30th May 2023, Skopje – Fiscal sustainability and prudent public finances amid crisis, like the one we are facing at the moment, are crucial for economic growth and ensuring a prosperous future for the present and the generations to come. To that end, implementing coherent, integrated and sustainable policies is a key, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, pointed out at the Regional Summit of National Bank Governors, Ministers of Finance and Tax Administration Directors, taking place in Bečići, Montenegro, entitled “Financial and Monetary Stability in the Region in Uncertain Times of Prolonged Geopolitical and Economic Crisis”.
“The crisis has brought us up against great uncertainty. We are fighting on several fronts – managing the challenges and remaining committed to the reform agenda, which will get us back to the pre-pandemic economic growth trajectory. Against such background, domestic economy has shown great resilience to the subsequent shocks induced by global factors. Timely response of the fiscal policy by rapid reaction, vast array of anti-crisis measures and substantial fiscal stimulus, has continuously limited the effects of these shocks to a great extent. From the very beginning of the crisis, and for the purpose of continuing the measures designed for support and recovery during and after the pandemic, the Government, responded timely to the end of slowing down the spillover effect of the imported inflation, thus ensuring full and stable supply of electricity and avoiding the price shocks. The measures were targeted at the vulnerable categories of citizens and businesses affected by the crisis, with the main objectives being to protect the living standard, maintain companies’ liquidity and support investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, all to the end of ensuring energy stability in the long term and basis for sustainable economic growth rates in the medium term”, Minister Besimi underlined.
As he said, all this can be achieved by stabilizing the inflation and speeding up the implementation of capital projects, as well as strongly focusing on the implementation of structural reforms.
“Projected public capital investments, reaching all-time record high level of EUR 800 million this year, are a positive boost for the economic growth. Key projects in the field of road and rail infrastructure, energy, utilities infrastructure, etc., has already been launched. Despite the narrow fiscal room, fiscal consolidation resumes by reducing the budget deficit, optimizing the costs of the sources of its financing, fully targeting it towards financing investment projects”, the Minister emphasized.
During the panel discussion, the Minister pointed out that our country, as well as the countries in the region, have never gave up pursuing their common goal even in times of crisis – becoming part of the EU.
“The road the Republic of North Macedonia and the other countries in the region walk on leads to the EU. There is no other alternative and we have demonstrated and proven it in every way possible. Our goal is to create a prosperous future for the present and the future generations, especially for the young people in our country. Hence, quality of life should be continuously improved – the main indicator of the real (economic) convergence towards the EU. Thus, the accession process is of exceptional importance for upgrading the institutional capacities and transposing the EU acquis. Only by implementing coherent, integrated and sustainable policies, encouraging the sustainable development, we can bring Europe home. North Macedonia started the negotiations last year, encouraging faster dynamics of both the processes and the reforms, as well as achieving the results”, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, pointed out.
The Minister spoke at the panel discussion titled “Sound Public Finances – key requirement for economic growth and building a modern market economy amid prolonged geopolitical uncertainty”, also attended by the regional Ministers of Finance.