77% of diaspora investors would recommend Macedonia as a good place to invest. However, they experience many difficulties in opening and running a business in Macedonia. More needs to be done by government to maximise the impact of diaspora investors and to attract even more diaspora investors. The full potential of diaspora investment in Macedonia remains to be seen.
Macedonia2025 has once again provided a voice for diaspora investors through the second annual ‘Diaspora Investor Roundtable’and survey. After the success of last year’s inaugural event, Diaspora investors once again presented their suggestions and problems direct to key representatives from government agencies. By working with diaspora investors, government agencies can help diaspora investors help make Macedonia stronger. Improved conditions and success stories will also encourage more diaspora investment in Macedonia.
Our 2017 Diaspora Investor Survey was held between July and August 2017. The survey was sent to over 40 diaspora investors and had 20 respondents.
The survey found that 55% of diaspora investors experienced problems in opening a business in Macedonia. Their problems included unhelpful government agencies (selected by 36% of respondents), too much paperwork (27%), the length of time taken for finishing the entire administartive procedure (18%) and too many requirements (18%).
“Starting a company and other administration should mostly be done online. This would speed things up and reduce the potential for corruption.” – said one of the respondents.
In doing business in Macedonia respondents faced the following challenges: legal complexity (selected by 39% of respondents), corruption (31%), government administration (31%), lack of practical skills among graduates (31%) and an undeveloped business culture (31%).
The key findings from the roundtable include having a key contact person in government institutions for diaspora investors. Diaspora investors also need to know where to take their problems when they reach an impasse. Streamlining administration, bringing more processes online and having all necessary documents translated in English was also highlighted; which would also help with the ongoing and vital fight against corruption.
Thankfully over 77% of the respondents said that they would recommend investing in Macedonia. Low tax rates still remain an important factor for the foreign investors. Other reasons for investing in Macedonia also include low labour costs (selected by 38% of respondents); the low cost of doing business (31%); and a skilled workforce (31%). However, unlike other foreign investors, they also care about friends and family in Macedonia (31%), and have strong patriotic feelings (31%).
Diaspora investors are a unique and valuable source of investment for Macedonia, and their potential to impact the country is large, however, they cannot be taken for granted. It is part of Macedonia2025’s mission to work with government and government institutions to help diaspora investors help make Macedonia stronger.
During the event a working group was also established for the purpose of continuously working on resolving the detected problems and challenges diaspora investors face in Macedonia.
You can find a summary of the Diaspora Investors Survey here