22nd March 2023, Skopje – Realization of capital projects is the Government’s top priority. There are ongoing activities aimed at implementing projects focused on modernization of the road infrastructure, rail connection with Bulgaria and Albania, construction of utility infrastructure, environment protection, as projects in the field of energy. Activities undertaken in relation to the implementation of the projects, financially supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, were today’s topics discussed at the meeting held between Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, EBRD’s Managing Director for Central and South Eastern Europe, Charlotte Ruhe and EBRD Head of North Macedonia, Andi Aranitasi.
“Government is firmly committed to improving both the living conditions of the citizens and the business environment. Capital investments are one of the key priorities in the Government Work’s Program. Budget expenditure structure is being changed, with the focus being placed on capital investments. During the last two years, the Budget was being prepared as per the golden rule, as per which capital investments should be higher than the budget deficit. EUR 800 million are projected for capital investments this year. Funds will be intended for intensifying the implementation of infrastructure projects, i.e. investments in road and railway infrastructure, energy and utilities infrastructure, as well as capital investments aimed at improving the conditions in the health, the education and the social sectors, agriculture, culture, sports, environmental protection and judiciary”, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi said.
He pointed out that the measures being undertaken are geared towards more efficient and more effective capital expenditure execution, among which the introduced CAPEF, coupled by the establishment of new Unit for Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA), as well as new Committee at a Government level, which will determine the priority of the projects for their financing, and similar.
Minister thereby also stressed that support extended by international financial institutions when realizing these projects is also significant and crucial. He also pointed out that EBRD is a financial institution, with a portfolio investment worth around EUR 900 million, pertaining to on-going projects in the public sector, having, approved 171 projects in the total amount of EUR 1.5 billion so far, 86% out of which in the public sector.
Among the top priority projects, which implementation is supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are Rail Corridor 8 towards Bulgaria, Kriva Palanka – Bulgarian Border Road, Road Corridor 8 – Phase 1 (Kichevo-Bukojchani Road Section), TEN-T Skopje-Kosovo Motorway Project, with the Bank also expressing interest in financing the Project for Construction of New Railway on Corridor VIII, Section Kichevo- Struga. Substantial support is also provided for implementing Greece – North Macedonia Gas Interconnector Project, constructing Sveti Nikole – Veles and Gostivar – Kichevo gas pipelines, the Solid Waste Management Project, by also participating in the Wastewater Treatment Station Skopje, for which, Agreement for EU grant worth EUR 70 million, was signed today, whereby EBRD share in the implementation of this Project, amounts to EUR 58 million.
During the meeting, it was also emphasized that the successful cooperation will also continue in future, pertaining to projects that will contribute to the country’s development, as well as improvement of the living conditions of its citizens.