Business Forum in New York

An investment promotion team led by Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Pesevski including Minister for Attracting Foreign Investments Vele Samak and Director of free industrial zones DTIDZ Viktor Mizo took part in a business forum in New York where Macedonia's business conditions were presented.

During the forum, organised in cooperation with Forbes magazine, Pesevski pointed out favourable conditions for doing business underlying the satisfying business climate in the country referring to benefits for the foreign companies as lowest tax package in Europe and stable macroeconomic environment. He also referred to government efforts on strengthening investments potentials and current reforms in state institutions, education and infrastructure aimed at improving the conditions for doing business and providing bigger development of the Macedonian economy. The organising of business forum in New York, which is one of the main economic centres in the world, according to Pesevski, is of great importance for attracting new foreign investors in the country taking into consideration the fact that American companies have huge potential for expansion of their production and some of them have already invested in Macedonia. “We have pointed out the opportunity not only for investments in the sphere of production but also in the rest of service sectors because we are continuing the development of this concept of free zones and in the sphere of information technologies, tourism and health sector. I can say that the interest was satisfying during and after the presentations and I believe that some of the companies will visit Macedonia which of course is a basis for more concrete future investments,” Pesevski said. Minister for Attracting Foreign Investments Vele Samak and Director of free industrial zones TIRZ Viktor Mizo also addressed the business forum.

Sources: Utrinski Vesnik; Kanal 5; Sitel; Telma; 24 Vesti; Alfa; MTV1; MIA; Makfax 

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Amendments to Law on Mandatory Social Security Contributions

The Parliamentary group of VMRO­DPMNE will submit a proposal to the parliament on changes and supplements to the law on paying mandatory social security contributions.

After long consultations with several competent state institutions and analysis of all aspects and observations of many citizens, organisations and enterprises, the parliamentary group of VMRO-DPMNE prepared a proposal that would meet all demands, but at the same time, the main purpose of fairness of the previous amendments to the law would not be lost, according to the party. The latest amendments to the Law on contributions for mandatory social insurance facilitates the conditions for payment of the contributions of fees earned on the basis of contract work, copyright agreement or other agreement that exercise benefits. Individuals who earn income from employment (employees) and those that earn income based on pension (pensioners) are exempted from paying contributions if they realise additional revenue on a monthly basis based on contract work, copyright agreement or other contract, less than the amount of the average net salary in Macedonia in the previous year, according to data from the State Statistical Office (about 21,300 denars). These people will pay contributions of the amount which exceeds the limit of 21,300 denars. This is because these people have already been included in the social security system. Persons who are not permanently employed (unemployed), that generate fees based on contractual agreements, copyright agreement or other type of agreement are exempted from the obligation to pay contributions to the amount of the minimum wage established by law (9,590 denars). These individuals will pay contributions of the amount that exceeds 9,590 denars. The goal of this solution is to prevent abuse of the employers who hire people on minimum wage and pay minimum contributions, and paid them extra income through contracts that shorten their right to an adequate pension. New solutions of the amendments to the law will take effect immediately on the date of adoption and will apply to the calculation and payment of revenues generated in January 2015, through settlement. The deadline for submission of applications in the month of February 2015 will be the 25th of the month in order for these changes to take effect immediately.

Sources: Dnevnik; Utrinski; Vesnik; Vest; Vecer; Nova Makedonija; Sloboden Pecat; Koha; Kanal 5; Sitel; Telma; 24 Vesti; Alfa; MTV1; MIA; Makfax 

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Reconstruction of Kumanovo –Beljakovce Section Begins

The Reconstruction of the Corridor 8 Kumanovo-Beljakovce section started.

This section is long 30.8 long and the investment is set at over 50 million euro.  The project includes additional two sections at the railway of the international railway Corridor 8. “The biggest part of the railways in Macedonia is over a century old and date back to the period of the Ottoman ruling. As of then so far, very little has been invested in the construction and renovation of the state railway infrastructure,” said PM Gruevski. He reminded that part of the reconstruction activities of the section where started in the 90s, but as he said; the project had been stopped in 2004 due to the irresponsibility and indecisiveness of the previous government. The second phase of the project amounts to 145 million euro, while for the third phase funds from within the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), from the European Investment Bank (EIB) as well as from the IPA program will be  used. The project on a railway to Albania with which the railway Corridor 8 is to be completed, is in the process of being prepared. The biggest part of the railwy along Corridor 8 has already been reconstructed.

Sources: Dnevnik; Utrinski Vesnik; Vest; Nova Makedonija; Kanal 5; Sitel; Alfa; MTV 1; MIA; Makfax 

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Minister Pavleski meets with Foreign Businessmen

Minister without Portfolio for Attracting Foreign Investors Bill Pavleski met with about 20 U.S and British businessmen whom he introduced to the Macedonian investment opportunities.

The guests became members of the first International Council of Renowned Foreign Directors whose purpose is to enable direct contacts with people in charge in bigger companies all over the world that are key  in making decisions for future investments . “The purpose is making as much as possible companies to enter the country and include them in capital investment projects with bigger added value,” said Pavleski. The directors of renowned companies stressed that Macedonia might be an excellent location for companies that expand their production and plan to leave South-eastern Asia. Moreover, the council focused on firms which would like to enter the European market.

Sources: Dnevnik; Utrinski Vesnik; Vecer;  Nova Makedonija; Kanal 5; Sitel; Alfa; Alsat M; MIA; Makfax 

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Solid Business Conditions of Confectionery Industry

The confectionery is one of the few industries, which has coped well after the liberalisation of the market. It has increased its output by 250 %, increasing its presence at the foreign market and squeezing out the foreign competition from the domestic market.

However, as the Chamber of Commerce said, the ramifications from the global economic crisis are felt in this segment too. Confectionery companies are selling easily, but they have difficulties with charging, and they have a problem with providing funds for the modernisation of production, especially small and micro enterprises. The situation is further complicated by the long procedures and waiting for the control of raw materials, which lasts up to 40 days. “Due to the long period of waiting of results from the analysed samples, companies are forced to import more raw materials which has financial implications and also burdens the warehouses. The records most often do not contain information on when the sample has been taken and in which laboratory it is inspected,” said Vasko Ristovski of SKM. The confectionary industry provides jobs to 1,200 persons and it is comprised by 65 companies mainly small and medium enterprises. The export is mainly relalised to countries from the neighbourhood but also Turkey, USA, Australia and Switzerland. The foreign exchange in 2011 was 40,000 tonnes of which 21,000 tonnes (70 million dollars) were import, while in 2012 it reached 44,000 tonnes of which 18,000 tonnes were import.

Sources: Utrinski Vesnik; Vecer; Telma; Alfa; MIA

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