In recent years Macedonia has developed into an attractive destination for foreign direct investments. The country has invested substantial resources to outperform the intense competition in the region, as almost all neighbouring countries offer significant incentives to foreign investors. However, as Tuna Eyup Kahveci, former President and current elected member of the Management Board of the Macedonian-Turkish Chamber of Commerce (MATTO) notes, Macedonia is winning this battle.
European Times: How would you evaluate the overall economic situation in the country?
Tuna Eyup Kahveci: In recent years, Macedonia managed to maintain a steady growth of the GDP, low inflation rate and decreasing levels of unemployment. The country’s economic development has been a top priority of the Government, and this has materialised into an improved business climate, significant deregulation, and a range of tax incentives for the investors, creating a favourable investment climate. Also, the development of Technological and Industrial Development Zones and the investment incentives offered to foreign investors in these zones additionally creating conditions conducive for foreign direct investments.
European Times: Which are the main activities and priorities of your chamber?
Tuna Eyup Kahveci: We were founded in 2008 when a surge of Turkish investments started coming to Macedonia. The primary goal of our work is to increase the economic relations between companies from both of our countries. We also want to bring new experiences to Macedonia, since it is a young state, but an old civilisation with which we share deep traditional and historical ties. Our vast scope of activities aims to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on doing business in Macedonia so that we help international investors looking at Macedonia as their potential destination. We offer our services in researching the potential areas for investment; we provide statistical data, legal advice, translation and even facilitation for residence permits or work visas for business people. Our website is an essential tool for investors, as it contains an extensive database of all important economic indicators, laws and regulations, translated in three languages.
European Times: Which successful businesses have the honour to be part of your chamber?
Tuna Eyup Kahveci: We have so many business success stories in Macedonia, in every sector of the economy. We have the main Turkish companies here such as Cevahir Holding, TAV, Sutas, Ramstore, Acibadem. Our companies have invested in virtually every sector of the economy, from transportation, the country’s two airports being operated by Turkey’s TAV under a concession agreement, to food production, health services up to our famous shopping mall chain. We see Macedonia as a logistic base and a convenient access point situated in a secure and hospitable business and living environment, with huge potentials.