Export value rises 13% in first three months of 2018

Goods estimated at half a billion euros have been exported in the first three months of 2018 by the companies currently operating in the free economic zones in Macedonia. Johnson Matthey, the British company that opened plants in the Skopje industrial zone, is singled out as being the largest exporter of goods.

“The positive trend of exporting from the technological and industrial zones is resuming. Foreign direct investments have completely altered the structure of Macedonian export. Exchange has become more balanced, the country exports commodities abroad that have higher added value. Export value in the first three months of this year rose by 13 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. Export value in the first three months exceeded €552 million,” officials from the Directorate for Technological and Industrial Development Zones told MIA.

Existing foreign investments in the zones, they said, whose commodities are exported most in European countries, have completely changed the structure of the foreign trade of Macedonia.

Speaking to the media, Governor of the National Bank of Macedonia (NBRM) Dimitar Bogov said that exporting since the beginning of theyear has exceeded all expectations and that it can play an important role in this year’s economic growth.

“Export growth rate is very high as it comes as a result of the new production plants in the free economic zones,” Bogov recently stated.
Macedonia’s Hi Tech Assembly, Germany’s German Electro-Mechatronic Systems and Italy’s Europe Shock Absorbers should join existing plants operating in the industrial zone near Skopje.

According to the Directorate, negotiations are under way with a number of investors and in the coming period contracts are expected to be made for lease of a land in the economic zones with companies from the automotive industry, the industry specialized on medical products, etc. “Negotiations for contracts with three new companies from the United States, a company from Italy, and a company from Dubai are in their final stages,” said the Directorate.

Under its new economic program, the government has signed deals with nine foreign investors who are expected to launch their investments in the zones.
The estimated value of the new investments is €38 million and it is projected the plants to create jobs for over 2,100 people.


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