Free Magazine Subscription
Minister Valon Saraqini
Economy Ministry Pinpoints Key Sectors for FDI
Macedonia’s Ministry of Economy is focusing on attracting investment in Macedonia’s many dynamic business sectors, particularly energy, mining and tourism. The Ministry also aims to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in a new generation of Macedonians.
The mining sector has significant growth prospects and could create up to 5,000 jobs. Macedonia has rich mineral resources, including chromite, zinc, marble, limestone, quartz, coal, iron, copper, silver and gold. Valon Saraqini, Minister of Economy, says, “We want to create concessions for mining companies. Along with the Prime Minister’s office, the Ministry of Economy is working to cut red tape, reduce government involvement, and establish a high level of transparency.”
In the tourism sector, the Ministry of Economy is seeking investment in a ski lift on Popovo Shopka mountain at 1,000 metres high. This is a high potential tourism opportunity since there are no ski resorts in neighbouring Albania or Greece so a resort in Macedonia would fulfil growing demand. Valon Saraqini explains, “We are asking investors to make propositions. The Ministry holds all land deeds.”
Meeting EU criteria
To help encourage foreign investment, the Ministry of Economy cooperates closely with Macedonia’s new Ministry of Foreign Direct Investment and strongly supports the country’s new free economic zones. The Ministry of Economy also works with four EU directorates. “We are fully in line with EU expectations and the EU expert team which recently visited Macedonia has found us ready to move forward,” Valon Saraqini says proudly. “One successful EU investor in Macedonia is Porsche, which has spurred on the growth of the auto industry.”
The energy sector is another exciting opportunity for investors. With 280 sunny days per year, Macedonia offers excellent conditions for solar energy and the government is offering 30% subsidies and price guarantees for 15 years for investors in solar energy projects. The government has also pinpointed four locations suitable for wind farms.
Macedonia’s oil sector is also in a growth phase. Minister Saraqini says, “In the oil and oil derivatives sector, we have one refinery and three big oil distributors: Makpetrol, Russian Lukoil, and the first private Macedonian company in the sector, Pucko Petrol.”
The Ministry of Economy wants to create new opportunities for Macedonia’s younger generation. Valon Saraqini explains, “We want to help Macedonia’s youth succeed as entrepreneurs. I want to work with universities and high schools to help students realise that it is possible for them to develop their own businesses.”