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North Macedonia to strengthen public finance sustainability, improve market competition

North Macedonia will strengthen public finance sustainability, improve market competition, and lower the regulatory burden on businesses to improve integration with European and global markets with support from a 125 million-euro loan approved on September 19 by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.

The Public Finance and Competitiveness Development Policy Loan supports the Macedonian government in reforms to improve the management and transparency of public finances and make public spending more efficient, especially spending on social protection, while also making the tax system more equitable. It supports reforms in energy by unlocking the energy sector monopoly and boosting renewables. It also improves public procurement by increasing private sector bidders’ access to public tenders, and boosts market competition, by introducing risk-based inspections that would reduce time firms spend dealing with inspections.

“Fiscal sustainability is vital to support long-term growth, in particular in the currently fragile external environment,” says Linda Van Gelder, the World Bank’s regional director for the Western Balkans. “Gradual fiscal consolidation and competitiveness reforms supported by this operation aim to bolster confidence, safeguard against external shocks, and accelerate long-term growth.”

A Development Policy Loan is a World Bank instrument that supports a country’s program of policy and institutional actions that promote growth and sustainable poverty reduction.