AmCham Macedonia Winter 2018 (Issue 56) - Page 3

Winter 2018 / Issue 56 Dear AmCham Macedonia members and friends - It is my pleasure to address you as the new Ex- ecutive Director of AmCham Macedonia. Mi- chelle Osmanli has departed Macedonia after many successful years at the helm of the Cham- ber and I am honored to take over her position and continue her work. I look forward to meet- ing as many of you as possible, both at individ- ual meetings and at our upcoming events, and in the meantime you can get to know me a bit better through the interview on page 6. The winter 2018 edition of AmCham Mace- donia Magazine is dedicated to consumer pro- tection. We shine a spotlight on this issue every year because consumer protection is tightly en- twined with one of the bedrocks of doing busi- ness – trust. We need consumers to trust that businesses have their best interests at heart, oth- erwise they would not use their products and services. Similarly, citizens need to trust that their government has their best interest at heart so they would continue to be part of the dem- ocratic and civic process. Consumer protec- tion is becoming more relevant every year, not only because of the advent of technology which brings about unprecedented levels of invasion of privacy, but also because of the erosion of trust we are witnessing globally. According to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, for exam- ple, the United States saw a 37-point aggregate drop in trust across all institutions (business, government, NGOs and media) in 2017. We only need to turn on the TV for evidence of this collapse of trust in our society as well. For this issue we reached out to our members in several different industries to explore how important consumer protection is for them and how it affects their ability to do business. You will also find a summary of our recent events, in- cluding the General Assembly and the Thanks- giving and holiday parties, as well as AmCham’s comments on the government’s National Eco- nomic Reform Program (page 25). We have a full slot of events prepared for you this year. In addition to events focusing on burning issues affecting business and mem- ber-to-member exchange meetings, we will also focus on regional and interest-based network- ing events as these seem to be very popular and in high demand by our members. Looking forward to meeting and working with many of you in the coming year, Dijana Despodov AmCham Magazine is a quarterly publication of AmCham Macedonia. No reproduction of any materials published in AmCham magazine is permitted without the explicit written permission of AmCham Macedonia. The articles in the magazine express the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of AmCham Macedonia, its members, board of directors or staff. While AmCham Macedonia makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all published information, AmCham Macedonia is not responsible for errors or omissions. The magazine is available on our web site: EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Dijana Despodov • EDITOR: Aleksandar Narashanov • PHOTOGRAPHER: Elena Fidanovska DESIGN: Zoran Inadeski • Cover: Elena Fidanovska • ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: AmCham Macedonia Magazine 3