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REGIONS EUROPE


NorthMacedonia keepsmoving


Q&A: KIRILKOLEMISEVSKI


DEPUTY ECONOMY MINISTER KIRIL KOLEMISEVSKI TELLS ALEX IRWIN-HUNT ABOUT NORTH MACEDONIA’S INVESTMENT DRIVE


ing a dispute with Greece) and, in March 2020, began talks to accede to the EuropeanUnion. Deputy minister of economy Kiril


P


KIRIL KOLEMISEVSKI CURRICULUMVITAE


2020 NorthMacedonia Deputy economy minister


Previously Macedonian Bank for Development Promotion AD Skopje, member of supervisory board


Q A


Kolemisevski tells fDi about the drive by North Macedonia to promote domestic tourism and attract foreign investment.


How has North Macedonia responded to coronavirus disruption?


With the Covid-19 pandemic our whole country – all our citizens, institutions and


the overall economy – was and is being put under its toughest test yet. With our strategic framework, consisting of three sets of direct measures, we are already


implementing direct assistance of at least €550m, [in] direct transfers to citizens and the corporate sector. With existing subsidies, as well as capital investments in the public con- sumption, assistance to the economy and citi- zens in this period is €1.1bn or almost 10% of gross domestic product. At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, we


responded immediately with direct measures to support every job and disrupted business. With the first set of measures, we covered the sectors most affected by the coronavirus crisis: food services [HoReCa], tourism and transport. We continued with the second set of meas-


ures with which we provided direct support for personal consumption, and by postponing and prolonging financial liabilities for people and businesses.Withthethirdpackage,worth€355m and intended for 730,000 users,wewill cover and protect the mid-termgoals of our economy.


build national capacity and a systemfor a func- tioning and growing economy.Wewill not stop at the legal amendments and reforms; as soon as the new government is in power, we will amend our laws and bylaws to harmonise our legislation withtheEU. This process will attract foreign investors.


Q A


60


: Are there economic reforms on the agenda?


: The current crisis has shown that we can be resilient, scaleable and flexible, and can


rior to the coronavirus pandemic, North Macedonia took the landmark decision to change its name (adding ‘North’, follow-


Q A


How else is the government promoting foreign investment?


In February, parliament enacted the lawon strategic investments, which will encour-


age foreign investors to bring their operations to our country. We are planning to focus on gasification,


construction of infrastructure, and building a regional accelerator for start-ups, a science and technological park and a regional centre for medicinal research and development. A signifi- cant incentive for foreign investment funds will be the establishment of a special equity fund in 2020, as part of the economic growth plan. Furthermore, we will initiate and create


conditions for the development of venture capi- tal as a high-quality source of funding. We will pass a special law on business angels and amendthe lawon investment funds, whichwill significantly reduce [current] restrictions. Moreover, the new law on the control of nar- cotic drugs and psychotropic substances, which is planned to be enacted, will bring serious investors in the cannabis business. Being a Nato member and the start of the EU


accession talks, along with the ongoing reforms in the country, will surely put us on the global investment map.


the severe decline in tourism revenues. The first one is a voucher for domestic tourism of €100


Q A


and domestic payment card for the amount of €50 for all employed citizens who receive a sal- ary of less than €250 net per month and do not have other income. Value added tax for restau- rant and hospitality services will be lowered from18%to 10%. As for international arrivals, we are work-


ing hard to contain the virus outbreak and reduce the number of cases in the country. We have implemented mandatory protocols for hotels, restaurants, beaches and bars in order to keep people safe. If we all follow the proto- cols, keep a safe distance and take care of our- selves, tourismwill be back on track and people will travel again.■


www.fDiIntelligence.com August/September2020


Is the government promoting domestic tourism?


We implemented several measures that will act as a buffer and protection against


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