Vele Samak – Minister without portfolio
Vele Samak, appointed Minister for attracting foreign investments three times since 2006, is the most senior Government official driving and executing a broad range of policies to secure business and investment opportunities in Macedonia for some of the largest companies in the world. Using direct campaigns and broad-based events, Minister Samak has developed and maintains relationships with hundreds of C-level and senior business decision makers throughout Europe, the United States, and Asia across many industries. In his role, Minister Samak has managed more than 100 investment projects and hosted more than 60 business teams in Macedonia from the largest foreign companies where he assisted in strategic analysis and due diligence, successfully placing Macedonia on a short-list of site selection countries. With Volkswagen Group, he organized the First Macedonian Automotive Supplier Conference held in 2008 in Skopje. To date, Minister Samak has attracted the largest Greenfield investments in Macedonia, including Johnson Matthey (UK), Dräxlmaier (DE), Kromberg and Schubert (DE), Van Hool (BE), creating more than 7000 new jobs and securing new exports above $1 billion annually.
Previously, Vele Samak was a product manager at Microsoft overseeing enterprise marketing of SQL Server 2005 and Business Intelligence solutions for the US market. He helped drive partner and competitive marketing campaigns which contributed to over $1 billion in revenue and won two Marketing Impact awards. In 2004 while at The Wharton School, he and a group of students started TerraPass, a unique company that arose out of a class by Professor Karl Ulrich. TerraPass uses market mechanisms to help customers offset the CO2 emissions of their vehicles. As Public Relations officer, Vele represented the company to all media in the US generating 16 stories in a short span. Today, TerraPass is one of most successful firms in its sector.
Before Wharton, Vele Samak was a Vice President in Global Quantitative Research – a highly ranked world-wide research team at Citigroup – where he developed quantitative products to help investors implement investment strategies. His work on macroeconomic risk analysis is widely used by global investors and his research on optimal allocation of pension funds is published and widely quoted from the Financial Analysts Journal.
Vele Samak holds a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Chicago (1996) and a Masters in Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania (2005). A former Secretary at the Macedonian-American Friendship Association (MAFA), Vele Samak, also a US citizen, speaks English and is proficient in Serbian, Croatian and German. He was born in Prilep and lives with his daughter in Skopje.