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Economic and Business News

By Tuesday November 20th, 2018Announcements

A recap of the key economic headlines and research for Macedonia in the last quarter. What do I need to know?

  • 10 July – Macedonia ranked 84 in 2018 Global Innovation Index, down from its 2017 ranking of 61. However, the report notes that Macedonia’s result has a 90 per cent confidence interval of 20 places – link (p329)
  • 11 July – The Governments signed a new three-year framework agreement with the UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) to continue with agricultural reforms such as income diversification and land consolidation – link
  • 13 July – US firm Telamon to invest 11 million in a factory to produce electrical component for the automotive industry – link
  • 16 July – lack of skilled labor (22.7 per cent) is the biggest barrier to future growth for the food industry according to a survey of managers – link
  • 18 July – The EU announced a temporary 25 per cent tariff on steel imports that exceed the average from the previous 3 years. The tariff is in response to recent US tariffs on Europe. The tariff may affect local steel producers – link (EU press release) and link (article in Macedonian publication Kapital)
  • 26 July – Ministry of Internal Affairs investigating reports of conflicts of interest in funds awarded to companies by the Fund for Innovation and Technological Development – link
  • 6 August – a report by the Macedonian E-Commerce Association (Асоцијација за е-Трговија за Макеонија) found that the value of online orders made from Macedonia increased by 21 per cent in 2017. However, the number of people who are ordering online remains relatively low at 20 per cent – link
  • 6 August – interview with the President of the newly founded Macedonian Banking Association. “The main goal of the newly formed Macedonian Banking Association is to improve the banking operations and the banking sector in the country, as well as to increase the already significant banking contribution to the national economy”. – link
  • 7 August – Macedonia ranked 28th in the World in wine exports according to recent data – link
  • 8 August – Komercijalna Bank and Balfin group buy Tirana Bank – link
  • 9 August – Council of Europe’s anti-corruption group, GRECO, reported that Macedonia has made “… no substantial progress in implementing recommendations on preventing corruption among MPs, judges and prosecutors” since the last report in 2014 – link
  • 13 August – Tourist numbers up 16.1 per cent year-on-year in the first half of the year, foreign tourists up 19.8 per cent – link
  • 23 August – Macedonia2025, MASIT, and the American-Macedonian Chamber of Commerce present a joint position paper to the Minister of Finance advising against the Progressive Personal Income Tax – link
  • 28 August – Government increases size and changes location for a proposed new medical center in Skopje cancelling an EU €70m loan. The new plan will likely require a larger budget – link
  • 30 August 2018 – Government issues new criteria for subsidies for low-cost airlines: includes two new routes from Skopje and four new routes from O14 Ehrid – link
  • 30 August 2018 – new regulations to be introduced to encourage ‘Business Angels’ for startups – link.
  • 31 August – Minister for Economy proposes increased price for mining concessions – link
  • 31 August – New law will allow companies to borrow up to 100m euros at low rates from the European Investment Bank – link
  • 3 September – Opening of joint customs check on Macedonian-Serbian and Macedonian-Albanian border with the aim of reducing waiting times – link
  • 5 September – Government approves plan for joint customs check at Albanian-Macedonian border – link
  • 14 September – The Economic Chamber of Macedonia, MASIT, the Economic Chamber of Northwest Macedonia, and the Macedonian Chamber of Commerce send a letter to the government asking that the introduction of the Progressive Personal Income Tax be delayed for 5 years to allow further consultation with business – link
  • 14 September – The Government and World Bank has awarded €1.5m to three business accelerators: UKIM, Seavus, and ICS for a three year program – link
  • 18 September – In accordance with the new law on energy, the Government has released the tender for a universal supplier of household electricity. Companies will be able to choose their own electricity supplier – link
  • 18 September – Macedonian citizens will be able to use their Macedonian driving licenses in Germany – link
  • 20 September – Government borrows 10m euros from the EBRD to build a two lane highway between Kriva Palanka and Deve Bair in Bulgaria – link
  • 21 September – Prime Minister Zaev meets with Vice President Pens in Washington – link
  • 28 September – Flight between Athens and Skopje to start on November 1 – link
  • 28 September – Official launch of €250m business and housing development in downtown Skopje, surrounding the city museum – link
  • 1 October – Official results from the name referendum – link
  • 3 October – Macedonia and Serbia to construct joint railway station on the border – link
  • 4 October – World Bank quarterly report on Western Balkans notes the rebound in the Macedonian economy with increased consumption and investment. The report also advises caution in maintaining fiscal balance going forward. It saw the recent underspending by the Government as a positive. Forecasts for 2018 and 2019 are 2.5 and 2.9 per cent up from the Spring forecasts of 2.3 and 2.7 per cent – link
  • 9 October – Interview with CFO of Euromax regarding the Ilovitza-Stuka project. It is projected that revenues from the mine could increase Macedonian exports by 4 per cent – link
  • 16 October – World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report released – Macedonia ranked 84th. Macedonia was not ranked in 2017 and was ranked 60th in 2016 – link
  • 25 October – it is reported that the Government has only spent 27 per cent of its initial budget for the construction – link
  • 26 October – First E-Commerce conference in Macedonia. One key point from the conference is that Macedonia ranks second last in terms of the percentage of citizens who are online shoppers (20 per cent) – link
  • 26 October – An article from local business magazine Kapital criticizing the small benefit the Macedonian economy receives from its mining concessions – link
  • 28 October – EU threatening to pull 36m euros from the development of a regional landfill due to disagreement with municipalities – link
  • 31 October – Macedonia improves one place to no. 10 in the World Bank’s annual “Doing Business Survey” – link
  • 7 November – By 2023, a new border crossing between Macedonia and Greece in the Prespa region – link
  • 13 November – PM Zaev announced potential future ban on wood, coal, and oil heating for private citizens with the goal of reducing air pollution – link

 

Article by Brendan Filipovski, Research Manager

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