SKOPJE, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Representatives of North Macedonian and Italian companies held a business forum here on Friday discussing ways and opportunities to further increase bilateral trade.
The forum was organized jointly by the North Macedonian Chambers of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce for the Republic of North Macedonia.
The Italian company representatives said that they see opportunities for cooperation in sectors such as food and wine production, tour operations, investment in renewable energy sources, innovation and construction.
The President of the Italian chamber, Enrico Petrella, said that his organization's member have an "enormous" interest in investing in North Macedonia.
The President of the North Macedonian Chambers of Commerce, Daniela Arsovska, said that bilateral trade exchanges have increased, but fresh business partnerships need to be encouraged.
Zorica Apostolska, North Macedonia's minister without portfolio in charge of foreign investments, encouraged businesses to make use of the cooperation opportunities.
In 2018, trade exchanges between the two countries were worth 614 million euros (696 million U.S. dollars), up 13 percent from 2017.
A total of 130 companies with Italian capital operate in North Macedonia today, and Italy was the country's sixth largest trading partner in 2018.