The legal framework for investing in Macedonia is largely in line with international standards and foreign investors are treated the same as domestic ones. The country has simplified the regulatory framework for foreign investors working in TIDZs, who generally have positive experiences and good cooperation with government officials. Additional positive factors for boosting foreign direct investment (SDSI) and economic growth are the country joining NATO, resolving the name dispute with Greece and starting EU membership talks.
This is stated in the report on the investment climate in Macedonia for 2020, published by the US State Department.
However, the report adds, overall regulation remains complex and frequent legislative changes, along with inconsistent interpretations of the rules, create an unpredictable business environment conducive to corruption.
It also points out that the World Bank Business Report in 2020 ranked Macedonia 17th in the world for doing business, down seven places from the previous year. Fitch upgraded the country’s previous credit rating from BB to BB + with a stable outlook, and Standard & Poor’s upgraded its BB- outlook with a stable outlook. Transparency International ranked Northern Macedonia 106th out of 180 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index in 2019, which is 13 places lower than the previous year.
The State Department report, however, warns that regardless of these economic achievements, the social and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 will have profound effects on the economy of North Macedonia and its ability to absorb foreign investment.