Skopje, 16th December 2014 (MIA) – Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski together with the Government Delegation, presented the investment opportunities in the Republic of Macedonia at the business forum held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Business forum, as the Government Public Relations Agency announced today, was held in cooperation with the industrial chamber of Jeddah, where all large-, medium- and small-sized companies are members therein. Jeddah is the largest see port city the second largest city in Saudi Arabia.

By presenting the investment opportunities at the forum, Prime Minister Gruevski pointed out that great attention is paid to creating good business climate and implementing reforms that will significantly improve the conditions for investing and doing business in Macedonia.

Gruevski stressed that the reforms the Government undertakes, in addition to the World Bank, are acknowledged by Forbes, ranking Macedonia at the 36th position as the best country for doing business in the world, advancing by 46 positions in the last 5 years.

– According to the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, the Republic of Macedonia advanced from the 78th to the 43rd position. According to the Global Competitiveness Index, Macedonia advanced by 31 places.  Prestigious “Foreign Policy” ranked Macedonia at the 29th position, Gruevski said.

President of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia also referred to the free economic zones and the potentials they offer for investing therein.

– Our free economic zones were ranked among the “Top 50 Free Zones of the Future” 2012/2013 by “fDi Magazine” of “Financial Times”, and this year, the Free Economic Zone Skopje was proclaimed as the “Best Zone for Large Tenants within Europe”. 14 free economic zones are planned, 4 of them are built and fully operational, while the others will be ready next year or in a year and a half, Gruevski stressed.

He also pointed out that the credit rating agency “Fitch” affirmed the positive credit rating of Macedonia with BB+.

– Macedonia is ranked as the fourth friendliest country in the world, according to the category “attitude of population towards foreign visitors” in 2013, by “World Economic Forum”,
Gruevski said.

Prime Minister Gruevski said that such results and the good practice of implemented reforms were recognized by big number of companies as an attractive place to invest in. Therefore, a large number of other countries in the world chose Macedonia to invest in.

Gruevski invited all interested investors to visit the Republic of Macedonia, exchange opinions and experience with the private companies and investors, being already present on the Macedonian market and to personally assure themselves that the business climate is good.

Investment opportunities were also presented by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski, Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Popovski, Minister in Charge of Attracting Foreign Investments Visar Fida and Deputy Minister of Economy, Hristijan Delev.

Stavreski pointed out that the Republic of Macedonia offered the most favourable tax package for companies.

– Lowest taxes have been introduced, flat and low tax, personal income tax and profit tax rates of 10%, and zero tax rate on reinvested profit for the companies. At the same time, Macedonia is country with the lowest taxes for doing business, Stavreski pointed out.

Deputy Minister Delev, in his address before those present, presented the possibilities and potentials for cooperation and investing in the field of tourism in Macedonia, such as construction of ski centers, tourism zones and several energy-related projects connected with the gasification process. Delev underlined that the Government had prepared projects in these fields, being both available to the potential investors and a good opportunity to start business in Macedonia, as well as possibility to invest in.

– Some investors in the field of real estate and health have already expressed their interest, for which they agreed to visit our country and consider the possibilities for cooperation and investment, Delev said.

Abed Al Salam, owner of several companies in the food industry, concluded, given his experience from the many visits he paid to Macedonia, that the country is one of the best places for starting business.

– Macedonia is one of the best investment destinations, being also very stable country. Government is doing an excellent job and from what I could see during my visits to Macedonia, I may see the difference every time I come in Macedonia, Abed Al Salam said.

Director of “Saba Group”, big Consulting House from Saudi Arabia, pointed out that Macedonia is a country creating good and successful business climate.

– I was impressed with what I have heard about your country, in particular what your Prime Minister said. All this information is impressive for we have learned of how attractive this region is to invest in. We were also informed about the conditions for doing business in Macedonia, which is very good to hear. I hope our communication with the government representatives will continue, Abdullah Al Nowaiser said.

By attending the Business Forum in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Gruevski and the Government Delegation round up their economic and political visit to the Saudi Arabia Kingdom.

Prime Minister Gruevski and the Government Delegation headed from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Belgrade, Republic of Serbia, to take part in the 2-day summit between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries, this afternoon.

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