Macedonia offers land to Omani farmers
Friday, 29 February 2008
MUSCAT - Macedonia is offering land concessions to Omani farmers to produce agro-products and import them to the Sultanate, the visiting Macedonian minister said here on Thursday.

With excellent climatic conditions and abundance of water, Omani farmers can get land concessions and produce fruits and vegetables, said Gligor Tashkovich, Macedonia’s minister of foreign investment, while making a business pitch to a select group of investors, entrepreneurs and government officials at Grand Hyatt.

The agricultural produce can be imported to meet the requirements in Oman if Oman Air introduces services to Macedonia, the minister said.

“If Oman Air can introduce a flight between Macedonia and Australia once or twice a week via Muscat, then Macedonians who live Down Under can travel to our country via Muscat and fruits and vegetables grown in Macedonia by Omani farmers can be imported to Muscat,” proposed Tashkovich.

The Macedonian government has also set up an agro-bourser to help the farmers grow products based on the demand.

Macedonia also has nearly 3,000 water concessions for bottled water plants out of which only 60 are being utilised at present, Tashkovich disclosed while talking about various sectors in which Omanis can invest.

“We would like to make Macedonia the Singapore of the European Union (EU) through a series of economic reforms designed to create an investment friendly climate,” declared Tashkovich while talking about many similarities that exist between the two countries.

Like Singapore, Macedonia has a highly developed e-Governance system; multi-cultural and multi-ethnic society; a transparent government that has a low level of corruption, and a stable currency.

Tashkovich listed out some of the main investment opportunities in Macedonia which include manufacturing and assembling of automotive components; information communications technology; agribusiness and food processing; healthcare products (pharmaceuticals and medical devices); clothing, textiles and leather; energy sector (hydropotential); tourism; chemicals; construction and real estate development.

Macedonia is at the cross-roads of south-eastern Europe, which makes it an ideal transit and distribution centre for products for European markets.

The well-developed road and railway infrastructure will enable any manufacturer to take his products to most of the European countries with ease.

Tashkovich also pointed out that Macedonia has introduced a one-stop-shop system that enables investors to register their businesses within four hours. One can register a company in Macedonia by visiting one office, obtaining the information from a single place, and addressing one employee.

Other sectors like mining; energy (including oil and gas and power generation); and banking also hold much promise for Omani investors.

Some of the natural resources in Macedonia are low grade iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, chromium, manganese, nickel, tungsten, uranium, gold, silver, thallium, antimony, asbestos, coal, gypsum, timber and arable land.

“We believe that with low taxes, free economic zones, free trade agreements covering 40 countries, and as a gateway to the European market of nearly 650 million people, Macedonia is an ideal platform to get into the European market,” said Tashkovich.

There are many foreign investors who have successfully invested in Macedonia.

These include ArcelorMittal, Johnson Controls, Deutsche Telekom, National Bank of Greece, Knauf, Titan Cement, Lukoil, T-Mobile, OTE, EVN Societe General, Mobilkom Austria and Duferco.
 



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