Enhancing Tourism potential and Local Economic Development of Chair Municipality

Mr. Izet Mexhiti, Mayor of Chair
Mr. Izet Mexhiti, Mayor of Chair

Formed as a new municipality with the territorial division of Macedonia, Chair Municipality has grown into a touristic hub, complementing the touristic offer of the City of Skopje. Serving its third mandate as Mayor of Municipality of Chair, Izet Mexhiti discusses municipality’s recent developments and future plans.

European Times: What are some of Municipality’s accomplishments?

Izet Mexhiti: Serving as Mayor of Chair Municipality for more than a decade, we have solved many issues and created new opportunities for its economic development. One of the projects with vital meaning for the municipality is the revitalization of the Old Bazaar, which returned back its old glow as a historical centre of Skopje becoming most attractive place for the tourists. The Municipality also successfully covered its area with urban plan and developed new infrastructure. In this context, there were investments made in the region of Gazi Baba, which resulted in 8.000 m2 of new asphalt, 4.000 m2 of sidewalks, 9 km of sewage and 4 km of atmospheric network.

European Times: What are the priorities of your mandate?

Izet Mexhiti: The Municipality’s priority strategic objective is the expansion of the touristic potential and the enhancement of local economic development. In this context, we are in the second phase of the reconstruction and construction of Skenderbeg square, an investment of €10 million. This includes the revitalization of the catering facilities at the entrance of the Old Bazaar and the creation of square area of 8.000 m2, connecting the two municipalities Chair and Center. The third phase of the project includes construction of underground parking. We are currently working on the reconstruction plan of the open market Bit Pazar, creating a modern look with increased number of market stalls and sufficient number of parking spaces.

One of our priorities is the social infrastructure, or to be more specific the education. We are very proud that the municipality of Chair is a student’s town and we have a lot of universities. A reconstruction of some kinder gardens and primary schools has already been done. The municipality also invested in electrical vehicles, changing the entire driving park, as a part of its priority goal of long-term improvement of the environment.

European Times: Why should foreign investors target Macedonia?

Izet Mexhiti: The business climate in Macedonia has a lot of progress, in terms of taxes and country promotion, and also with the perspective of Macedonia’s entrance in NATO, which will provide first and foremost security.

Macedonia is a small country, but with good opportunities. It is a European country, and it is worth to visit this country as a tourist, as well as an investor. So I strongly advise that anyone who is interested in investing in the country should definitely do that.