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Minister Vladimir Peshevski
Government Living Up to Its Reform Promises
Macedonia has an outstanding trackrecord in pushing forward with its reform process and has moved up the rankings from number 93 to number 22 in the world, in the ease of doing business. “Only five countries in the EU are ahead of us, and we are ranked as the third fastest reformer in the world. Our government is dedicated to actually making changes, instead of just talking about making them,” says Vladimir Peshevski, Macedonia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs.
One of the government’s priorities is to provide support for the private sector, including international investors. Vladimir Peshevski explains, “We have set up an FDI agency and have created a business environment where companies can thrive. Macedonia grew twice as fast as the European average before the crisis and during the crisis we performed better than the European average. On the European scale, Macedonia has been twice as good and half as bad as other countries!”
The Deputy Prime Minister highlights investment opportunities in the following sectors: tourism, healthcare, land development, mining and energy sectors. In the healthcare sector, the Macedonian government is particularly interested in attracting investments in private hospitals. For the land development and the property sector, the country is in need of modern office space, as well as premium hotels, for which the government offers low cost construction land (€1 per sq m). With investments in energy set as a priority for the Macedonian government for the next five to ten years, this sector offers huge potential for investing, particularly in hydropower and renewable energy projects.
Free economic zones: ideal base for exporters
Macedonia’s free economic zones provide the ideal base for exportoriented foreign investors. Vladimir Peshevski says, “We have developed five special areas with the infrastructure already in place, where leasing of the land starts at only ten eurocents per sq m. These free zones are prepared for supporting production facilities which are oriented towards export to European markets. The zones are exempted from VAT and also the companies are not obligated to pay employment tax and personal income tax for a period of ten years. We also provide €500,000 grants for construction, and train local labour to ensure that the investments take off.”
The Deputy Prime Minister’s goals include boosting the education sector, implementing new ICT technologies, and setting up venture capital and private equity funds. He says, “There is a clear change in the mindset here in Macedonia and our business sector is very open to foreign investors. Part of my job is to make sure that foreign investors make good money here.”