Kumanovo, 1st April 2013 (MIA) – Government plans to provide fresh EUR 100 million loan, with 5.5% interest rate, as support to the business sector. As Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, announced today,  European Investment Bank (EIB) has already been contacted and there is a good chance for it to approve the loan.

Funds, as Stavreski indicated, will be intended for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The Minister advised businessmen in Kumanovo, who he met with this afternoon, to more actively use the cheap credit line from the European Investment Bank with 5.5% interest rate.

– For the time being, EUR 50 million, out of the available EUR 100 million, are used by small- and medium-sized enterprises, and additional EUR 12 million will be used by around 50 companies next week. Kumanovo companies are welcomed to contact Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion and to use part of these funds, since there are not any more favourable funds on the market than these ones with 5.5% interest rate subsidized by the Government, Stavreski underlined.

During the talks with the businessmen, possibilities for the Government to help further development of Kumanovo, as well as to realize joint policies with the local government thereto, were discussed.

– Businessmen showed contentment from the so-far policy of the Government as regards maintenance of the lowest tax rates in Europe, bureaucracy reduction, financial support through cheap credit lines, the Minister pointed out.

At local level, he went on, it is of priority importance to complete the existing industrial zones, infrastructure arrangement, as well as construction of a new industrial zone, to the end of accelerating economic development of the municipality for which the Government will provide financial support.

– Government will extend support to the municipality in order to accelerate construction of industrial zones, since it is the future of Kumanovo and of all cities in Macedonia, and it is the policy of the Government for each city to have 2-3 industrial zones in which small companies, with 10, 20 employees, will prosper, work successfully and have working conditions, which will contribute to job creation, Stavreski underlined.

Candidate for Kumanovo Mayor, Zoran Georgievski, who accompanied the Vice Prime Minister, said that one of the most significant segments in his program was local economic development. – Kumanovo, from being the most developed city in terms of industry, now take the first place in unemployment. Our first obligation is to change this, to reduce unemployment, to resolve the problems the businessmen face, who were also driving force of the economy in the city so far, Georgievski said.

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