By Sinisa Jakov Marusic |BIRN | Skopje
July 4, 2013
Macedonia is ready to open an industrial development zone exclusively aimed at Chinese companies, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said during his visit to China.
“I reaffirmed our offer to open a special zone for Chinese companies in Macedonia,” Gruevski told media after meeting China’s President Xi Jinping.
Macedonia hopes that the low taxes as well as the country’s free trade agreement with Europe, a potential market of 650 million people, will attract large Chinese companies.
According to Macedonia’s government press service, Beijing has said that it will “carefully” consider the proposal.
But Gruevski said that that Macedonia will also propose projects in the hope of tapping Chinese development funds.
Beijing has recently allocated some 10 billion euro for reconstruction and development in south-east Europe.
“We want to be part of it and it is especially significant that the Chinese president has given his support for the participation of Macedonia in the partnership,” Gruevski said.
In November last year Macedonia initialled a Chinese loan that will be used to build several important stretches of motorway.
The first on the list of projects to be supported by Chinese money is the construction of the motorway segment connecting the central town of Stip, an important regional economic centre, to the existing pan-European Corridor 10 that connects Macedonia with Greece to the south and Serbia to the north.
Although details of the cost are not yet known, construction is slated to begin late this year or early next year.
Link to the article: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/macedonia-lures-chinese-investments