1st December 2023, Skopje – Implementing reforms and policies aimed at ensuring sustainable development, prosperity and income convergence with more advanced European economies are the key to coping with the demographic challenge our country faces. Our development partners support us in achieving this goal, Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, said, taking part at today’s Conference dedicated to 30 years of partnership between the Republic of North Macedonia and the World Bank, emphasizing that aging population and large-scale emigration are the key challenges our society faces.

“Potential EU membership opens the possibility to change or slow down some unfavourable trends.  We cooperate closely with the World Bank on the new Country Partnership Framework for the coming four-year period, to support structural and institutional reforms.  Crucial reforms have been identified in the updated Systematic Country Diagnostic.  Newly proposed Growth Plan for the Western Balkans also envisages funds to support reforms, as well as funds for development financing”, Minister Besimi said.

He emphasized that Republic of North Macedonia continues working on creating inclusive prosperity, accelerated and sustainable development and a more decent place for the current and the future generations. To that end, the Government is taking steps to increase the activity rate of the population to boost economic potential growth and to include marginal groups in the workforce.

“We support active labour market policies and entrepreneurship, invest heavily in roads and infrastructure, have devoted more funds for fiscal decentralization and promoting balanced local and regional development, at the same time supporting the green transition and the digital transformation. It is necessary to devote more resources and policy attention on promoting rule of law and good governance, fighting the informal economy and tax evasion”, Besimi underlined.

According to the Minister, this is more than necessary, considering that North Macedonia, like many other European countries, faces enormous challenges associated with an ageing population, declining fertility rates, and large-scale emigration of young people and even entire families. Emigration already has large economic implications, as the loss of skilled workers may hinder economic development, and population aging also has significant fiscal implications.

Оваа вест е достапна и на: Macedonian Albanian

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