Monday, 18 December 2017 | News today: 14

ECNWM: World Bank growth projection is unattainable

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The Economic Chamber of North-West Macedonia (ECNWM) believes this year’s GDP growth in Macedonia will not exceed 0.7 percent, despite the latest World Bank projections of 1.5 percent.

“We will be very pleased if Macedonia ends the year with a 0.5-0.7 percent growth. The World Bank and Government projections of 1.5 and 2.5 percent respectively are unattainable. The growth equaled zero in the first quarter, followed by a 1.8 percent contraction in Q2. Therefore, two final two quarters should each post a 5-percent growth in order to reach the 2.5 percent projection, which does not make any sense”, ECNWM executive director Drilon Iseni tells MIA.

Iseni and the chamber’s director of operations Milaim Ameti say that instead of giving minimum salary subsidies to companies, the state must contemplate on supporting the introduction of new technologies and know-how that would make them financially stable and competitive.

Furthermore, equal treatment of domestic and foreign investors should not refer only to tax exemptions and subsidies, but also infrastructure.

ECNWM claims that Macedonia should put aside the myth of cheap labor, implement the population census as soon as possible, and focus on reducing imports before stimulating exports.

According to Iseni, the key issues for the business community are easier access to funds, equal regional development, rule of law and non-selective application of regulations.