24th September 2020, Skopje – Growth in 2021 is initially expected to account for 4.8% of GDP, in line with the baseline scenario. Next year is expected to be a year of economic recovery, although the starting basis for growth of 4.8% will be lower compared to the previous year, Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi said in an interview for “Economic Magazine” on Alsat M TV. He also underlined that COVID-19 crisis is of much larger scale than the 2009 global financial crisis.

– It is assumed that 2021 will be a year of economic recovery, with economic growth initially projected at 4.8%. I would like to hereby be correct, the mentioned 4.8% growth is projected on lower basis in relation to 2020. However, this growth will clearly speak in favour of the economic recovery pace, the growth speed, the economic conditions given the economic measures and projections, which will provide for predictability and growth – Besimi said.

Besimi pointed out that COVID-19 crisis is of much larger scale than the 2009 global financial crisis.

– Drop in the third quarter accounted for 3.7% in 2009. Drop is currently projected at 3.4% of GDP on annual basis, by which the drop accounted for 6.5% in the first 6 months, while accounting for 12.7% in the second quarter alone. The difference between 2009 and 2020 is that the economic drop is higher by four times, I am talking about our country, however, it is the same case with the global economy. I would also like to stress that the general government and public debt in 2009 accounted for 23.6% and 26.2% of GDP, respectfully. At present, the public debt accounts for 59.5%, expecting to account for 59.7% by the end of the year. This is what the Ministry of Finance and the national economy face these days. The challenge and the main priority in general is to protect the national economy and the real economy, as well as keep the jobs amid this global crisis – Besimi said.

 He announced that the budget structure would have to be more oriented towards capital investments.

 – As for the budget structure, the positions are a result of our system as a whole, and now the constitutional order as well. Our country is, by the Constitution, defined as a social economy, meaning that social and health insurance is guaranteed for every citizen, regardless of weather being employed or registered as job seeker, or belonging to the socially vulnerable category. I mentioned this since a lot of budget funds have been spent for this purpose for years, even decades. The other budget position are the costs for functioning of the administration. And the third position are the capital costs, or better known as public investments, which should be increased – Besimi said.

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