Twenty investment projects have been submitted to the Public Call for Technical Assistance for the Development of TIDZ Suppliers intended for Macedonian companies. The applicants are medium and large companies from Kavadarci, Skopje, Strumica, Kochani and Bitola. The companies are dominantly working on export with revenue of over 217 million euros in the last year. 65% of the revenues these companies make are from exports to the EU, USA, Asia, The Middle East, Canada, Africa, and the Western Balkans. These companies employ more than 3000 Macedonian citizens. The investment plans are in the fields of metal processing industry, automotive, pharmaceutical, mechanical, wood, construction, processing, and creative industries.

In the next phase, the investment projects will be rated by a five-member commission composed of several independent experts and organizations, as well as representatives of the International Finance Corporation, IFC. Evaluation criteria are market potential, project team capacity, project quality, and impact.

This is only the first phase of the Supplier Development Program which is expected to cover 10 investment projects. Macedonian companies whose investment projects will be selected in this phase will receive technical assistance to strengthen export capacities, become more competitive, and be a part of the supply chain of foreign companies in the country, they will also receive technical assistance for finalization of investment projects. After the successful completion of the technical support, the companies will have the opportunity to request financial support for the implementation of the investment plans within the programs of TIDZ and the Government.

At the presentation of the project in January, the director of TIDZ, Jovan Despotovski emphasized that “this is the beginning of a completely new program, that is, a completely new chapter in the functioning of not only the Directorate for TIDZ but also of the Government in general.

“For more than 20 years it has been talked about how to integrate domestic companies into the supply systems, for cooperation with large foreign companies not only in the country, but also generally in the region and globally, and this is a first step in that direction practically. This is the beginning of a completely new program for the support of Macedonian companies whose goal is, after the completion of the initial phase for the preparation of investment plans, some of them shortly, means that the next 2-3 years will become eligible to invest in TIDZ as well,” said Despotovski.

The public call for Supplier Development intended for domestic medium and large companies is implemented by TIDZ in partnership with the International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and supported by the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO.