Zoran Stavreski, Deputy PM, Republic of Macedonia, during the CII’s interactive session in the city | R Satish Babu
The Republic of Macedonia is wooing businesses in Chennai to use the country as a hub to tap the European market and to improve trade relations.
Speaking to reporters after an interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Macedonia Zoran Stavreski said that Chennai is one of the industrials hubs of the nation and city-based industrialists could use the country as a gateway to Europe.
The deputy premier, who is heading a delegation that included Bill Pavleski, Minister for Foreign Direct Investment, and Viktor Mizo, General Director, special economic zones in Macedonia, said that the preference to have closer ties with India was due to its phenomenal growth. “By 2020, India will have 300 million people entering the middle class. There is a huge opportunity to diversify the portfolio and take it to Europe and Macedonia,” Stavreski, who is on a maiden visit to Chennai, said.
He also said that Macedonia was expected to sign a double taxation avoidance treaty with India in the next couple of months.
The move would boost trade between the two countries and investors would have to pay tax in only one country, said Stavreski.
He also urged Chennai-based companies to invest in hydro power plants, information technology, tourism, real estate, mining and agriculture.
He revealed that a North Indian company was planning a major investment in tourism and real estate, but refused to divulge further details. Stavreski said talks were also on with education institutions, who wanted to set up campus in Macedonia.
Interestingly, Macedonia wants to boost the skills of its workforce and sees Indian companies to seize this opportunity.
“We are planning to have more technical institutes and already have a tie-up with Boston University. Since, India is known for its educational institute, we encourage investment for refurbishing labs to get hands on training for businesses,” said Pavleski.