FYRMacedonia to initiate duty-free trade with Russia
25. March 2010. | 06:51
FYR Macedonia will initiate liberalization of commodities exchange with Russia through signing of a free trade agreement.
FYR Macedonia will initiate liberalization of commodities exchange with Russia through signing of a free trade agreement, announced Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski at Wednesday's business meeting of the Macedonia-Russia Chamber of Commerce titled "Russian Federation - Permanent Challenge for Macedonian Economy", held on occasion of its 5th anniversary.
FinMin Stavreski stressed duty-free commerce was in the interest of both countries, hoping that Russia would support the initiative.
"The Chamber aims at establishing contacts with Russian companies for intensive penetration at the country's market. It represents an enormous potential for Macedonian export, primarily in the sectors of agriculture and construction. Therefore, it is significant to initiate the exemption of Macedonian commodities from customs duties, an issue we will put forward at the next session of the Mixed Macedonian-Russian Commission", stressed Stavreski.
According to him, there are expectations for intensification of cooperation in the opposite direction, mainly in energy, mining and other sectors.
"Russian companies have a competitive advantage and can find interest in Macedonia. In the mid-term, this should result in increase of export in Russia, reduction of deficit and enlargement of total commodities' exchange", assessed Stavreski.
He announced conditions for return of Russia's clearing debt to Macedonia, amounting to US$ 60 million, would mature by May.
"The Macedonian side is ready for signing of the agreement on regulating the clearing debt. Due to changes of the Russian chairperson, the meeting may be delayed for 2-3 weeks, but we expect the issue to be closed by the end of May", added Stavreski.
Russian ambassador to FYRMacedonia Vladimir Solotsinsky told Macedonian companies to look for partners beyond Moscow and the surrounding region.
According to him, the most important challenges in bilateral commercial relations remained the enormous commercial imbalance, which created deficit in Macedonia's economy, as well as diversification of Russian export to Macedonia.
Chamber chairman Gjorgji Dika referred to its significance in overcoming a number of problems, among which the loss of identity of Macedonian products.
"Macedonian products often lose identity in the database of Russian institutions, because of the use of mediators from Serbia and Bulgaria", said Dika.