Stuttgart 28th February 2014 (MIA) – Macroeconomic stability, low doing business costs, low level of indebtedness, low taxes, technologic and industrial zones offering excellent possibilities for operations of the companies, access to a large market through the signed free trade agreements, proper functioning of the institutions, as well as Government’s support to the companies that want to invest here, are some of the benefits, which Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski presented last night before the interested investors in the region of Stuttgart, at the Business Forum organized in cooperation with Financial Times.
Republic of Macedonia has long-standing macroeconomic stability with low inflation, amounting to around 2% in average in the last 10 years, balanced public finances with low budget deficit, stable foreign exchange rate and low government debt of 34.3% of GDP, the fourth lowest debt in Europe, which is very important in these crisis period, Prime Minister said at the Forum, adding that this was a result of the proactive economic and reform policy of the Government and that the last data showed that last year, economy growth accounted for 3.4%, being the second largest growth in Europe.
Macedonia, as he pointed out, was competitive not only because of its low taxes but also because of its low customs duties, social contributions, energy, logistics, as well as the conditions in the technologic and industrial zones.
Three industrial zones are already operational, and 14 are planned in total. We offer to the investors in the technological and industrial development zones a series of additional benefits, total exemption of personal tax and profit tax for a period of 10 years and exemption from municipal fee for arranging construction land, as well as from fees for obtaining construction permits. The land is leased under favourable conditions and symbolic prices for a period of 99 years. Government takes part in the construction costs, depending on the number of new jobs and the amount of the investment- Prime Minister added.
He mentioned that in the past 6-7 years, several measures for improving the business climate were undertaken. Thousand of procedures have been simplified under the Regulatory Guillotine Project, Prime Minister said to the present interested investors, adding that it is very important that we are a country with low costs and that no other country in Europe offers such conditions for doing business.
He mentioned the unemployment as the greatest challenge, which as he said, accounted for 38% when this Government came in power, pointing out that they managed, with the undertaken measures, to reduce it to 28%. Prime Minister believes that economic recovery in Europe will contribute to even greater unemployment reduction.
According to him, what is very important for the investors is that Macedonia has skilled labour force and young educated persons. We have undertaken a series of reforms and carried out investments in the education and young people recognize the need for education, Gruevski said.
Best confirmation that the conditions are favourable are the already realized investments, in particular the decisions of the present investors to open capacities for the second time, Prime Minister added. German companies Dräxlmaier and Kromberg and Schubert and Marquardt are among the foreign companies present in Macedonia, he said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski said that infrastructure is also important for investors.
– We are investing therein a lot. Thus year, we launched the construction of two motorways, in the western and eastern part of the country, thus improving the transport and logistics and we also started the construction of the railroad tracks towards Bulgaria, Stavreski pointed out.
He went on that the politicians talk about what they will do, while we are talking about what we have done. – I would appreciate if you take into account what we say, as well as consult the World Bank and EBRD and the present investors since they are aware of the activities we have undertaken to improve the business environment, Stavreski said.
Ludger Schönecker Vice President Finance of Marquardt Corporation, one of the German investments in Macedonia, said that in April 2014, they will start the construction of the factory in Veles.
We plan for the construction to be completed in April 2015 and for the manufacturing to start, whereby we will employ 500-600 people, he emphasized, adding that the factory manufacturing in Macedonia will be promoted in Germany. We manufacture car spare parts for Mercedes, Audi and BMW. Investment is estimated at EUR 35 million.
Germany is the third largest investor in Macedonia and its first trading partner.