“We have introduced a transparent approach and clear rules for granting state aid to investors. In cooperation with “PricewaterhouseCoopers” we have developed a methodology for granting state support, which according to exact criteria according to what we receive as input from the company itself at the beginning of the negotiation process, we arrive at a certain structure of support. And so far we have had a system where several institutions consider the requests and yet the support is granted according to a certain methodology. But we felt that we should go a step further, especially due to the fact that we want to see the effects and strengthen the effects of the assistance given to companies, be they foreign or domestic,” said Jovan Despotovski, director of TIDZ, in a weekly interview for Radio Free Europe. According to Despotovski, this approach in the past three years has contributed to an increase in the volume of investments because a predictable investment environment is guaranteed.

Despotovski also announced that the talks about opening a film studio in TIDZ, a project in which the American actor John Malkovich was also involved, have been renewed, clarifying the reasons for the initial reactions regarding the project.

“There was no dispute, simply the company itself, that is, representatives of the company when they talked to several representatives of the Government, however, when they were with me, they got the impression that the focus at that moment was more on commercial real estate than on film studios. So, my reaction in public when I received a question, I am completely open to communication of all these things that affect or are of interest to the public, my position was clear, and it is clear now. It is that we do not need foreign investors to develop commercial real estate, from the point of view of a foreign strategic investor, with such a status.

We’ve had renewed conversations in the last few weeks, where the company itself and its representatives here are more focused on what was nominally the focus, which is developing the film studios. We are working with them on that process, we will see how far we get. Our position is that if they are really interested in showing interest and bringing financial resources and projects to the film studios, we are absolutely interested in giving them a chance like everyone else and we will continue to work in that direction,” explained Despotovski.

Regarding the upcoming elections, according to Despotovski, it is a good sign that all political parties have reached an agreement and that they are a regular term as proof of the stability of the state. However, he believes that they will be a kind of referendum.

“The elections will actually be a crossroads like a referendum. Because in the past few years, views have crystallized which parties are pro-EU, but also those who are not directly anti-EU, but are parties that talk about the EU but do not take any concrete steps in that direction,” said Despotovski. According to him, much more important than who will form coalitions is what will be offered and delivered to the citizens in the first six months.

“The most important thing is to define clear principles, values and program and what we will do in the first six months of the new mandate. The results in the polls are the result of difficult decisions that have been taken in the past six years in the interest of the state, of course they are also the result of mistakes and omissions that we have made as a political party and ruling party. And that’s why it’s much more important not who will be in the coalition, but to agree on what are the key values and principles, and who are the people who will stand behind this type of program. I am convinced that we will form the next government,” said Despotovski.