Current economic developments in Macedonia and Bulgaria, bilateral cooperation between the Ministries of Finance, customs and tax administrations, as well as economic trends in the neighbouring countries and broader, were the main topics Ministers of Finance of Macedonia and Bulgaria, Zoran Stavreski and Simeon Djankov, discussed at the meeting in Ohrid on Friday.


During the meeting held within the 11th Annual Conference of the Macedonian Stock Exchange, both ministers announced intensification of mutual contacts, aimed at further strengthening economic cooperation and improving business conditions in both countries.


– As of now to the end of this year cooperation will be intensified in order to improve economic relations, and I believe this would be of mutual benefit to both countries, Vice Prime Minister Stavreski said, announcing that by the end of this year, at least three more meetings at ministerial level would be organized, attended by Directors of the Customs Administration and the Public Revenue Office from both countries.


Stavreski said that Ministries of Finance, i.e. Governments of Macedonia and Bulgaria, managed to show exceptionally good performance in conditions of crisis, having the lowest budget deficits in Europe. Minister Djankov congratulated his host on, as he said, the fact the Macedonia is among the countries as Bulgaria, Estonia, Sweden and Luxembourg, which managed to show good financial performance at the end of last year.


– It is a huge success, even more that such result was achieved in conditions of global financial crisis having quite adverse effects on all economies in Europe, Djankov pointed out. He added that, together with his Macedonian counterpart, they discussed the current economic trends, i.e. the last two quarters, being assessed as most difficult within EU from the point of view of the fiscal policy in Europe, consequently for both Macedonia and Bulgaria. Djankov pointed out the EU experts expected that budget revenues would start improving from mid-2010, at the same time cautioning about the alarming signs, above all the deteriorated financial state in Greece.


– I referred to the unfavourable signals registered in Greece, Spain and Portugal, as well as in other EU Member States, so I hope such information would be of benefit to the Macedonian economy, Djankov pointed out, saying that all forms of cooperation, such as in the field of tax credits, fight against economic crime, investment regional projects, would be discussed on the next meetings in the course of the year. Both Vice prime Ministers’ assessment is that most of the foreign investors think regionally, i.e. the ongoing financial crisis in Greece affects adversely both Macedonia and Bulgaria. Hence, both countries need to continue maintaining macroeconomic stability, quality management of public finances, i.e. keeping low budget deficit and reforms aimed at business climate improvement.


– We hope EU and IMF would act as soon as possible, since it is the key factor in calming down the tensions at the investors and resolving the situation in Greece, Stavreski explained, pointing out the commitment of the Government to improve the business climate and to maintain high macroeconomic stability, as advantages of Macedonia in relation to the other countries facing debt and economic problems. (MIA)

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