Washington, 19th April 2015 (MIA) – In principle, the World Bank supports two projects in Macedonia – the road from Rankovce to Kriva Palanka, and then to the border with Bulgaria, as well as the gasification in the Republic of Macedonia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski said following the meetings with World Bank representatives in Washington, where he took part in the WB and IMF Spring Meetings.
– During the meeting with the World Bank representatives, we discussed specific projects that will contribute to economic growth and we were once again assured that there is progress in the preparatory activities for approving two significant projects this year. The first one is planned in September, that being the road from Rankovce to Kriva Palanka as the first phase, to be followed with the second phase from Kriva Palanka to the border with Bulgaria. We expect for the World Bank Board of Directors to approve this Project in September, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said.
He went on that the second project, being also, in principle, supported by the World Bank and the European bank is the gasification in the Republic of Macedonia.
– Once the first part is completed with the clearing debt, the gasification will continue to the end of wrapping up the entire gasification network in Macedonia with financial support from the World Bank and the IMF, Stavreski stressed.
He emphasized that the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank are opportunity for direct meetings with the WB and IMF leaders, as well as opportunity to gain more information on the situation of the European economy.
– Messages that are conveyed this year are that countries should focus on stimulating economic growth through various measures. It may be expected that both oil prices will remain low and the price stability will be preserved this year, however what should be done in the next period is to see how, in such circumstances, higher economic growth could be achieved in Macedonia compared to the other countries, i.e. how to resume the trend, for which we jointly concluded with the WB and IMF representatives that it was a good one, as well as that Macedonia achieved higher economic growth than the other countries in the region, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said.
He said that this was mainly due to the operations of the companies in both the free economic zones and outside the zones, the sound business climate in the country, as well as the support from the Budget and the capital investments used for realizing infrastructure projects in the past two years.
– These types of support will also continue in the next period, since additional investments have been announced. All this creates good preconditions for Macedonia to resume the both the economic growth and the unemployment reduction, and consequently to have more investments than the other countries, Stavreski said.
Apart from the Minister Stavreski, the WB and IMF Spring Meetings were attended by the Governor of NBRM Dimitar Bogov.
He pointed out that given that Macedonian currency is pegged to the euro, the euro exchange rate to the dollar is as same as the denar exchange rate to the dollar.
– Our economy mainly exports to the European economy and we expect no negative implications therefrom, on the contrary, certain positive effects are possible given that our manufacturers will be more competitive on the European market compared to the manufacturers, whose prices are expressed in dollars. In addition, reduction of oil price is in our favour, although the dollar strengthens, the oil price reduction compensates for the strengthening of the American currency and so far, the effects on our economy have been positive, Bogov said.
He added hat they exchanged views on the risks in the global economy during the meetings, concluding that Macedonian economy is well- positioned to withstand shocks from any of these risks.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski and Governor of NBRM Dimitar Bogov had meetings with the World Bank Executive Director, Frank Heemskerk, WB Country Director for Southeast Europe, Europe and Central Asia Ellen Goldstein, the new Executive Director of IMF Menno Snel, the new Chief of IMF Mission Jesmin Rahan and WB Vice President for Europe and Central Asia and IFC Laura Tuck.