National | AMBASSADOR VISIT

Macedonian Ambassador to Japan wants to boost academic ties between the two countries

Staff Report

Andrijana Cvetkovik, Macedonia’s Ambassador to Japan, says she hopes to expand academic cooperation with Japan, in addition to the agreements it already has with about 10 Japanese universities on student and professor exchanges and scholarships.

Several years ago “I received a scholarship from the Japanese government” to study in Japan, Cvetkovik said during a courtesy visit to The Japan Times on Wednesday, adding that she hopes the same opportunities will be extended to more Macedonian students in the future.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s website, Japan has been accepting Macedonian students on scholarships since 1996.

On the tourism front, Cvetkovik said she hopes to increase the number of Japanese tourists to the Republic of Macedonia four- or fivefold over the next five years. The number of Japanese tourists to the European country has increased 50 percent every year over the past three years, she said.

“We have been working with travel agencies to promote Macedonia as a tourist destination,” said Cvetkovik, who became Skopje’s envoy to Tokyo in December 2014.

She is the only ambassador in Japan who is a member of the Europe Group of Japan Outbound Tourism Council, a body under the Japan Association of Travel Agents, thanks mainly to her Japanese-language ability, she said.

She also voiced hope that more Japanese companies will increase their investments in Macedonia, which is located in the center of Balkan region.

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of Japan-Macedonia diplomatic ties.

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