Republic of Macedonia, a fast-growing emerging economy in the southeastern part of Europe, is exploring opportunities to attract investments from India for power projects, and in sectors including real estate, agriculture, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, IT and automotive, according to Zoran Stavreski, vice prime minister and minister of finance.
The country, which has free-trade agreements to provide access to markets in 41 countries with over 650 million consumers, is looking at investments for two upcoming hydro power plants with a total capacity of 650-Mw involving an investment of euro 700 million.
“Tenders for the two large power plants (on a build, operate and transfer basis) will be called for shortly,” he told Business Standard on the sidelines of an interactive session on ‘Emerging investment and trade opportunities in Macedonia’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in Hyderabad on Monday.
Stating that Macedonia is planning to completely liberalise its energy market by 2015, Stavreski said the country was looking at privatising up to 49% of its state electricity generation company for around $1.2 billion.
Macedonia, which attracts anywhere between 4 and 8% foreign direct investment (FDI) of its gross domestic product (GDP) every year, will offer a single-window for administrative services, besides low real estate costs and utilities (10-15 euro per square metre in city centre and two to three euro in surroundings on long-term lease of up to 99 years), he said.
The country’s Constitution guarantees fair treatment of foreign investors, allowing 100% foreign ownership of a company, Stavreski said, adding that they had initiated the procedure of signing a double-taxation treaty with India, which was likely to be closed by January 2013.
“This is the second time that we are presenting opportunities for India this year, and over 20 companies from India have already visited us. While automotive components manufacturer Motherson had already purchased land in Macedonia, we are in active discussion with Indian car manufacturers to set up shop in the country. An Indian company’s investments in Macedonia will also be announced in the next two to three months,” he said.