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Greek Business in FYROM is Flourishing

March 13, 2012

By Christos Telidis

Translated from the Greek Original, Ethnos, 18.02.2012

In the last 10 months the investments and real estate has been on the rise.

More and more Greek investors, increased in the last 10 months, are transferring their businesses in regions of southern FYROM, according to the media of the country.

The regions they prefer are above all Bitola (Manastiri), Stumitsa, Doiran, Gevgelia and others, and the investments concern the fields of construction, foodstuffs, agriculture, cloth-making, and real estate.

The taxation, that does not surpass 10% on the profit of a business in the main motive, while FYROM, although since last year has been included by Greece in a list of 45 countries considered non-cooperative on matters of taxation and customs, despite this and following pressure from Greek businessmen, these last are handled in a priviledged manner by the Greek Ministry of Finance.

Exception

As far as the list of non-cooperative countries is concerned, the provision is that the costs for the buying of goods or services are not recognised [by Greece] so that they be reducted from the mixed income of a company or from the taxable income.

However for FYROM there is an exception. The Ministry of Finance of Greece gives the possibility to businesses that work with companies based in non-cooperative countries (as is FYROM) to prove the existence of a real and habitual exchange, so that the relative expenses be recognised, as is the case with similar expenses that are effectuated with countries that have a privileged tax regime.

Greek businessmen that have invested in FYROM for many years underline the problems of fluidity that they face in this country, while the crisis in Greece but also in FYROM has consequences on the functioning of their companies.

However the limited taxation of enterprises in FYROM at a level of 10%; compared to 45% in Greece, is an important advantage. And as it seems a motive for ever more companies from Greece to start investing in the neighbouring country, in areas near the Greek frontier, after a long period of stagnation.

What is also notable is the possibility of foreign investors to transfer their profits from FYROM with no limitations and the sum of this for 2010 – in its totality – was over 100 mil. Euros.

Largest Greek Companies in FYROM, according to the Euro Business Center-Skopje

It must be noted that the number of Greek investors in FYROM in the last 20 years is more than 300 and the sum of Greek investments more than one billion Euros. According to the latest data of Euro Business Center-Skopje, among the 200 largest businesses in FYROM for 2010 10 Greek ones are to be found, offering about 20,000 work posts in the neighbouring country.

Octa Refinery near Skopje

The biggest company on the list of 200 enterprises is a branch of the Greek Petroleum Group, OCTA AD-SKOPJE, with a total of income for 2010 of 511 mil. Euros, but with profits of just 2.1 mil. Euros. On the contrary the first in profits among Greek companies in 2010 was the beer industry PIVAR SKOPJE with profits of 11,732,000 Euros.

Reconstruction and Tissue in Bitola

In Bitola, according to the present mayor Vladimir Talevski, Greek businessmen have lately bought lands in the industrial zone of Zabeni, with a purpose to erect industrial units in the sectors of construction, metal and wood. He also mentioned that Greek businessmen that have so far invested in the region, work in the thread and tissue industries, and the industrial units of this kind are abundant in the region.

Five-Start Projects in Doïran

 In the region of Doïran, according to the Mayor Gligor Cabulev, approximately two dozen Greek businessmen are active in the area, while lately there is an interest for the creation of Hotel units, something that is held up by the fact that the town-planning project has not et been approved.

Three new factories in Stumica

In the Strumica area, near the frontier with Bulgaria, it is calculated that the businesses of Greek origin are more than forty, while at this moment the approval for the construction of three new factories of Greek investors is pending. According to the mayor of Strumica, Zoran Zaev, the region is attractive to Greek investors in the sectors of processing of agricultural products and the food industry, thread and cloth manufacture, chemical industries, household products etc. Two of the new factories under construction in the area belong to Greeks, while one of the reasons that Strumica has a lower unemployment than the rest of the country, according to the mayor Z. Zaev, has to do with foreign investment, part of which comes from Greeks.

8 mil. Profits for Veropoulos

Interior of the new Vero Mall in Skopje (source: scyscrapercity.com, where more images are available)

One of the Greek companies that entered FYROM at the beginning of the previous decade and continuously enlarges its presence in the neighbouring country is the super-market chain Veropoulos. Its investments for 2010 were 54,478,080 Euros, its net profit 6,008,84 Euros and close to 8 mil. for 2011. In FYROM there are 9 braches of the super-market and two more in the city of Skopje are almost built.

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3 Comments
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