21st May 2020, Skopje – Support to investments, easier access to capital, finding new markets, export-orientation, digitalization, modernization, new products, as well as inclusion of targeted categories, such as women entrepreneurs and young people envisaged in the third set of measures aimed at direct support to the economy. Minister of Finance, Nina Angelovska, and Minister of Economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi, presented the measures today.
Minister of Finance pointed out that the measures were specifically aimed at maintaining liquidity and protecting jobs on the short run, as well as supporting development and increasing competitiveness of the companies in the post-Coronavirus period.
Angelovska underlined that new interest-free loans would be offered through the Development Bank of North Macedonia, and commercial loan guarantee scheme would be also developed.
-Interest-free loans for the companies, in the amount of EUR 31 million, to be made available through the Development Bank of North Macedonia, are aimed at supporting micro and small-sized enterprises, while companies managed or founded by women or employing young people, being export-oriented or introducing innovations and digitalization in their operations will be also offered 30% grant funds from the EU. Further on, by developing state commercial loan guarantee scheme through the Development Bank of North Macedonia, companies will be provided easier access to capital for liquidity needs, investments aimed at boosting the competitiveness, such scheme being used worldwide for the recovery period in particular, Angelovska said.
Marketing companies’ products on new markets and improving the competitiveness will be also supported with EUR 25 million for the private sector through the Program on Strengthening the Competitiveness of the Industry and, in cooperation with the chambers of commerce, by developing a digital platform for the textile, footwear and furniture manufacturing industries. In addition, EUR 1.6 million support, as well as EUR 3 million through the Fund for Innovations and Technology Development, is also envisaged for start-up companies, small- and medium-sized enterprises for introduction of new processes, innovations, conquering new markets, digitalization and enhancing the competitiveness.
Minister of Economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi, presented the third set of economic measures falling within the competence of the Ministry of Economy, amounting to more than EUR 500 million.
-Tourism and hospitality industry are the most affected by the current health and economic crisis, therefore the support provided under all three sets of measures to this sector is the most significant. The third set of measures envisages EUR 16 million support in the form of EUR 100 vouchers and EUR 50 domestic payment card for the domestic tourism. This measure covers all employees receiving monthly net wage lower than Denar 15,000 and generating no other income. Around 100,000 people will be covered by this measure and it will be implemented during the tourism season from June to end-August.
Minister Bekteshi underlined that we could together transform the crisis into an opportunity for all of us.
-In order to protect the domestic production, we should help the domestic producers and companies affected by this crisis. Together, we should transform this crisis into a new opportunity for all of us. The support in the total amount of EUR 16 million in the form of vouchers is for the citizens and they can use them in the domestic hospitality facilities, Bekteshi pointed out.
Minister of Economy Bekteshi underlined that funds in the total amount of around EUR 400,000 were allocated in the Budget of the Ministry of Economy for financial support to the private sector, the economy and the industry by creating a program for strengthening the competitiveness of the companies and the industry, in line with the Law on Financial Support of Investments. It is also envisaged to implement a measure for support for modernization of the companies and conquering new markets, above all for selected industries, the focus being on the textile and the footwear industries, furniture manufacturing and PVC windows – by which measure the domestic companies can offer and market their products on the foreign markets through alternative ways of sale.
Events and conferences will also be co-financed with the state covering 50% of the costs up to Denar 30,000 at the most.