28 December 2011

Macedonia's trade exchange with Middle East, Maghreb countries without strategy

Macedonia's foreign trade exchange with countries in the Middle East and Maghreb is occurring incidentally, without a general strategy. Companies' attempts to bolster it are still hampered by unestablished preferential trade, visa regime, complex and expensive procedure for document verification and the lack of diplomatic and consular offices. Modest bilateral regulation is also seen as a problem, it was concluded at a news conference Monday at the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.
Country's total exchange with Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Morocco, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia and Libya in the period between January and October 2011 stood at 50.7 million US dollars, out of which $15.6 million were accumulated by export and 34.9 million by import. Trade deficit is $19.3 million, while import-export coverage is 44.4%.
Ljubica Nuri of the Economic Chamber said that the Arab Spring did not significantly affect trade exchange, which was boosted with Algeria and Tunisia, but hugely reduced with Libya.
Macedonia in Middle East and Maghreb countries primarily exports agricultural and food products (33.3%) and iron and steel products (39.1%). The import balance includes household products, electronic devices and equipment (26.6%), construction materials (19.8%), petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (12.9%) as well as agricultural and food produces (7.7%)."
Macedonian companies can increase their competitiveness on markets in the Middle East with Halal certification not only of products, but also of services," Nuri stated.Economic Chamber data suggest that this year a foreign-trade surplus has been realised with Iraq, Lebanon, UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and Tunisia, while trade deficit has occurred with Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Israel, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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