AWARDS ON BUSSINES CLIMATE REFORMS
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski received late Wednesday the award for reforms that Macedonia has implemented, putting it on the fourth spot on the list of 10 most reformatory countries in the world according to report "Doing Business 2008" of the International Financial Corporation (IFC)-World Bank.
Earlier, Gruevski and Stavreski took part at the Reformers Club forum of investors organized by IFC, including ministers and diplomats from seven countries of the top-ten list - Egypt, Croatia, Georgia, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, and Bulgaria - along with a number of officials from the World Bank, IFC, and large international investment corporations. PM Gruevski and Vice-Premier Stavreski stressed in their addresses Macedonia's advantages, among which reduction of taxes, improvement of cadastre operations, acceleration of the procedure for business start-up, along with other activities for improvement of the business climate.
"Because of the reforms we implemented, Macedonia is seen with much respect, and a country that is interesting for investors", said PM Gruevski after the forum, adding that experiences of the other nine most reformatory countries could be applied in Macedonia. Pertaining to the "Doing Business 2008" report, Gruevski stressed the country would resume with the reform process, improvement of the business climate, which should result in higher economic growth, more investments, increased export and output, and opening of new jobs.
"We are not burdened by the spot we occupy, the important thing is to do the job and move forward. Of course, recognitions are pleasant, because investors talk about them, so it is good to be involved in such an ambiance", underlined Gruevski. Vice Premier Stavreski reiterated that reforms are a continual process, emphasizing the importance of improving business climate in Macedonia.
"This forum, attended by more than 100 most renowned investors from the entire globe, is the best advertisement and recommendation for Macedonia, so that investors can see that good and positive things happen in the country. The Government is mostly focused on the business climate and reforms, which will result in more investments, increased economic growth, more jobs and improved living standard", stated Stavreski.
According to him, the Government's program encompasses about 50 new measures for improvement of the business climate, among which reduction of social benefits, thus decreasing the companies' costs and increasing their competitiveness, introduction of the concept of gross-salary, increase of salaries, electronic court cases for acceleration of judicial procedures, increased flexibility of the labor market etc. Macedonian officials met with a number of US and European companies taking part at the event.
"There is interest for Macedonia, because when a renowned institution such as the World Bank sheds a positive light on the country, investors believe in this, resulting in their interest, whereas some will visit us in the upcoming period and begin talks on concrete investments", added Stavreski. The forum, held at the New York Stock Exchange, was opened by Graeme Wheeler, World Bank Managing Director.
"Today we are here to celebrate the champions of reforms. They contribute to the building of stronger economies and create opportunities for development and employment", said Wheeler. According to "Doing Business 2008", Egypt is the most reformatory country in the world, whereas Croatia is the regional leader. On the general list, Macedonia is ranked 75th, which is a 21-spot improvement from the previous year.