Skopje, 21st January 2015 (MIA) – Government’s measures and policies pertaining to capital investments envisaged in the Budget, long-term policy for attracting foreign investments and assistance provided to domestic companies in the past period,

according to Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Stavreski are key reasons for the achieved Macedonian economic growth last year, as well as for the outlook for this year indicated in the Reports of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank (WB).  

Mutual conclusion that Macedonia has shown the best economic performance in 2014 in SEE and Central Europe and has the best outlook for economy growth this year in the last Reports of EBRD and WB is the best example and indicator for success of the Government’s economic policies, denying the allegations that our economy has experienced no success, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Stavreski said at today’s press conference. 

According to him, the very Reports of EBRD and WB, renown and expert financial institutions in Europe and worldwide, make difference between a lie a and a truth as regards Macedonian economy, i.e. as he said, showing who, from those talking about the economy, was right.

– Given the polarized political atmosphere in Macedonia, there are often contradictory opinions about certain topics, for which actually there should not be any disagreements, since it is a mater of issues underpinned by figures and data, which is not so strange anyway. However, what is strange is that there is no review after the year ends neither any outcome, which will show who was right and talked arguably and who simply lied or presented inaccurate information due to reasons based on daily politics. Therefore, it is a good thing to clear the fog from time to time and to see the real performance of Macedonian economy, Stavreski said.

According to EBRD’s Report, as he pointed out, Republic of Macedonia has shown the best economic performance in the region Southeast Europe and Central Europe in 2014, with 3.8% growth rate, followed by Hungary and Poland with 3.2%, Lithuania with 2.9%, Slovenia with 2.7%. As for the surrounding countries, Montenegro experienced 1.3% growth, Bosnia achieved 0.9% growth, Croatia and Serbia experienced negative growth rates – 0.5% and 0.2%.  Average of the economic growth in all these countries, as he stressed, was 1.7% compared to the 3.8% growth achieved in Macedonia.  

According to 2015 EBRD projections,  Macedonia, as Stavreski said, is at the first place as regards the outlook for economic growth, i.e. our economy experienced 3.5% growth, Kosovo experienced the identical growth, Lithuania’s growth accounted for 3.2%, while the neighbouring countries are at the other end of the chart, experiencing minimal positive growth.

Stavreski stressed that according to the last EBRD Report, the projections of Macedonia are actually revised upwards, amounting to 3% in 2014 and 2015.  Positive revision was made in only two countries, while all others were revised downwards due to the more negative trends in the European economies than the expectations.  European economy is expected to reach 1.2% growth in 2014, while Macedonian growth of 3.8% was three times higher in 2014, and the 2015 projections are also similar.    

However, the expectations for 2014 in the WB’ Report are that Republic of Macedonia has again achieved the highest economic growth among all 10 covered countries.  WB believes that Macedonia is again best positioned to experience the best economic growth in the region of SEE and Central Europe.  WB expectations are 3.5% growth higher than 2014 and the other countries are expected to experience somewhat higher growth, however, they actually indicate Macedonia as a country with the best potentials, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said.   

Achieved results and outlook, as he pointed out, are not accidental, and the Reports of these two financial institutions point out the same reasons the economic policy creators previously indicated, leading to growth of Macedonian growth, in times when European economy has no or has very low growth.  

When indicating the key reasons for the achieved performance, he said that capital investments envisaged in the Budget provided for realization of major projects in the field of construction industry, construction of highways, reconstruction of roads, construction of railroad tracks towards Bulgaria… providing for achieving two-digit growth rates in the construction, while the industry has experienced growth every month for a period of a year and a half already, achieving 5% growth in 2014. Policy for attracting foreign investments, as he explained, also proved to be a correct one, i.e. today, there are 10 factories on the so-called green meadows of SDSM, that being 13,000 employed people and export of 1 billion and 10 million euros per year, accounting for one third of the total export of the Republic of Macedonia. These results have directly contributed to growth of Macedonian economy, Stavreski said, pointing out that EIB credit line was also essentially helpful for domestic companies.  

–  Given that these measures are included in the Budget for 2015 and next tear, the expectations that we will continue to realize such policies are reasonable and realistic, thus providing for Macedonian economy to achieve high economic growth in coming years as well, given the 2105 projections, we may also expect growth intensification in the period after 2015, since another few major infrastructure projects will be realized, the intensive economic activity in the companies in the free zones , as well as the use of cheap credit lines will continue, Stavreski said.

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