market
  • Packaging issues
  • Delivery times
  • Consumption habits on the new markets

Price:

  • Setting the right price for the export market taking into account all the costs, the conditions on the market, purchasing power and the demand for the product/service as well as the prices of the competition
  • Export insurance
  • Payment methods and possibilities
  • Currency issues

Distribution:

  • Decisions of the distribution modes
  • Decisions on the coverage of the market
  • Deciding on the type and number of intermediaries to be used
  • Buying habits
  • Distribution structure

Promotion:

  • Adopting the promotional strategy  to the cultural aspects and buying habits of the new markets
  • Deciding on the promotional techniques
  • Deciding on the media to be used

Please find here a brochure with guidelines for exporting.

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