Despotovski: For the first time, more money was paid out to domestic than to foreign investors

“In 2023, more funds were paid from the state budget to domestic than to foreign investors in N. Macedonia. The ratio is somewhere around 55:45 in favor of Macedonian companies, which means that for the first time in history, domestic investors get the right and, of course, really deserved advantage”, said Jovan Despotovski, director of the Directorate for TIDZ, on the appearance of the show Argument Plus on TV 24.

In the past years, real progress has been achieved in equalizing domestic and foreign investors. Of course, there is still a lot of work to be done, and the priority in the next period must be the breakthrough of domestic companies in TIDZ.

“There is no legal restriction for the entry of domestic investors into the Zones and obtaining a modern level of infrastructure and conditions, such as we offer to foreign investors. In the past three years, we reached two agreements with large Macedonian companies, which unfortunately did not materialize. With full responsibility as a holder of public office, I will say that in the country we still have institutions that are “trapped” in some past time. We simply need a front of progressive individuals, institutions and the business sector so that we can change the mental matrix inside the system and finally these barriers fall.”

As part of the debate, Despotovski referred to the data on the level of foreign investments in N. Macedonia and the region. In the last two years, the state has the highest level of foreign investment in history. Membership in NATO plays a significant role in this, because according to NBRM data, in the period 2021-2023 alone, we have an entry of close to 2 billion euros of investments in the country. If we take the data on the movement of foreign investments per capita, it can be concluded that N. Macedonia is catching up with the rest of the countries in the region, in relation to which it was lagging behind in the past 10-15 years.

“However, in order to take the decisive step and use the full potential of the state, we have to be bolder in making investment decisions,” Despotovski said, citing as an example the strategic investments in the energy sector, for which the benefits for citizens are indisputable. “Such investments in neighboring countries, which we sometimes want to imitate, are a reality and contribute to the impression that these countries are better than N. Macedonia in this regard,” emphasized Despotovski.