The President of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce (MCC), Danela Arsovska, held a regular consultative meeting with the mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Resident Representative, Mr. Sebastian Sosa.
The meeting discussed the challenges of the private sector and the conditions in which the private sector is in the country, the current economic developments and the economic prospects. Arsovska stressed the importance of implementing structural economic reforms as a priority and strategic commitment of the country that would propel the national economy. The essence, he said, is the continuity of reforms, as well as enabling a predictable business environment for the private sector so that companies can definitely create more annual plans and not refrain from investments.
Additionally, the effects of the announced increase in the minimum wage in conditions of an unstable economic situation, which is not the right moment for artificial increase of the minimum wage with the Law on minimum wage, was discussed because there is a great possibility of negative implications, as was pointed out in the latest reports the IMF.
“Our position, it is principled is that wages should increase but naturally rather than by imposing which in the turbulent times the private sector can hardly bear it. The same should be implemented through a national strategy that should have set goals for improving the productivity of the private sector, to ensure stable placement of Macedonian products, increasing the number of exporting companies. At the same time, we are confronted with increased immigration of young and skilled personnel in the markets of Western Europe, which will further affect the pressure naturally to increase wages. Therefore, imposing an artificial increase in wages in conditions of non-productivity will only increase the transition to the informal sector, “Arsovska stressed.
According to the analysis of the international financial institutions, if it is to increase the minimum wage, the likelihood that the work of the black labor market will increase. The meeting also discussed the informal, ie the shadow economy, which is one of the biggest challenges for all sectors of the economy, because those who participate in it unfairly and illegally place in the privileged position those who work and fulfill the legal obligations. According to the latest data from international organizations, in the country each year companies lose up to 15 percent of profits because of the shadow economy in all sectors.
Arsovska also spoke about the importance of the rule of law as a key priority for investing companies in the Republic of Macedonia. It was concluded that it is necessary in the drafting or in the preparation of the regulation to respect those principles that are valid in the EU, and that is to ensure that all concerned parties are consulted while drafting the law and the drafting should be with a wide public debate that will last from six to nine months in order to achieve a quality solution that can be implemented in practice. As a positive example, the Draft new Law on Inspection Supervision of the Ministry of Information Society and Administration, which is in parliamentary procedure, including opinions and recommendations from the private sector, can be pointed out.