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Institutional framework

Chapter 20 - institutional framework

The number of entities active in the enterprise sector and industrial policy is large and includes many ministries, agencies, independent public bodies, local self-government units, public-private partnerships, making the institutional framework very complex. The CCPVRM (Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government, in charge of economic issues and coordination with economic departments) and the Ministry of Economy have a central coordinating role.
  • The Cabinet of the Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Coordination with the Economic Departments (KZPVRM) is in charge of strategic coordination of all economic sectors and institutions in the Government, with a special focus on the economic policies for growth, promotion of the business climate and regional development. KZPVRM is responsible for the Competitiveness Strategy.
  • The Ministry of Economy is a key ministry involved in the creation of economic policy. Some of the key strategic documents for increasing competitiveness that have been developed and guided by the Ministry of Economy are: industrial policy, SME strategy, export promotion strategy, investment stimulation program, social responsibility strategy, energy efficiency strategy, as well as sector-oriented documents (textile industry development strategy, steel industry development plan, strategy for tourism development and cluster development program). In addition, the Ministry of Economy was a contact person for the European CIP program, and now it is for COSME.
  • The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for all areas of formal education and training in the country, but also for the sectors of science and innovation. The Ministry was a contact point for FP7 and is now for Horizon 2020. With the Law on Innovation Activity, from 2013, the Ministry is responsible for the implementation of the Strategy for Innovation and its related areas.
  • The Innovation and Technological Development Fund (FITR) is a newer institution with a mandate to support the implementation of the Innovation Strategy. FITR was established in December 2013, in accordance with the Law on Innovation Activity, in order to: i) support the development of SMEs through the commercialization of innovations; ii) to strengthen investment areas of research and development; and iii) to stimulate the transfer of new technologies. The Fund provides support through various financial instruments (grants, conditional loans and equity investments), but also provides technical support for strengthening the capacities of enterprises for using regional and European funds. FITR's operational costs are covered by the state budget, while funds for its financial instruments are provided through a World Bank loan (for the SKILLS project) in the amount of nine million euros for the implementation period 2015-2019 and 1% of IPARD.
  • The Ministry of Finance has a leading responsibility for all matters related to taxation and financial policy, fiscal discipline, late billing.
  • Enhanced access to finance is realized through the Macedonian Bank for Reconstruction and Development as the only state-owned bank in charge of managing state and donor funds and bringing them closer to enterprises through the banking system.

Business Support Agencies

The Agency for Promotion of Entrepreneurship of the Republic of Macedonia (APPRM) is a state agency established in 2003. APPRM's mission is to promote entrepreneurship and small business through the implementation of priority projects reflecting the areas of intervention in demand-driven SMEs and government programs to support entrepreneurship and increase the competitiveness of SMEs. The main responsibilities of APPRM are:
  • Creation and development of the institutional infrastructure for support and development of entrepreneurship and competitiveness in the SME sector;
  • Implementing and coordinating state and international support for SMEs;
  • Promotion of entrepreneurship through financial and non-financial types of support measures; and
  • Implementation of programs for measures and activities for support of entrepreneurship and creation of competitiveness in the small business.

Key national agencies for attracting and supporting foreign investments are the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion (ASIPI) and the Directorate for Technological Industrial Development Zones (TIDZ) responsible for the free economic zones. Additionally, the government nominates four ministers without portfolio responsible for attracting foreign investment, as well as a network of 30 promoters abroad. ASIPI was established in 2004 with the main goal of attracting FDI, and in 2010 the export promotion was added in its mandate. At present, the Agency is responsible for providing greenfield investment benefits, information services to exporters, and other export support activities, including the participation in international fairs, foreign market research, trade information exchange, and the like.

The Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism in the Republic of Macedonia is a governmental institution established in 2008 and has since been active in the following two areas:
1) Promotion of Macedonia as an attractive tourist destination through the preparation of promotional materials, participation in international tourism fairs, organization of info-tours for tourist operators and journalists from abroad, promotion through various media;
2) Supporting every aspect of tourism development, from rural, church, to active tourism, supporting the development of tourist zones, providing subsidies to domestic and international tour operators for foreign tourists.

Civil Sector and Chapter 20

Governmental organizations through the public private partnership cooperate with many other organizations relevant to Chapter 20, such as chambers of commerce (for example, Economic Chamber of Macedonia, Union of Chambers of Commerce of Macedonia, Chamber of Commerce in North-West Macedonia, Chamber of Crafts, Chamber of Tourism) , workers 'organizations, employers' organizations, business associations, regional business centers and incubators, business start-ups and planning centers and other civil society organizations relevant to the said reforms co area.

Chapter 20 CSOs are involved in supporting:
  • RIA and RIA processes
  • SMEs and entrepreneurship (including women's and social entrepreneurship)
  • Start-ups and innovative businesses (technology parks, business incubators, funds, accelerators, etc.)
  • Handicrafts
  • Sectoral policies (including associations, clusters, chambers, etc.)
  • Foreign investment (including foreign and bilateral chambers)

All stakeholders, including civil society organizations, must intensify their efforts and involvement in the creation and implementation of the enterprise and industry policy in order to more effectively address the challenges of the Macedonian economy: promoting competitiveness, increasing productive investments, diversifying exports, creating the conditions for sustainable economic growth, the strengthening of the business framework (legal and institutional), the implementation of EU law. CSOs of Chapter 20 recognize this need for greater engagement in the process of design, implementation and monitoring of the principles, instruments and sectoral policies of this reform area.