EBRD approves new five-year Country Strategy for North Macedonia

By Vanora Bennett

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A delegation of the EBRD Board of Directors will arrive in Skopje for a four-day visit to FYR Macedonia, which will offer the Bank’s representatives the opportunity to meet with the authorities at state level.

  • EBRD Board of Directors approves 2019-2024 Country Strategy for North Macedonia
  • Strategy follows resolution of the name-related dispute between North Macedonia and Greece, which improved external environment
  • Strategy emphasises need for private sector development, green economy transition and further regional integration

The EBRD Board of Directors has approved a new Country Strategy for its involvement with North Macedonia over the next five years to 2024, just months after the entry into force of the Agreement on the resolution of the name issue and strategic partnership with neighbouring Greece. Amidst hopes of accelerating the European Union approximation process and growing investor confidence, the new strategy stresses that the pace of future reform is key.

“Prospects for the acceleration of integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions, particularly EU approximation, continue to serve as a key structural reform anchor and a stabilising factor,” the document says. It adds that improved ties with Greece and other neighbours “are conducive to increased investor confidence.”

The EBRD country strategy calls the current moment a “historic cross-road,” and adds: “Much will depend on the actual scope and pace of reform efforts to lift the country on a sustainable and inclusive growth path.”

The EBRD’s strategic priorities for next 5 years are 1) to support competitiveness by enhancing value chains, upskilling the workforce and strengthening governance; 2) to strengthen regional integration and soft connectivity and support EU approximation; and 3) to support the transition to a green economy through a more sustainable energy mix and greater resource efficiency.

“Regional integration will serve as a lodestar to guide the Bank’s investment and policy activities, and special emphasis will be placed on exploring synergies with the Bank’s activities in neighbouring economies,” the strategy notes.

North Macedonia’s real GDP growth in 2018 is 2.7 per cent and is forecast to rise to 3 per cent in 2019 on the back of strong growth in exports and recovery of consumption, both in private and public sectors.

The EBRD is a major investor in North Macedonia and has invested nearly €2 billion in 115 projects there to date.

New Country Strategy for North Macedonia 

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