9th September 2020, Skopje – Cooperation and continuous communication between the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank are of exceptional importance for permanent and proper monitoring of the economic developments, as well as for maintaining the financial and the overall macroeconomic stability. They are and have to remain a joint priority of both institutions. These are some of the conclusions from today’s meeting between the Finance Minister, Fatmir Besimi, and the National Bank Governor, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska.

They, among other things, addressed the current situation in the domestic economy after the first blow of the Coronavirus crisis. As pointed out, they expect that the greatest hit is the one experienced in the second quarter of this year and that if no other unfavorable development of the health crisis occurs, we can move on focusing on the gradual economic recovery. However, the challenges are not over yet – policy makers have to continue to constantly monitor the developments, undertake adequate measures to support the citizens and the companies and, when necessary, take coordinated actions within their competence.

“Current COVID-19 crisis is a historic challenge, not only for us, but also globally. We are closely monitoring the developments and responding by taking adequate measures. This, however, requires a coordinated and professional approach, primarily, a coordinated fiscal and monetary policy, and in broader terms, coherent economic policy.  Therefore, in the coming period, we will have to agree on the specific activities with all stakeholders. Along with the measures that need to be undertaken now for economic recovery, we should and will work on measures and reforms to improve competitiveness of our economy and adjust to the “new normal”.  Main priority will be to mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus crisis and provide a solid basis for economic recovery, focusing on ensuring accelerated growth in the post-crisis period”, Minister Besimi pointed out.

Governor Angelovska Bezhoska pointed out that, so far, the effects of the Coronavirus crisis on the domestic economy are as expected in the National Bank forecasts. Economic contraction in the second quarter is very close to the National Bank’s forecast of 12%. However, as the Governor said, performance at some indicators is better than expected, including the foreign reserves and the credit and deposit activity of the banking system.

“The National Bank is fully prepared to respond adequately within its mandate to any new wave of the health crisis. In the light of this context, it is very important that we have been provided an access to euro liquidity from the European Central Bank for the first time, and we would use it if needed”, said Governor Angelovska Bezhoska.

Minister Besimi  and Governor Angelovska Bezhoska shared the opinion that it is crucial that financial stability has been maintained and strengthened continuously throughout the Coronavirus crisis, as confirmed not only by the indicators followed by both institutions, but also by the international financial institutions’ perceptions and assessments of the resilience of our financial system to shocks. The latest report of Standard and Poor’s also speaks in favour of this, assessing and noting that the banking system remains stable.

They both stressed that it is the sound, safe and stable banking sector that delivers a key contribution to the overall financial stability and stabilization of investors’ expectations, and thus support for economic growth.

At the meeting, Governor Angelovska Bezhoska congratulated Minister Besimi on his election as Minister and the beginning of his term. She also expressed confidence that, in the forthcoming period, the expert teams of the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank, besides the cooperation within the regular institutional activities, will be committed to finalizing the already commenced joint projects, including the new Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems and the Law on Macro Prudential Supervision, as well as other laws that should further strengthen the financial system.

Other new projects are planned as a joint contribution to the domestic economy.

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