Macedonia’s Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning aims to ensure that the country’s economic development is environmentally friendly and that Macedonia can offer its residents clean air and water throughout the country. “Our main goal is to guarantee a healthier and cleaner environment for the people of Macedonia,” explains Abdilaqim Ademi, Minister.
One of the Ministry’s first tasks is to implement an integrated system for waste management in every part of Macedonia, including establishing a landfill in each of the country’s eight official regions. Two of these landfills are nearing completion. Abdilaqim Ademi says, “As we drive this project forward, there are many opportunities for foreign investors in waste management projects as well as in water management systems. Some of our regions have chosen to offer concessions for waste and water management or to create their own incentives for FDI.”
Implementing EU standards
The most important accomplishment by the Ministry to date has been to implement a number of EU standards concerning the environment. As it pursues EU membership, Macedonia aims to meet all EU environmental criteria by 2014. “We have established EU environmental laws and directives and we have created national parks to preserve the natural beauty of Macedonia. Many of these projects have been supported by foreign investors,” Abdilaqim Ademi says. Funding from the EU, the UN, the Global Environment Facility and the governments of several countries has also flowed in to Macedonia to help finance the Ministry’s projects.
The Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning aims to enhance Macedonia’s tourism appeal by protecting natural areas which will be ideal for ecotourism projects. Abdilaqim Ademi points out, “Macedonia has beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers, and ecotourism is one of this country’s most interesting opportunities for investors.” He also cites hydropower plants and the production of bottled mineral water as other ‘green’ initiatives with strong potential for FDI.
“Macedonia is a business haven. It offers a stable economy based on stable laws.”
Abdilaqim Ademi wants more foreign investors to know about the wide range of opportunities they will find in Macedonia. He says, “Macedonia is a business haven. It offers a stable economy based on stable laws, and, as a candidate for EU membership, Macedonia has free trade access to many EU countries as well as
to Turkey, Ukraine and Russia. Macedonia is an ideal regional hub and we welcome the participation of investors in our ambitious ‘green’ initiatives.”