20th November 2020, Skopje – Good governance and actions taken by the Government and the National Bank, provided for preserving macroeconomic and financial stability, thus mitigating the economic and social impact of the CIOVID-19 crisis – as being confirmed in the IMF concluding statement upon its 10-day regular mission in our country. It was pointed out that the health of citizens and safeguarding the economy remained a top priority of the Government, as well as that the economic activity would be rebound, after its fall in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis.

During the 10-day mission, virtual meetings were held with Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi and Ministry of Finance team, wherein the macroeconomic developments and projections were thoroughly considered.

What was included in the IMF observations was that high capital spending forecasted under the 2021 Budget could be driving force of the growth, as well as that the 2021 Budget also contained buffers in case of a need to implement new measures, or expand the existing ones such as wage subsidies for those who would lose their job. Moreover, IMF representatives pointed out that the State loan guarantee measure would help support firms’ liquidity.

In its concluding statement, IMF also recognized that the key objective of the Government was achieving higher growth to improve living standards and income convergence with other European countries, which would require more investments in human and physical capital. Despite the COVID-19 crisis impact on the economy, as indicated in the statement, the unemployment rate was not significantly affected thereby.

At the wrap-up meeting of the Ministry of Finance team and IMF Mission Chief Bergljot Bjornson Barkbu, Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi expressed his firm assurance that the undertaken and planned policies and measures would lead to intensifying the economic growth in the next 5-year period, as well as increasing the domestic economic growth potential by making investments in the field of infrastructure, energy, environment, as well as human capital and digitalization.

– Policies, which will underpin domestic demand, as well as investments, competitiveness and export activity, will continue in 2021, for the purpose of faster recovery of domestic economy and creating basis for intensified economic growth in the long run. Planned fiscal consolidation, redesigned fiscal policy and the Strategy for Economic Recovery and Intensified Growth (SmartER Growth) are a solid basis for intensifying the economic growth in the period to come, achieving the pre-crisis level of the economy in the second half of 2022, as well as providing faster economic growth pace, thereafter. In line with the indicative forecasts, economic growth in 2025 is expected to reach 5.9%, while stabilization of the average economic growth rate to 5.75% annually is expected in the 2026-2030 period, Minister Besimi point out.

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