Today the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, together with the minister of economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi, had a press conference to present part of the conclusions of the newest report issued by the World Trade Organization (WTO) which show enormous economic progress of our country to the end of 2018 compared to end of 2012.
Prime Minister Zaev in his address stressed that following the facts which show growth in almost all more significant economic areas, our country has chosen the good path and the economy follows.
“The World Trade Organization says that the GDP in the review period, per capita, was increased by more than 40% while unemployment was decreased from 31% to 18.7% in 2018, compared to 2013. WTO says that the deficit on the account was lower – from 240 million EUR (3.2% of GDP) in 2012 to 31.9 million EUR (0.3% of GDP) in 2018. This is a result of the decrease of deficit in the trading balance and increase of the excess of services balance”, informed Prime Minister Zaev.
Furthermore, he added that the review performed by WTO says that the net-incomes from foreign direct investments were increased – from 131 million EUR in 2012 to 621.0 million EUR in 2018. Prime Minister Zaev underscored the fact that the direct foreign investments in the GDP in 2012 had a share of 1.5% while in 2018 – 5.8%.
On a similar note, said Prime Minister Zaev, are the conclusions drawn by WTO for the intellectual property according to which North Macedonia has progressed by 25 places on the Global Innovation Index for 2019 i.e. our country is now on the 59th position compared to the 84th position last year.
Prime Minister Zaev also spoke of the inherited situation in 2017 when, as he assessed, the Government inherited an economic and financial disaster and upon receiving the mandate, it committed to several infrastructural projects, growth of industry followed by growth of average net salary and decline of the unemployment rate by almost 5%.
“What follows now is an investment cycle of about 5 billion EUR: one billion is foreseen in roads, over 1 billion EUR more in railway, over 1 billion in energy with power plant ‘Chebren’, the transmission line to Albania, as well as the pipeline, the new Clinic Center, investments in agriculture and rural development, water waste management stations, regional factories for waste collection and processing, sewages and waterworks systems, schools and kindergartens and other projects for the real needs of our people”, underlined Prime Minister Zaev for the realization of the Government in the following period.
The Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi in his address assessed that WTO report confirms that the created and implemented policies of the Government give results and the economy moves in right direction, adding that measures are being undertaken for the issued recommendations.
“The first recommendation is to increase the institutional capacities; the second to fight against grey economy and in the beginning of 2019 we undertook concrete measures, such as introducing “My VAT” and the possibility for return of monetary assets within the citizens and improving their standard, as well as amending the limit for cash payments which is now 500 EUR. These measures will be part of the next report issued by WTO”, underlined Minister Bekteshi.
He pointed out that the Government will continue increasing the assets of the Budget thus impacting the quality of life and standard of citizens.
The Trade Policy Review of North Macedonia clearly says that the country is both politically and economically stable and this is the foundation for sustainable growth; furthermore, it says that the Law on Energy, Law on Support of Investments, Law on Excise Duty and others have already started delivering results, and we are moving in that direction”, said Minister Bekteshi while thanking all institutions that were part of presenting all measures undertaken by the Government as of 2017 until today. Furthermore, he stated that the review of the trade and economic policy is the most important Report issued by WTO that assesses the overall economic and trade policy and investments, but it also indicates the share of economic policies in the economic growth.