Skopje, 4th January 2015 (MIA) – Attracting foreign investors, creating both jobs and favourable business climate for domestic investors remains to be economic priority for the Government in 2015.

This was announced in the New Year’s interview for Macedonian Television by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski.

– Unemployment reduction remains to be a top priority, and in order to realize this, investments are necessary. This means that attraction of foreign investments and preserving a good business climate for domestic investors will be a priority for the Government in 2015 as well. In addition, we will also help the national economy by significant funding of infrastructure projects, i.e. capital investments envisaged in the Budget, aimed at building roads, railroad tracks towards Bulgaria, constructing utility infrastructure, schools, hospitals and everything that can drive the national economy by engaging the domestic construction workers and industry, Stavreski said.

Thus, as Deputy Prime Minister believes, both good economic performance and projected economic growth of 4% will be achieved, and the trend of reducing unemployment will continue as well.

He expects for foreign investments to continue to increase in 2015 as well, thus creating jobs for the citizens.

– There are around twenty five companies that are to announce their investments or start the construction of factories in the zones in all regions of the Republic of Macedonia. This means that investments will be realized and jobs will be created not only in Skopje, where Agreement with “Cap- Con” was recently signed, creating 400 jobs, but also throughout the country.  In Ohrid for instance, there are two German companies that will create jobs for more than 3,000 persons from Ohrid and Struga. As for Prilep, the investment of the American company “Genterm” is to create around 2,000 jobs. There are also investments in Stip, Kocani, Tetovo and other places. We strive to provide at least one investor in all inhabited areas in the Republic of Macedonia, thus creating jobs, Stavreski underlined.

He remains that the focus remains to be placed on presenting Macedonia as a country with good business climate, and the ranking of the country in the World Bank ‘s “Doing Business” Reports are best assurance to investors that Macedonia has a good business climate.

As for the abolishment of the mandatory debenture, Stavreski explains that this was made upon request by the business community.

– The dialogue with the domestic investors and the businessmen has been excellent for all these years. We constantly meet them and listen to their requests, which we fulfill every time when that is feasible. That was the case with the mandatory debenture, which was required by both the chambers and the companies.  Given that the Law on Financial Discipline started to be applied in the meantime, also providing for greater liquidity and increased payments by the debtors to the creditors, and following the timely settlement of liabilities, the business community considered that there was no longer need for mandatory debenture. And as always when there are good arguments and when the business community has certain request, we are open for their demands, Stavreski said, adding that the debenture remains on voluntary basis.

As for this year, he announces increase of social welfare for certain categories of citizens and increase of pensions, as well as new jobs for citizens.

– Given the complex circumstances,  when the European economy has still not recovered, I believe that by making a  balance between the measures pertaining to the citizens and the measures focused on the business sector, we have managed to achieve the maximum for both of them.  As regards the citizens, we undertook measures aimed at improving their standard through the possibility to privatize the courtyard lots at the price of one euro per square meter, possibility to purchase house or flat by the country’s support through subsidies, writing off of debts for the poorest categories of citizens. Moreover, the social welfare for certain categories of citizens, as well as the pensions will be increased, etc. All those measures that may contribute to both protecting the living standard of the citizens and creating jobs  in both domestic companies and companies operating in the zones, have directly helped around ten thousand citizens working there, to make a living and support their families, Stravreski said.

As successful projects in the past year, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski pointed out the written-off debts and the “Buy a House, Buy a Flat” Project, thus helping the poorest citizens and the young people to have their own home.

As for the writing off of debts, decisions for around 2,009 applications have been reached so far, while five to six thousand applications are at the creditors and they are expected to be solved in the next period.

– On the other hand, “Buy a House, Buy a Flat” Project is aimed at the young population, belonging to the middle class, whose incomes are not sufficient for solving their housing issue.  We helped them with the support amounting between EUR 9,000 and EUR 14,000 under the “Buy a House, Buy a Flat” Project”.  I am very pleased that positive decisions were reached for more than 100 applications  submitted in the last month, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski stressed in the interview for Macedonian Television.  

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