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The Buzz in North Macedonia: An Interview with Aleksandar Kchev of Bona Fide Law Firm

The Buzz in North Macedonia: An Interview with Aleksandar Kchev of Bona Fide Law Firm

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While relatively slow on certain fronts, the North Macedonian Government seems focused on economic growth according to Aleksandar Kchev, Partner at Bona Fide Law Firm, with the country's IT industry and renewables sector seeing some notable movement. 

“Business in North Macedonia in many ways depends on the political atmosphere in the country and having a stable government, considering that the most substantial projects in areas such as infrastructure, sustainable energy, etc., need constant the follow-up from different authorities,” begins Kchev. “Considering the tight majority of seats in the Parliament, the Government seems to have many delays in adopting new, and changing current, legislation to facilitate and run its economic agenda, but also in adopting certain laws that could have sped up the process of immunization of citizens against COVID-19.”

Kchev says that now, with the pandemic weakening, the Government plans to focus on economic growth and development, mainly via public and private investments in sectors such as energy, environment, waste management, public health, and the like. “The economy will also be influenced by what the Government does in lieu of aiding businesses, especially with pandemic shell-shock being present.” 

Turning to legislative updates, Kchev reports that “several changes have been adopted in terms of environmental law and waste treatment law that straightened the legal framework to be considered by anyone entering a process of licensing and that, in general, will provide clearer interpretations for any future foreign investors.” At the same time, he says that the government has adopted special legislation that allows for obtaining North Macedonian citizenship quickly via an investment program. “This is a program with which the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development determines the economic interest for citizenship. It makes foreigners that have invested capital in the amount of at least EUR 200,000 in a private investment fund eligible to apply for citizenship.” 

Finally, turning more to the economic reality itself, Kchev says that the North Macedonian economy was in a ‘stand-by’ mode due to the pandemic. “However, a more aggressive approach was noticeable by companies coming from stronger economies within the broader region that entered into acquisitions of Macedonian companies, especially those placed within the IT industry,” he says. As an example, Kchev points Payten, belonging to Asseco South Eastern Europe acquiring Grouper, a local e-commerce startup.

However, Kchev underlines the sustainable energy sector as the one with “the most crucial developments planned with several projects to be completed or in their final stages. For example, Germany-based WPD struck a deal to construct a 400 megawatt wind power plan plant," with Kchev also mentioning a procedure that has recently been completed for a 30 megawatt wind farm in Bogdanci – a project by Energo Systems Slovenia and Austria, worth EUR 50 million.

North Macedonian Knowledge Partner

ODI is a leading regional law firm in the CEE with offices in Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and North Macedonia. The firm’s regional presence enables it to provide coordinated and seamless high-quality legal advice on projects across multiple jurisdictions or in a single location. The firm draws on the knowledge and experience of its locally and internationally trained lawyers advising on a broad range of matters, including banking & finance, competition, real estate, corporate / M&A, dispute resolution, employment and benefits, intellectual property, privacy and data protection, regulatory and administrative, restructuring and insolvency and tax.

The firm’s principal objective is to create value for clients by streamlining in-depth knowledge and experience in a particular industry. The firm has extensive experience in acting for clients on M&A transactions, with lawyers advising large multinational corporations, sponsors and lenders on all aspects of acquisitions. The firm’s lawyers are fully versed in conducting legal due diligence, transactional support, acquisition strategy and drafting and negotiating transaction documents in an M&A transaction. They take a commercial approach to how they handle transactions and deliver legal advice. The firm focuses on delivering services in a practical and timely way, while also focusing on what is required to move to the next stage of the transaction.

ODI’s North Macedonia office focuses on complex and high value domestic and multi-jurisdictional deals. Leading global companies and financial institutions particularly value the expertise of our Macedonian lawyers in competition, corporate / M&A, dispute resolution, employment and benefits and privacy and data protection matters.

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