17th May 2020, Skopje – Under the third set of measures, comprising direct assistance to citizens, business sector, agriculture, as well as reward for the health workers as gratitude for their fight against Covid-19, speaks of the fact that the Government takes care of everyone, having clearly defined goals that will both contribute to new development competitive Macedonian economy, as well as provide support to the private sector so as to be even better and even more competitive in the post-corona period. This was pointed out by Minister of Finance Nina Angelovska when asked at the press-conference aimed at presenting the new set of measures.

Angelovska underlined that a public guarantee scheme would be for the first time introduced through the Development Bank of North Macedonia, which has already been applied in many European countries, and as of recently in Serbia and Albania as well, being aimed at improving the access to capital for a large number of companies regardless of their size.

-Each measure is based on the real needs of the business sector, the private sector and this measure would aim to facilitate access to financial resources for the private sector, by which an opportunity to share the risk would be provided, i.e. the state to assume part of the risk. What does this mean? – This means that as for the partial credit guarantee, the initial capital should amount to EUR 10 million, by which the amount higher than EUR 65 million could be co-guaranteed. Thus, the goal is for companies, which would find hard to get the loans they will need during the post recovery period, by which the state will assume part of the risk, to more easily obtain the funds necessary for increasing the competitiveness and boosting the liquidity – Angelovska said. 

The additional EUR 25 million under the Supplementary Budget are included in the Government’s Covid Program and some of them will also be intended for the partial credit guarantee, and not only for small- and medium-sized companies but rather for all companies that will need funds to increase the competitiveness, so they could renew the connections with the markets they have possibly lost. 

The third pillars of measures cover support for the citizens and the domestic consumption, the business sector and its competitiveness, as well as the agriculture as one of the driving branches in the country. The first pillar envisages measures for home payment card for socially vulnerable categories and families having incomes lower than Denar 9,000, encouraging domestic tourism with a voucher amounting to Denar 6000 plus a payment card of EUR 50 for people with low incomes, vouchers for young people up to the age of 29 for IT skills plus a home payment card of EUR 50, reward for health workers from infectious disease departments, cash compensation for workers who lost their jobs due to coronavirus crisis and Weekend without VAT. The second pillar of measures aimed at providing support to the business sector, includes measures for interest-free loans with 30% grant funds, public guarantee scheme through the Development Bank of North Macedonia, financial support for the private sector, the economy and the industry, modernization and new markets, program for improving business development services, quick adjustment and modernization instrument, co-financing of events and conferences with 50% government support of up to Denar 30,000. With respect to the agriculture-related pillar, support is also envisaged for the agricultural sector through the Development Bank of North Macedonia, payment cards for procurement of fuel and machinery, support for restructuring of new products during the grape processing, enabling cooperation among the public and the private sector by modeling public-private partnerships in viticulture and tobacco sectors, reform for efficient use of pastures, consolidation of agricultural land – new opportunity for greater competitiveness, financing of micro-agricultural entities and modernization of the agriculture.

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