Slovenia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia add think tanks to Virtual Institute network

25 February 2013

Slovenia’s International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Finance Think have been appointed by their Governments to join the Virtual Institute’s global network of 82 academic institutions, expanding Virtual Institute think tank membership to 11 research centres from seven countries.

​The International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE), the Virtual Institute’s second think tank from Slovenia, is an international intergovernmental organization headquartered in Slovenia. Membership is open to countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.
ICPE’s objective is to promote international cooperation in areas related to entrepreneurship development, the effective management of enterprises, privatization strategies and environment solutions. It organizes short-term trainings, international events (conferences, seminars, workshops and expert meetings targeted at businesses and policymakers), assists enterprises in adopting competitive business practices, and provides market research as well as risk and project management services. 
ICPE’s training covers issues such as public administration, economic/commercial diplomacy, access to European Union funds and projects, e-governance, e-health, energy efficiency, lean management for public enterprises, corruption prevention, public–private partnerships, budgeting, accounting and financial management. In cooperation with the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana, the Centre also offers a one-year intensive MBA programme.
Nenad Stankovic will act as coordinator for ICPE’s cooperation with the Virtual Institute. Mr. Stankovic has a background in engineering and IT, and his research interests cover ICT and telecommunications, public–private partnerships, project and risk management, and international relations. He will be supported by Giedre Sadeikaite, a PhD candidate who specializes in local and sustainable development, international relations and project management.
ICPE is ready to share information, organize trainings, courses and seminars on different topics relevant to developing countries, host events, and implement joint projects based on its areas of expertise. The Centre hopes to establish new contacts for the exchange of information and implementation of joint projects with other Virtual Institute members, and to gain new experiences in different areas of cooperation.
Finance Think is a recently created non-profit organization that is active in the areas of research, economic policymaking and advocacy. Its main activities include research and analysis, and advocacy and advice to policymakers, as well as blogging and social media communication.
Its work covers three main areas, namely (a) development economics (poverty, inequality, unemployment, access to education and health services, the regulatory environment and structural reforms); (b) macroeconomic/financial policies (economic growth, investment, monetary and fiscal policies, trade and exchange rate policies); and (c) financial systems (banking, insurance and pension systems, the global financial system, and financial integration).
Finance Think publishes a quarterly macroeconomic monitor, as well as books and articles, and has developed an index of future economic activity. An index of financial stability is scheduled for publication in 2013.
The participation of Finance Think in the Virtual Institute will be coordinated by its Chief Economist, Blagica Petreski. Currently undertaking PhD studies, Ms. Petreski has a master’s degree in monetary economics, and has published on the banking system and macroeconomic policies. Her current projects relate to analysis of systemic risks and predictions of financial fragility, and to the effects of Basel III on banks in Central and South-East Europe. She will be joined by her colleague Despina Petreska, who specializes in corporate finance and banking.
Finance Think is ready to exchange ideas with other Virtual Institute members, contribute papers, participate in workshops, and contribute to the building of research networks. It expects the membership to open new opportunities for cooperation, to enhance its expertise, and to help it establish connections with other members of the network.