As in previous years, AmCham Macedonia was given the opportunity to review and comment on the first draft of 2018-2020 National Economic Reform Program released for public comment on 28.11.2017. This was an important chance to raise high-level issues that impact the business community as whole.
In order to have greater inclusion of all relevant stakeholders toward creating a quality program that will address the current situation, it would be advisable to publish draft Programs on the National Electronic Register of Regulations (ENER), allowing them to be reviewed and commented on for at least 15 working days.
Given the limited time we had to comment on the Program, we have limited our feedback to just two subsections of the document (4.3.1 Public Finance Management and 4.3.4: Business Environment). For the same reason, we look forward to a continued dialogue with respect to the Program’s implementation details.
Our general impression is that the measures included in the draft fail to address important challenges and therefore are unlikely to help the country meet its reform and growth goals. Specifically, we believe that the Program should include measures in the following reform areas:
- Ensuring all budget users increase the transparency and timeliness of payments owed the private sector;
- Fostering real, open and systemic dialogue with company representatives;
- Reducing the grey economy;
- Reducing regulatory confusion;
- Increasing the predictability, consistency and fairness of inspections;
- Increasing transparency and oversight of company appeal and complaint mechanisms;
- Ensuring para-fiscal charges, taxation and penalty policies are rational and fair;
- Making strategic investments in educational quality; and
- Encouraging internships in companies.
To read AmCham’s Official response in English click here.
To read AmCham’s Official response in Macedonian click here.