Economy

Open balkan labor market

Employment barriers

 

Barriers to employment in the region are falling. With 62 votes for, no against and no abstentions, the Assembly ratified the Open Balkans laws. This will mean the abolition of work permits and a free labor market for Macedonia, Serbia and Albania.

Those who want to work in a private company in one of these countries will be issued a special identification number. Citizens will be able to get it through the web portal for electronic services, and with that there will be practically no need to get a work permit, which until now had to wait up to 3 months, a bunch of other documents and administrative costs, the national coordinator for Open Balkans tells Sitel.

“By filling in some personal data and verifying your identity through that software, the e-services website will be able to retrieve your identification number. Then with that number you will register in the electronic services system of Serbia and after certain procedures of the company that employs you, that company will register you for pension and health and on that basis will pay you a salary based on the work done” – Marjan Zabrchanec, national coordinator for Open Balkans.

The new tools should be available on the site by the end of March. Zabrcanec says that there has already been interest from foreigners to work with us.

“I have information that larger companies that are located in cross-border areas, around Kumanovo or Struga, already have specific information about the employment of citizens from Serbia and Albania in domestic companies. Of course, there will be cases in the opposite direction as well.” – Marjan Zabrchanec, national coordinator for Open Balkans.

This measure was supposed to function last fall, but the implementation got stuck in the Parliament, where the committee discussion was postponed for months.

At today’s session, the agreement with Frontex signed between Macedonia and the EU in October last year was also ratified. This makes it possible, at the request of the country, to deploy Frontex police officers at critical points on the border, together with our police officers, and there will be an opportunity to use all Frontex equipment.

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Prices are kept “high”

market price

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Accounting and Finance

Prices are kept “high”

market price

PRICES HIGH 

Almost two months have passed since the food sector started using subsidized electricity from the state, but citizens still do not notice a reduction in food prices in markets. Except for a few basic products, everything else is either sold at the same price as before December or has an additional price increase, contrary to the obligation to have a reduction of at least 10 percent. Social justice activist Zdravko Saveski tells that the government should give companies seven days to reduce prices, and if there is still no change, they should be charged penalties.

“The state is obliged not only to stop the subsidy, but to demand from the companies the return of the subsidies because obviously, as with any agreement, if the second party does not respect the agreement, the first party can demand the return of the funds that they provided,” said Saveski .

Regarding the statements of some of the economic ministers in the government and the prime minister himself that the measure for cheaper electricity for food producers has yielded results and there is a reduction, Saveski says to say exactly where they shop and what specifically has been reduced. However, the Ministry of Economy remains of the opinion that prices are decreasing and a period of stabilization will follow.

“As the Government, we bring policies and measures to stabilize the market. Can we influence the prices of imports from outside the country? We cannot influence that”, the Ministry of Economy states.

But the citizens surveyed said that they are struggling to make it through the month.

“Nothing has become cheaper, I haven’t noticed, I was there in the morning, the same prices all the time…”
“There is no cheaper, there is no standard, there is nothing. “Everything is destroyed,” the citizens said.

In the world stock markets, there is a continuous decline in the prices of energy and wheat, which means that even without electricity subsidies, companies have room to reduce the prices of final products. However, the State Statistical Office also confirmed that food products in the country are sold at old – high prices. He announced that in December, compared to November last year, inflation was reduced by only an insignificant 0.2 percent.

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People is still expecting price reduction

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Accounting and Finance

People is still expecting price reduction

The government will once again determine the rich products that in the new year should be sold with a higher tax.

The draft version of the food products, which according to the government, not everyone can afford, can be replaced with 5 of this month, it was announced that it is given with 10 will be protected.

Over 3,000 basic products in the offer have a preferential tax rate. But among them, the products are bought only by those who buy them with deep pockets, such as shark fins, truffles, luxury cheeses, cheeses, spices, prosciutto, but also almond and coconut milk, restricted types of sea fish and some tropical fruits.

Also, after the New Year, the government announced a reduction in VAT from 18% to 5% for menstrual hygiene pads. But there is still no reduction in price. After they are adopted, the legal amendments will have to be approved in the Parliament, and then the traders in the markets will have to check their fiscal cash registers.

According to the former director of the Internal Revenue Service, it will be a burden for the companies, but not as big as the increase in the price of the products that the citizens will receive.

This month, citizens are also waiting for the price reduction of some of the basic products, whose producers received subsidized electricity to reduce prices. According to the announcements, the percentage of price reduction would range from 10 to 13 percent.

 

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Највредните компании во 2022 година

Највредните компании во 2022

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Accounting and Finance

Највредните компании во 2022 година

Највредните компании во 2022

За највредните компании 2022 година беше обликувана од незгодни макроекономски ветрови. Билиони долари во јавно поседуваните компании беа избришани на берзите, довербата на инвеститорите се намали, а цените ги скратија џебовите на потрошувачите.

Генерално, многу од најголемите светски компании доживеаја остар пад на пазарниот удел. Сепак, неколку компании од клучните сектори имаа позитивен раст во текот на годината.

КОЈА ОД НАЈВРЕДНИТЕ КОМПАНИИ ПРЕТРПЕ НАЈПОВЕЌЕ

Акциите на Apple (AAPL) завршија во вторникот со пад од речиси 4 отсто откако извештајот покрена загриженост за побарувачката на потрошувачите за неговите производи. Никеи објави дека Apple (AAPL) неодамна известил неколку добавувачи да направат помалку делови за некои од неговите најпопуларни уреди за првиот квартал, вклучувајќи ги AirPods, Apple (AAPL) Watch и MacBooks.

Како и другите технолошки компании, Apple се бори во синџирот на снабдување но и со  загриженост дека стравувањата од рецесија би можеле да влијаат на трошењето на огласувачите и потрошувачите, вклучително и за поскапи производи како што е iPhone.

Следниот инфографик на „Вижуалкапиталист“ (VisualCapitalist) според податоците од крајот на минатата година ги прикажува најголемите компании во светот, користејќи податоци од Companiesmarketcap.com.

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Households prices hitting the ceiling

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Accounting and Finance

Households prices hitting the ceiling

The increase in housing prices has accelerated over the past year and is above the long-term average and the long-term trend, according to the Financial Stability Report for 2021, adopted by the National Bank.

Housing price growth in part reflects supply-side factors, such as rising costs of building materials and the effects of the pandemic on housing supply in the previous year. The growth of housing lending, for the second year in a row, contributes to almost half of the growth of the total debt of households, which also increased in 2021 with an accelerated growth rate, which was still lower than the growth of the nominal GDP, says the report of the National Bank .

The stability of the financial system was successfully maintained in 2021 as well, with almost all segments of the financial sector achieving accelerated growth. The banking system, as the main part of the financial system, has maintained its reliability, and by bringing macroprudential measures into the domain of the anti-cyclical protective layer of capital, its resistance to shocks is further strengthened.

The stability of the exchange rate, as a key prerequisite for financial stability, was successfully maintained, which once again confirmed the firm determination of the National Bank to consistently implement the strategy of a fixed exchange rate, which is guaranteed by the appropriate level of foreign exchange reserves.

The Report states that after the gradual economic recovery from the pandemic last year, which positively contributed to the operation of the domestic financial sector and financial stability, the outbreak of the war in Ukraine brought new challenges. Although the crisis in Ukraine has no direct impact on the domestic financial sector, its consequences spilled over into the domestic economy through the movements of the global market of energy and basic products, which created pressure on domestic inflation. From March 2022, the National Bank started with a gradual increase in the basic interest rate, thus contributing to calming inflationary expectations and maintaining medium-term price stability.

During 2021, the domestic corporate sector normalized operations and began to recover from the consequences of the pandemic, ending the year overall with improved profitability, a moderate level of indebtedness and a relatively stable, albeit traditionally low, liquidity position.

In these conditions, the activities of almost all entities from the corporate sector recovered, although with different intensity, depending on the volume of pandemic losses suffered, the specifics of the operation and the coverage with protective measures, as well as the possibility of adapting the activities to the conditions of the pandemic.

The risks related to the “households” sector are still within controlled limits, they even noticed a certain decrease. This was supported by the post-pandemic recovery of the economy, which contributed to the stabilization of the labor market and the growth of disposable income. The indicators for the solvency and liquidity position of households point to a relatively limited systemic vulnerability of this sector.

But taking into account the unpredictability of the overall environment caused by the prolonged duration of the pandemic and the geopolitical tensions and developments between Russia and Ukraine, especially the ever-higher product prices and the normalization of monetary policies, the risks to the indebtedness of companies and households and their ability to for repayment of debts. This increases the risks for a potential future higher realization of the credit risk and the growth of the non-performing loans of the banks.

The banking sector has coped well with the risks of the pandemic and is ready to respond to the challenges that could arise from the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. This is largely due to the traditionally high liquidity and adequate capitalization of the domestic banking sector, an important part of which are the protective layers of capital, which, with the strengthening of domestic regulation, the banks built in the previous period.

The loan portfolio is healthy and the rate of non-performing loans has improved compared to the pre-pandemic period. Credit growth accelerated, supported by deposit growth, and was almost equally directed at households and the corporate sector. The resilience of the banking sector is also confirmed by regular stress tests that show that banks are resistant to possible shocks.

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Macedonia fiscal transparency

fiscal transparency

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Accounting and Finance

Macedonia fiscal transparency

fiscal transparency

According to the Report, two aspects are evaluated – documents related to the national budget, concluded contracts and concession licenses.

The 2022 report evaluates whether governments make budget documents public, including expenditures broken down by individual budget users, as well as revenues according to their sources. The assessment also includes whether an external audit was performed in accordance with international standards for independent audit of financial statements, as well as whether it is publicly available. Furthermore, the report assesses whether the licensing process for concessions and government contracts complies with laws and regulations and whether they are publicly available.

Of the 141 countries that qualify for US foreign aid, according to the State Department’s evaluation, only half of the countries have met the conditions, such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, and Croatia. and Slovenia, as well as the countries of the Western Balkans region.
Over the past few years, significant steps have been taken by our government to raise fiscal transparency. Several mechanisms and tools have been established to increase fiscal transparency, including the Citizens’ Budget, the Open Finances platform, the Calendar of Tax Changes and the Fiscal Counter which, on a daily basis, provides an overview of the budget’s revenues and expenditures, the realization of capital expenditures, and monthly the realization of the national debt. Also, with the new systemic legal solutions, such as the Budget Law and the amendments to the Law on Financing of Local Self-Government Units, additional solutions are being adopted that will continue to improve fiscal transparency in the country.

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GAS PRICE CAP

gas price cap

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Accounting and Finance

gas price cap
GAS PRICE CAP

PRICE CAP

EU energy ministers have clashed over a plan to put a price cap on Russian gas, casting doubt on whether the measure will go ahead.

Speaking after emergency talks in Brussels in response to surging gas and electricity prices, the EU’s energy commissioner, Kadri Simson, said “nothing is decided” on proposals to curb Russia’s income.

Vladimir Putin has dismissed the idea as “stupid” and threatened to make Europe “freeze” this winter, if a cap is agreed. Russia has already slashed supplies to Europe and said it will not resume flows at previous volumes until the EU lifts sanctions. Russian supply makes up only 9% of EU gas imports, down from 40% before the invasion of Ukraine.

Simson defended the cap plan as reasonable. “The context of this measure is that Russia is gaining huge profits by manipulating and limiting, artificially, supply to drive up prices. And the cap would reduce these profits,” she told reporters on Friday.

There was more consensus over a proposal to cap the high price of EU-produced electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and nuclear, and to reduce energy consumption across the region. The European Commission favours a mandatory 5% cut in electricity use during peak hours.

Countries that import large volumes from Russia, including Hungary, Slovakia and Austria, have spoken out against the cap proposal because they fear the Kremlin would halt all gas flows, plunging their countries into recession.

“If price restrictions were to be imposed exclusively on Russian gas, that would evidently lead to an immediate cut-off in Russian gas supplies,” said Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó, who was attending the meeting. “It does not take a Nobel Prize to recognise that.”

Around a dozen countries, including France and Poland, say the price cap should apply to all imported gas, including liquified natural gas. The EU energy commissioner voiced doubts about that approach, saying that a general price cap “could present a security of supply challenge”.

Since the invasion of Ukraine, the EU has been scrambling to secure supplies shipped in from other countries, such as Qatar, Norway and the United States, but it faces stiff competition from Asia. “Right now it is important that we can replace decreasing Russian volumes with alternative suppliers,” Simson said.

Only the Baltic states, who have long argued for sanctions on Russian gas, gave full-throated support to the plan. Riina Sikkut, Estonia’s minister for economic affairs and infrastructure, urged other members to ignore Putin’s threats, saying: “It is blackmail, it is war that is waged outside Ukraine … We have to have the political will to make Ukraine win.”

Ministers were more aligned on dealing with a distortion in the energy market, which has seen renewable and nuclear energy companies reaping huge profits because the price of all electricity is pegged to the price of wholesale gas. The proposals are for a cap on power from wind, solar and nuclear, and the redistribution of revenues to vulnerable consumers and businesses.

Ministers also backed a plan to reduce demand for electricity, although Czech industry minister Jozef Síkela, who chaired the meeting, indicated that member states wanted voluntary targets, rather than a legally-binding obligation.

“EU energy ministers have agreed the EU needs a comprehensive plan to face the ongoing energy crisis,” said Simone Tagliapietra, a senior energy expert at the Bruegel think tank. “As all these measures are extraordinarily complex to be engineered, it will take a great political commitment by member states to quickly adopt them in the coming weeks. Europe is off for a grand bargain on energy.”

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Employment rates in Macedonia. Did governmant took risky moves?

Employment rates

Employment RATES in MACEDONIA

 

The Employment Agency informs that more than 16,000 people who lost their jobs during the pandemic have found work again.

Data from the Employment Agency reveal that there now employment rates are higher in the country than before the pandemic. In June, when the latest data is available, a total of 165,518 unemployed registered with the Employment Agency (AVRSM).

Before the pandemic, in February 2020, there were 191,939 citizens on the list of the Agency, which means that in June of this year we have as many as 26,417 fewer registered unemployed citizens, so the employment rate is higher. At the same time, just since the beginning of the year, for the first 6 months, the number of unemployed decreased by about 10,000 citizens.

“As of 31.12.2021, 16,073 unemployed persons were registered on the basis of inflow from employment for whom the termination or deregistration from mandatory social insurance was registered in the period after 11.03.2020, i.e. during the period of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 virus “, it is written in the report of AVRSM.

But, as can be seen from the report as of June 30, 2022, of those who found work, about 1,000 workers had their employment terminated, voluntarily or forcibly.

The State Audit Office, on the other hand, in the report on the implementation of the covid measures, indicated that 17,000 people lost their jobs during the pandemic

In the meantime, appeals are coming from all sides from employers that there is no quality workforce and that those who apply to the advertisements leave their jobs in a short time. After hotels and restaurants, as Krsto Blazhevski, president of the Hotel and Tourism Association of Macedonia, told “Sloboden Pechat”, high school students are seasonally employed.

In the textile industry, contracts with foreign companies for sole production are rejected because there is no one to sew.

The problem of shortage of workers exists in all countries, and while we hope to fill it with workers from the region with the facilities that the Open Balkans initiative should bring, Serbia also hopes to take qualified workers from us.

Serbian media reports that over 30,000 craftsmen, doctors, nurses and technicians from Macedonia and Albania will be looking for work in Serbia from September without any additional documents, work visas and special permits and that this will be made possible thanks to the “Open Balkans” initiative and the opening in the single labor market.

 

Euro area employment rates

Euro area unemployment EU In at May 6.1 % 202 2 , t h e euro area seasonally adjasted unemployment down from 8 . 1 % in May 2021 . T he EU unemployment rate was 6.1 6. 6 rate % was in % 6.6 May % 202 , , 202 230 down from 6.7% in 2 June April 2022 202 stable compared with and down from 7 . 3 % in May 20 2 1 .

<p>These figures are published by 2 April 202 and 2 Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union . Eurostat estimates unemployed in that May 1 3 . 202 2 . 2.16 5 million in the 066 million men and women in the Compared with May 202 1 , EU , of whom 1 1. 004 unemployment decreased by euro area . million in the 2. 515 million euro area in the EU , were and by

Youth unemployment

 

 In May the 2022 2.467million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU of whom 1.988 million were in euro area ,In MAy 2022, the youth unemployment rate was 13.3% in the EU and 13.1% in the euro area, down from 13.8% in both areas in the previous month. Comapred with April 2022, youth unemplyment decreased by 95 thousand in the EU and 90 thousand in the euro are.

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Accounting and Finance

Employment rates in Macedonia. Did governmant took risky moves?

Employment rates

ELECTRICITY
SAVINGS



Turning off the decorative lighting on the facades of public buildings and cultural monuments, turning off light bulbs when there is enough daylight, in the cooling season the air conditioners should be set no lower than 27 degrees, and in the heating season no higher than 20 degrees, turning off the computers after work, to regularly change the filters of the heating units and air conditioners, to print only the necessary materials, to replace the windows with energy-efficient ones, are just some of the recommendations for state institutions.

The government adopted measures to save electricity by up to 15 percent – recommendations are provided for households and companies, and specific duties for state institutions that must be respected, otherwise sanctions will follow.

As the Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi announced today, the measures will come into force on September 1 of this year, and will be valid until March 31, 2023.

– Ahead of us is one of the most difficult winters in terms of energy, not only for us, but also for all countries in the region, as well as in Europe. To make it easier to deal with what awaits us, for uninterrupted electricity supply, rational consumption and lower bills, we have prepared a plan and recommendations for saving electricity.

The measures are divided into several categories, depending on whether they are for households, companies or facilities, institutions and state-owned enterprises. The goal is to reduce consumption by 15 percent compared to the same month last year. If this goal is not achieved, in accordance with the code of ethics and all decrees, certain sanctions will follow for all heads of institutions, Bekteshi pointed out.

 

Turning off the decorative lighting on the facades of public buildings and cultural monuments, turning off light bulbs when there is enough daylight, in the cooling season the air conditioners should be set no lower than 27 degrees, and in the heating season no higher than 20 degrees, turning off the computers after work, to regularly change the filters of the heating units and air conditioners, to print only the necessary materials, to replace the windows with energy-efficient ones, are just some of the recommendations for state institutions.

The general director of AD ESM, Vasko Kovacevski, is expected to announce details of the measures at the press conference in the Government.



Will  electricity saving measures be effective?



Many skeptics believe that those measures will be minimal and negligible.
The fact that sufficient sources of energy and commodity reserves are not provided is stated as a bigger problem.

Many experts predict that the crisis will be related to the world crisis, which will be followed by a recession, and that winter will be the most crucial.

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THE STATE WILL SAVE ELECTRICITY

save electricity

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Accounting and Finance

THE STATE WILL SAVE ELECTRICITY

save electricity

ELECTRICITY
SAVINGS

 

Turning off the decorative lighting on the facades of public buildings and cultural monuments, turning off light bulbs when there is enough daylight, in the cooling season the air conditioners should be set no lower than 27 degrees, and in the heating season no higher than 20 degrees, turning off the computers after work, to regularly change the filters of the heating units and air conditioners, to print only the necessary materials, to replace the windows with energy-efficient ones, are just some of the recommendations for state institutions.

The government adopted measures to save electricity by up to 15 percent – recommendations are provided for households and companies, and specific duties for state institutions that must be respected, otherwise sanctions will follow.

As the Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi announced today, the measures will come into force on September 1 of this year, and will be valid until March 31, 2023.

– Ahead of us is one of the most difficult winters in terms of energy, not only for us, but also for all countries in the region, as well as in Europe. To make it easier to deal with what awaits us, for uninterrupted electricity supply, rational consumption and lower bills, we have prepared a plan and recommendations for saving electricity.

The measures are divided into several categories, depending on whether they are for households, companies or facilities, institutions and state-owned enterprises. The goal is to reduce consumption by 15 percent compared to the same month last year. If this goal is not achieved, in accordance with the code of ethics and all decrees, certain sanctions will follow for all heads of institutions, Bekteshi pointed out.

 

Turning off the decorative lighting on the facades of public buildings and cultural monuments, turning off light bulbs when there is enough daylight, in the cooling season the air conditioners should be set no lower than 27 degrees, and in the heating season no higher than 20 degrees, turning off the computers after work, to regularly change the filters of the heating units and air conditioners, to print only the necessary materials, to replace the windows with energy-efficient ones, are just some of the recommendations for state institutions.

The general director of AD ESM, Vasko Kovacevski, is expected to announce details of the measures at the press conference in the Government.

 

Will  electricity saving measures be effective?

 

Many skeptics believe that those measures will be minimal and negligible.
The fact that sufficient sources of energy and commodity reserves are not provided is stated as a bigger problem.

Many experts predict that the crisis will be related to the world crisis, which will be followed by a recession, and that winter will be the most crucial.

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Will there be power cuts? Read more

power cuts

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Accounting and Finance

Will there be power cuts? Read more

power cuts

POWER CUTS



In the production plan of JSC ESM, it is foreseen that the three blocks in REC Bitola will start functioning from November. This year, we will make an attempt not to do classic overhauls with stoppages of 30, 60 or 90 days, but to carry them out in periods when there will be a reduction in power, that is, space for rehabilitation, indicated today the general director of JSC ESM, Vasko Kovacevski, reports MIA .

He emphasized that all the employees are working and that overhaul activities are being carried out in REC Bitola and REC Oslomej, but, as he said, technological activities are also being carried out for rehabilitation and preparation of coal mining.

-Block 3 in REK Bitola is at a standstill due to a burnt transformer from external influence during December last year and the health condition. In progress, the existing transformer is being serviced in Belgrade, and the discharged transformer is being procured for the purchase of a transformer that has not been made for 40 years since the commissioning of REK Bitola.

We expect at the end of September or the beginning of October that one of the transformers will arrive and at the end of October we will be at full capacity with REK Bitola so that one of the units can undergo a short overhaul, Kovacevski said in response to a journalist’s question in today’s press -conference in the Government together with the Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi.

Then, from the beginning of November until April 30, while the heating season lasts, as he said, REC Bitola will be able to operate with three blocks, that is, with maximum capacity so we will avoid any power cuts.

– And REC Oslomej is currently at a standstill due to annual overhaul activities that will mean stability and continuous operation of the thermal power plant in the period from October 1 to the end of April next year. This is why additional purchases of coal are being made for REC Oslomej so that this important capacity for the reliability and stability of the energy system can work in full condition and with full production during the heating season, Kovacevski said.

He pointed out that AD ESM has reduced items in public procurement for non-productive costs or items that are not needed for this period and can be postponed for the coming years, worth about 50 million euros. – On that basis, this year, around 50 million euros will not be spent, which will indirectly be savings for the company and the state, because the priority in this period will be the direct production of electricity so that we do not end up in a situation where we have stoppages, i.e. purchases and purchase of electricity at significantly higher prices than the current ones, specifies Kovacevski.

Fears grow homes and small businesses will face winter power cuts



Fears are growing that homes and small businesses will face power cuts this winter as Ireland’s electricity system faces increased problems, including unreliable wind power and older generators.

Low wind and electricity imports, along with unexpected power-plant shutdowns, squeezed supplies on Tuesday, increasing the risk of a power cut.

National grid operator Eirgrid issued a system alert, confirming that the buffer between electricity supply and demand was lower “than optimum”, but stressing that there was no loss of power to customers.

It is understood the ongoing squeeze on electricity supplies has left senior Eirgrid figures pessimistic about getting through the winter without cutting electricity supplies to parts of the Republic when demand is high, known as “load shedding”.

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