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Minister Nevzat Bejta
Minister Highlights Investment Appeal of Municipalities
Macedonia’s Ministry of Local Self-Government oversees local administrations in 85 municipalities in eight regions all over the country, including the city of Skopje, and ensures the success of Macedonia’s decentralisation initiative. The Ministry has successfully completed projects in 14 municipalities to date; these projects were supported by around €10 million in EU funds. The Ministry is committed to making Macedonia’s municipalities more attractive to international investors.
Nevzat Bejta, Minister of Local Self-Government, is the first former mayor to head the Ministry; he previously served as mayor of the municipality of Gostivar and has in depth experience with municipal issues. He says, “One of the Ministry’s tasks is to make clear who is responsible for which projects, whether these will be overseen by the federal government or by local mayors. Our mission is to handle any problem encountered by any municipality in Macedonia.”
One of the Minister’s first responsibilities was to visit six municipalities which had not yet managed
to implement effective local government during the first phase of Macedonia’s decentralisation effort. Thanks to this process, five out of the six have now managed to enter the second decentralisation phase.
Spurring on regional development
The Ministry of Self-Government makes sure that all municipalities receive equal support. Nevzat Bejta says, “Macedonia’s regional development law specifies that 1% of the available funding should be divided equally among the eight regions by the Ministry of Self-Government. I will push for this law to be respected. Formerly the funding was distributed by several ministries, but now that this Ministry is in charge, we will guarantee a fair, equal distribution of funds, and this will help drive Macedonia’s economic development forward more rapidly.” Most of the funding is earmarked for infrastructure projects.
“Today’s Macedonia offers ideal conditions for developing a business, and we welcome international investors to come here.”
Macedonia’s municipalities represent outstanding opportunities for foreign investors. Nevzat Bejta explains, “We are making sure that our municipalities offer investors financial stability, a pro-business environment, and excellent development prospects. Macedonia has a strategic location and can serve as the ideal base for companies seeking to enter fast-growing regional markets.” He cites construction, trade, furniture manufacturing and juice production as a few activities with strong potential in Macedonia today.
Urging foreign investors to visit Macedonia to see its attractions for themselves, Nevzat Bejta concludes, “Today’s Macedonia offers ideal conditions for developing a business, and we welcome international investors to come here.”