This year, as never before, a total of EUR 55 million have been allocated to support economy, which is 37 percent more than the projected EUR 40.7 million in 2018, and results are concrete and visible, Deputy PM for Economic Affairs Kocho Angjushev told a joint press conference with Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi.
Figures show 3.6 percent GDP growth in the first half of 2019, industrial production growth at 5.5 percent, export growth at 14 percent and employment growth at 17 percent, Angjushev added.
Speaking about the effects of the law that regulates financial support to companies, Angjushev pointed out that Macedonian economy is on the right track. Growth is supported by real, not virtual projects or any government indebtedness. He noted that public debt remains between 48 and 50 percent, as in 2017.
Angjushev mentioned that the law was amended in 2019 to also cover IT companies, companies in the agriculture and construction sector, as well as all those who want to establish production, while equally treating domestic and foreign investors. So far, he added, 171 companies have signed agreements for state support.
“These companies have announced EUR 230 million investments, of which 110 million have already been realized. In addition, they’ve announced 4.577 new jobs, of which so far 2.117 have been opened. It’s very important that domestic companies have started to apply. The law is aimed at supporting the industry and industrialization of the country,” Angjushev noted.
Asked by a reporter if he had maybe been part of the decision to put progressive taxation on hold, or if he could be protecting someone’s business interests as a businessman who has a share in many companies, Angjushev firmly denied.
“Absolutely not. The Finance Ministry conducted the analyses, and I saw them when they were reviewed at a session of the government. I had no influence whatsoever in making this decision,” he pointed out.
Regarding reactions of disapproval for the decision coming from the former finance minister Dragan Tevdovski and his adviser Branimir Jovanovic, the Deputy PM only said that everyone had the right to comment, and economy should be based on real figures, which had been explained by Finance Minister Nina Angelovska and PM Zoran Zaev.