21st February 2021, Skopje – “Fifth set of measures includes a development component, i.e. it is aimed at recovery of the economy, investments and development. This is an important message to convey, being also discussed with the chambers of commerce, which I believe will be a sound basis not only to get out of the crisis but also to ensure faster growth in the next period. This will be surely coupled by other structural reforms not being covered by the measures, but which are included in the Government’s Economic Reform Program. However, in order for the measures to be successful, the private sector should also appropriately respond thereto” – Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi said in an interview for Macedonian Radio and Television.
Minister of Finance said that the Budget was in good condition and that revenue generation and expenditure execution were in line with the projections, however, comparisons with last year could be made after the end of the month.
The sound economic policies undertaken amid COVID-19, were also confirmed in the reports of the credit rating agencies.
Standard and Poor’s Agency affirmed, in its latest report, the credit rating of our country, being kept at the same level, with a stable outlook, which is a great success in a year of crisis. This also speaks in favor of the stable policies in times of crisis, which is very significant with respect to financing the government needs via the international financial market – Minister said.
When asked about the implementation of the measure related to the financial support for wage payment from the aspect of control mechanisms for those companies carrying out abuses and failing to pay the respective wages, the view of the Minister Besimi is decisive, thereby pointing out that it is more than clear that those failing to pay wages would not have the right to apply therefor at all, as well that they would be held accountable before the institutions if they have committed another misdemeanor.
Minister said that the implementation of measures was closely monitored. They have positive effects on the economic activity, as evident from the data on growth in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the previous one, as well as the data on gross investments, which jumped sharply in the third quarter, recording a decline by around 35% in the second quarter, while government and private investments increased by 4.2% in the third quarter compared to 2019 when there was no COVID-19 crisis.
“Impact of the undertaken measures and policies aimed at mitigating the effects of COVID-19 crisis on our economy, has already been recorded. The policies we undertake were assessed as well-set policies mitigating the crisis-related impact, by international financial institutions such as IMF, the World Bank, as well as the credit rating agencies”, Besimi said.
The global economy is expected to stabilize. Minister mentioned once again the projections according to which the economy is expected to grow by 4.1% this year, thereby stressing that after all, the growth would not be attained easily.
“The process of attaining growth will be accompanied by many challenges, from the aspect of the economic policy, as well as in terms of the private sector and the labor market. This year is peculiar since precautionary actions must be taken in every possible aspect if we want to ensure a successful outcome. Therefore, we adopted the fifth set of measures, including a development component, however, in order for the measures to be successful, the private sector should also appropriately respond thereto” – he said.
At the same time, he emphasized that the main priority was health and that the health sector would be the major determinant of the economic developments.