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Macedonia's Credit Rating Improves On Stable Outlook
In an upbeat news Standard and Poor's (S&P) upgraded Macedonia's credit rating from BB-negative to BB-stable in September 2009 and now Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCR) also upgraded it to BB+ with stable outlook.
By: Anita Bhel
The level of Forex reserves have also improved (Ref: Macedonian Information Centre). The importance of this credit rating is essential not only for foreign investments in the country but also brings a lower interest for borrowing money from other countries. Since the country has a lower external debt, it had a lower impact of the recent econimic and credit crisis. On the other hand Fitch has revised Macedonia's credit outlook to stable from positive citing account deficit and political setbacks.
The Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo, Serbia , Bulgaria, Greece and Albania located in the the central Balkan peninsula. The terrain is mostly rugged and has several scenic mountains. The weather varies from Mediterranean to continental. Since independence Macedonia has experienced a substantial economic reform. Government is taking significant steps to promote Medium and Small-sized Enterprises backed by a friendly tax system. Although the unemployment still remains high, the country is gradually recovering.
Textiles is the biggest sector for foreign and makes more than 50% of total exports. Tourism is also an important sector with about 700,000 tourists visiting Macedonia every year. Macedonia got its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Current population of the country is little over 2 million people. GDP has been generally rising each year since 2000.
Macedonia has maintained macroeconomic stability with low inflation, but it has so far lagged the region in attracting foreign investment and creating jobs, despite making extensive fiscal and business sector reforms. Agriculture and industry have been the two most important sectors of the economy in the past, but the services sector has gained prominence in recent years. Without adequate job opportunities, many with the best skills seek employment abroad.
Prepared by Anita Bhel
In collaboration with Saching (http://www.saching.com)