admin1 – November 7, 2006 – 3:50pm
Vienna Economic Forum - PM Gruevski

The third Vienna Economic Forum, one of whose sponsors is also Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski at the invitation of the Forum's president and founder, the special coordinator of the Stability Pact for Southeast Europe, Erhard Busek, is taking place on 6 and 7 November.

This annual assembly is dedicated to the long-term investments and experience of the banks in the region in realizing projects.

Southeast Europe needs investments because without them the countries of the region will not be able to join the West, said the vice president of the organization, Joseph Taus, at the Forum's opening. He underscored the great economic progress of the region, which is three times the progress of the Western-European countries, and further stressed that capital imports were needed to keep that level.

Macedonian Finance Minister Trajko Slaveski talked about the development of banks and insurance systems and the importance of long-term funding from a Macedonian standpoint.Minister-Slaveski---Vienna Forum

"The banking sector overwhelmingly dominates the financial system, accounting for 90 percent of the overall assets," Minister Slaveski said. He added that the financial sector and supervision would be strengthened in the future, that small banks would be encouraged to merge and that the entrance of foreign banks would be liberalized. Slaveski announced that the modifications to the banking law would be adopted by the end of this year.

Macedonian Minister of Foreign Investments Gligor Tashkovich addressed the roundtable on energetics, speaking about the opportunities Macedonia offers for making investments.

On the same subject, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski addressed all the state officials and representatives of the business community from Austria and the entire region. He is scheduled today to have separate meetings with Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel and Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

All the former Yugoslav republics - Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina - as well as Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Austria are members of the Vienna Economic Forum. Greece used to be a member until last year when it left the Forum in protest against Macedonia's admission under its constitutional name.

A special edition of the Vienna Economic Forum dedicated solely to Macedonia will be held in Ohrid in April next year so that all the investors from Austria and from the Forum's founder countries coordinate with the Macedonian investors.