Skopje, 6th November 2014 (MIA) – US companies continuously show interest in investing in the Republic of Macedonia, which shows that this is the market we should remain focused on in future.

This was pointed out by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, who is part of the Government Delegation, headed by the Prime Minister, Nikola Gruevski, visiting the USA.

According to him, this is also demonstrated by the presence of several investments companies and their successful investments in the Republic of Macedonia.

– I would just mention “Johnson Controls”, “Kemet Electronics”, “Amphenol” and other companies already operating in the Republic of Macedonia and having created jobs. Even more, satisfied by the conditions they are provided in the country, they have decided to build second factory, such as is the case with “Johnson Controls”, which, invested for the first time in 2007, and four to five years later, it invested in Stip, where 1,300 people have been employed, reaching 1,500 new jobs in total in future, Stavreski stated.

He also talked about some of the plans of “Kemet Electronics”, company which has already invested and performs well in Macedonia, to move its service operations from Europe to Macedonia.

– “Kemet Electronics” have created around 250 job in the Republic of Macedonia and they have announced recently that they will move their service operations from Europe to Macedonia, meaning opening of additional 25 jobs, with a possibility to create more jobs. All this indicates that we need to remain focused on the American market, to continue the business forums here in the USA and to strive for bringing new companies to the country, Stavreski underlined.

He pointed out that there were good chances, on the basis of the positive experience gained by the present investors, as well as by taking into account the interest shown in the USA at these forums, for new US investments to come to the country.  

According to the Technological and Industrial Development Zones CEO, Viktor Mizo, one of the main trumps for attracting investors, in addition to the tax policy, reduction of administrative barriers and shortening the duration of the procedures, is the incentives offered in the zones.

– The main focus, when presenting the investment opportunities in Macedonia, is on the technological and industrial development zones, which also arouse the most interest at the foreign companies, adding that it is not only the incentives offered at these locations that matter, but also the very fact that infrastructure has already been built therein, providing easy and swift start up for the companies in constructing their facilities, Mizo said.

He went on by saying that the commitment to improving the investment opportunities in Macedonia and finding adequate location is aimed thereto, also being confirmed with the award Skopje Free Zones won two weeks ago for the best zone for large tenants within Europe from the fDi Magazine, on the basis of the Global Free Zones of the Year 2014 ranking.

– This award and the criterion applied do not take into account only the increase and the number of companies among the tenants, but also the support extended to the already existing companies, i.e. the post-investment care, ensuring the investor is well-supported once established, Viktor Mizo said.

Progress Republic of Macedonia has achieved in creating good business environment has also been recognized by renowned institutions. – What I find really interesting and even impressive in Macedonia is that this country started with a white page, I mean a blank page. Several years ago, they had to get out of a very difficult economic situation and they start to write on this blank page, deciding, after listening to all the institutions, particularly the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation where I work, to focus on agri business and automotive industry as development sectors for the country. And then they started to be very open and take the best practices from everybody. Not just taking them, but putting them into practice and talk with the investors, Emmanuel Pouliquen, Principal Industry Specialist at International Finance Corporation (IFC – the private sector investment arm of the World Bank), said.

He is quite optimist about the future of Macedonia. – I believe the Macedonian Government has learned a lot, we have also learned a lot from them. This will be not only beneficial for the country itself, but this will be also a very, very good working prototype for other development countries in similar situation, Pouliquen said.

Government Delegation, headed by Prime Minister Gruevski, continues its economic visit to the USA, the next Business Forum to be held in Los Angeles, the second largest city in the USA, center of technological, health, TV and film industry.  During the visit in the previous two days, the Delegation held two Business Forums in two big economic centers in the USA, New York and Chicago. Majority of the most developed companies in the world are concentrated in the USA, generating economic growth of this country. Therefore, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia remains to be focused on the USA market and the possibility, by being active in lobbying, to attract investors to invest their capital in the country, all to the end of job creation and improvement of the living standard of the citizens.

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