IMF/WB: Macedonian economy stable despite political crisis

Skopje, 22nd April 2017 (MIA) - Macedonian economy is stable despite all challenges of the political crisis, according to the assessments of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

During the Spring Meetings in Washington, also attended by Macedonian delegation headed by Minister of Finance Kiril Minisoski, it was pointed out that Macedonian economy will achieve around 3% growth.

- All relevant financial institutions concluded that despite the prolonged political crisis, the economy yields positive results. 2016 was wrapped up with GDP growth, revenue collection is satisfactory and it continues to mark progress in the first half of 2017, the budget deficit is within the Maastricht Criteria. Thus, the general conclusion is that almost all macroeconomic fundamentals of the economic policy in the Republic of Macedonia are sound and that Macedonia, despite all circumstances, yields positive results, Minister Minoski said.

According to the Governor of the National Bank Dimitar Bogov, IMF and World Bank projections about Macedonian economy are based upon the well-set fundamentals of the economy.

- The observations of IMF and the World Bank are that Macedonian economy will continue to grow and according to them, this growth will account for around three percent.  This is a result of the sound fundamentals of Macedonian economy, however, it is still less than the growth Macedonian economy may achieve, the reason therefore being the unfavourable domestic political surrounding, Governor Bogov said.

During the meetings Macedonian delegation had with IMF top officials, it was assessed that the infrastructure projects were positive for the development of Macedonian economy.

Corridor 10, as Minister Minoski announced, will be completed in June this year, and there were discussions with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development about funding of  Corridor 8 sections, i.e. Kicevo-Gostivar highway section, as well as the railroad connection from Kriva Palanka to Deve Bair border crossing.

- These projects are vital from a strategic point of view since that they provide access to alternative ports from Macedonia, ensure GDP growth in the short run and provide for better conditions for doing business in the Republic of Macedonia in the long run, Minister Minoski pointed out.

The World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development support projects in Macedonia worth billion and a half euros, most of which are infrastructure projects.

During the Meetings, the projects being implemented with the Council of Europe Development Bank in the field of health and education were also discussed, such as the projects for construction of the Clinical Center in Skopje and the Clinical Hospital in Stip. At the Spring Meetings in Washington, Macedonian Delegation discussed with IMF and World Bank officials the ways to support the private sector in Macedonia, in particular small- and medium-sized enterprises.