Sasha Grujevski represents InvestMacedonia in the U.S. and is researching the possibility of putting a consulate in Atlanta.

When Sasha Grujevski set up shop in Atlanta 10 months ago, he never expected to find food from his country.

But browsing the grocery store near his new home on Briarcliff Road, he happened across some Macedonian pickles, cheeses and ajvar, a spread made of red peppers.

“I said, ‘I can’t believe it; I’ve located here and I found a store where I can find Macedonian products.’ It’s so amazing,” Mr. Grujevski said.

Mr. Grujevski, a former banker who now represents InvestMacedonia in the Southeast United States, hopes investors will be similarly surprised when they see his country’s strengths.

Since moving to Atlanta, Mr. Grujevski has been researching the region’s economy and gauging interest in a potential Atlanta consulate for the Balkan nation of 2.1 million people.

The biggest test of the concept will come Sept. 5, when Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski visits Atlanta to keynote a seminar on the country’s investment opportunities at the World Trade Center Atlanta.

Just north of Greece, Macedonia presents opportunities for companies in the automotive, agricultural and textile sectors, Mr. Grujevski told GlobalAtlanta.

Though tiny in its own right, the country has mostly duty-free access to 650 million consumers through customs treaties with the European Union and strong ties with other Eastern European countries.

He added that though it’s outside the EU, Macedonia has made all the reforms necessary to be considered for membership, if only Greece would drop its longstanding dispute over the country’s name.

The World Bank has taken notice of the country, however, and has ranked it as the top reforming economy out of 183 countries tracked in its annual Doing Business rankings.

Overall, Macedonia is No. 22, ahead of Austria, France, the Netherlands and many other European countries. It was No. 6 in the “starting a business” category and also excelled in the area of “protecting investors.”

Mr. Grujevski said the country also has relatively low taxes, with a flat rate of 10 percent for both corporate and personal income taxes.

As evidence of the progressive business environment, he cited a satisfied return customer: Johnson Controls Inc.

The Wisconsin-based auto supplier pledged last year to build a $20 million plant making automotive seat covers in an industrial park near the city of Stip. That decision followed a 2007 investment in a car electronics plant near the capital city of Skopje.

Closer to Georgia, Greenville, S.C.-based Kemet Electronics makes ceramic capacitors for auto electronics in Macedonia.

But Macedonia has more charms than the auto industry, and it’s more than just promoting inbound investment, Mr. Grujevski said.

Already he has begun introducing Atlantans to Macedonian wines, an effort that could intensify if an official government office opens here.

“If things develop as we expect, then probably it will be a full consulate, but I think it’s still very early to speak about this,” he said.

The country is also bringing new hydroelectric power projects online and is rebuilding its railroads, welcoming bids from American companies.

At the Sept. 5 event in Atlanta, Mr. Grujevski said the government would like to welcome companies from the information technology, food, pharmaceutical, automotive and medical-device sectors.

For more information about the Sept. 5 event, click here. Questions? Email Mr. Grujevski at or call (404) 636-8798.

To learn more about the country, visit

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...