21st April 2018, Washington – New projects for financing construction and reconstruction of kindergartens and support for small- and medium-sized enterprises was in the focus of the Spring Meetings of Macedonian Delegation in Washington.
Minister of Finance Dragan Tevdovski, who together with Governor Bogov headed Macedonian delegation, stressed that, the talks were related to new major project in the field of social affairs, which will provide funds for constructing and reconstructing kindergartens, leading also to better targeting of social assistance.
-In the field of social sector, we talked about a major project with the World Bank, amounting to 35 million dollars, to the end of larger inclusion of pre-school children. Above all, it is a matter of construction and reconstruction of kindergartens and better targeting of social assistance. Another important project, being also negotiated with the Word Bank is the Western Balkans Trade and Transport Facilitation Project, which will be for regional purposes – Minister of Finance Tevdovski said in a statement for VOA.
Tevdovski stressed that the negotiations for the loans under favourable terms and conditions for small- and medium-sized enterprises amounting to EUR 100 million are in advanced stage, being considered at the meetings with the European Investment Bank. This credit line would be disbursed through the Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion. It would be aimed at reducing the interest rates, providing the small- and medium-sized enterprises with loans under favourable terms and conditions so they could invest and boost the economy, Tevdovski said.
As Minister of Finance and Governor Bogov pointed out, investments were key factor for boosting the Macedonian economy.
-Restoring the confidence is of crucial importance as well. If business believe in the Macedonian economy, the positive developments – and there are already elements underpinning this optimism, then, we can expect more intensive investment activity, which will be of essential importance for achieving the economic growth rate – Governor Bogov said.
Minister of Finance Tevdovski pointed out that upon the negative growth in the first half of 2017, positive economic growth was restored and favourable economic performance was observed.
-All economic indicators in the first months of 2018 indicate positive developments, such as industrial production, picking up by 5.6% growth, and export, experiencing significant 24% growth. Lending activity was intensified, even at the enterprises, which was mainly the case with the households in the period before. Tax revenue collection reflecting the consumption dynamics, is solid. This means that the economy moves in the right direction – Tevdovski said.
The confrontations as regards the protectionism among global major economies will not directly affect the Macedonian economy – Bogov said.
-This protectionism in the confrontations among the global major economies is often discussed. It may overshadow the optimism reigning over the global economic growth, while there is cyclical upswing and the overall global economy is experiencing growth. However, these trade barriers may cause certain economic damage at some of our major trade partners, above all the European Union. If the European economy suffers this will affect the growth as well, which may also reflect to certain extent on the demand of Macedonian products. We do not expect any direct implications since we are a small economy after all, Bogov said.