Bytyqi: In conditions of a pandemic, we made decisions and measures to preserve the jobs and the liquidity of the companies
Covid-19 required rapid adaptation and decision-making to meet the challenges of the worldwide pandemic. The Government of the Republic of Northern Macedonia had a timely response to respond effectively to the situation, said Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Fatmir Bytyqi in a video address at the opening of the International Summer School of Economics. today is organized by the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius".
- We succeed in our intentions, we managed to make a difference. The whole situation was new for everyone, it required us to think of new ways, new policies, to make additional efforts and to define new priorities in order to find the right way to deal with all issues, including issues related to economic life. . Of course, the first priority was health measures. We have managed to ensure that our health system receives the necessary funds to deal with this crisis. We allocated the funds from the budget for that purpose and provided the necessary ones to protect the health of the citizens as a priority, said Deputy Prime Minister Bytyqi.
He pointed out that by defining the priority measures aimed at health care of citizens, the Government also worked on creating economic measures, given that it was quite clear that the economy would be affected by the introduction of restrictive measures in our, but also in all other countries in the world.
- At the time when these decisions were to be made, we had a limited experience from the financial crisis 10 years ago: by keeping people employed in their companies, the crisis can end faster, because when new orders arrive, companies do not they had to hire new people and train them. This experience, the effectiveness of holiday schemes, was immediately applied throughout Europe. But in addition, for generations there was no experience with the economic impact of restrictive measures, which are introduced during major health crises, and especially not in today's industrial conditions and in an economic situation that was quite good and stable in the period before the virus appeared. , said Bytyqi.
Among the main economic priorities for all citizens and businesses both at the beginning of the crisis and throughout the duration, added Bytyqi, is to maintain the liquidity of companies and citizens. He pointed out that together with the National Bank of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, the Government adopted a measure that allowed the postponement of loan installments, as well as deferred payment of taxes.
- In numbers - a total of 2,4 billion euros in bank loans to citizens and companies were deferred, about 4,5 million euros in profit tax and 160 euros in rent for social housing. We intervened quickly and prevented the dismissal of citizens with measures worth 000 million euros, and for those who, unfortunately, lost their jobs, we allocated an additional 140 million euros through the social protection system. The pandemic affected certain branches and due to its nature certain activities really lost their jobs: musicians, tour guides, catering companies, kindergartens, fitness centers, travel agencies, hotels, event organizers, photo studios and some other activities. , for which we intended the strongest support with economic measures, Bytyqi emphasized and added that the measures made a positive difference to keep the jobs, to maintain the liquidity of the companies and to keep in function those companies that due to the nature of the pandemic were prevented from performing the functions for which they were established.
The result of the implemented six packages of measures is obvious and that, said the Deputy Prime Minister, can be seen through the analysis of the basic macroeconomic indicators.
- The figures for labor market activities are fairly stable, the unemployment rate is stable. We had another historically low rate at the end of the second quarter with 15,9 percent unemployment, followed by a steady increase in the employment rate, which is 47,3 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2021. Our companies are recovering well and even showing a growth trend, with exports from the Republic of Northern Macedonia being even higher in the current part of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. In the second quarter of 2021, we record a large growth of gross domestic product of 13,1 percent. All this is positive, but we wanted to look further, to make a difference in the post-crisis period and in parallel with measures to reduce the effects of the crisis, we created measures that will make greater growth and faster development of the domestic economy in the medium term, stressed Bytyqi and added that the Intervention Investment Plan was created for that.
With the Intervention Investment Plan, which is a medium-term investment plan for the next seven years, with a total planned amount of 8,2 billion euros, investments in Northern Macedonia, said Bytyqi, will be more than 3,14 billion euros in renewable green energy, 2,74 , 800 billion euros in infrastructure, XNUMX million euros in production, etc.
He added that the future of our country is in a stable and competitive region that will work towards creating joint, regional growth instead of creating mutual competition.
Besides the Deputy Prime Minister Bytyqi, the International Summer School of Economics was opened with speeches by the Rector of UKIM, prof. Dr. Nikola Jankulovski, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, prof. Dr. Predrag Trpeski, and the President of the Organizing Committee of the 11th Summer School of Economics, Prof. Dr. Igor Ivanovski.