BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb.25
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
Azerbaijani investors can easily find their interest in operating in North Macedonia, Minister of Economy of North Macedonia, Kreshnik Bekteshi told Trend.
“North Macedonia has very favorable business environment. Its legal and regulatory framework for investment activities is also favorable. World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business Report ranked North Macedonia 10th in the world for doing business, up one spot from the year before. Fitch affirmed North Macedonia’s BB credit rating and S&P affirmed its credit rating of the country at BB- with a stable outlook.
North Macedonia has institutional framework and strategy for investment promotion and facilitation. Two state institutions are responsible for FDI attraction and investor servicing: The Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion (the national IPA -ASIPI/ Invest North Macedonia) and the Directorate for Technological Industrial Development Zones (the national FEZs authority),” said the minister.
Bekteshi went on to add that in North Macedonia, there is law on state aid which provides substantial incentives to domestic and foreign companies.
“The incentives include a variety of measures including job creation subsidies, capital investment subsidies, and financial support to exporters. Investors in the FEZs are eligible for tax exemptions for a period of up to 10 years of operation in proportion to the size of investment and number of employees. Investors in the TIDZs are exempt from paying duties for equipment and machines as well as municipality tax for construction. All investors are eligible for a 10 percent grant for the cost of construction of a plant and new machinery, as well as a grant for improving competitiveness.”
The minister said that foreign companies invest in automotive, electrical, pharmaceutical and other industries.
“One of the fastest growing sectors in our economy is Information and communication technologies (ICT), which plays an important role in the economy as a provider of jobs and generator of exports. This industry can be a sector of mutual collaboration with Azerbaijan investors. Furthermore, textile and clothing, agro business and food processing, wine industry, electro metal industry and automotive components sector are propulsive industrial sectors to be invested in.
Within Strategic investment law we do support all investment in the field of energy, transport, telecommunication, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and food, forestry and water economy, health, industrial and technological parks, water and waste management, sport, science and education, which investment is above 30 to 100 million euros depending from region where the investment is done.
North Macedonia signed Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU in 2005 and became an open market country with 650 million citizens. Nowadays the trade with EU countries is with “0” custom duty,” the minister said.
Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn