Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in the FYR of Macedonia

What has been done:

The enabling environment for sustainable enterprises in the FYR of Macedonia was assessed through a careful review of secondary data, findings from a large national enterprise survey undertaken in FYR of Macedonia , in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with relevant stakeholders, and supplementary information from published and unpublished materials. The assessment produced a detailed identification of barriers that discourage investment, entrepreneurship, job creation and firm competitiveness.

In line with its mandate to contribute to the development of a conducive environment for enterprises in the FYR of Macedonia , the Organisation of Employers of Macedonia (OEM) and the Business Confederation of Macedonia (BCM) have called upon the ILO to assist the organisations to assess the current business environment in the country and to identify areas for improvement.  The information gathered through the assessment enables ILO constituents to identify priorities for the promotion of sustainable enterprises. For OEM and BCM, the analysis of the enabling environment provides an entry points for the development of policy positions and structured and evidence-based advocacy efforts. It is in this context that the two organizations have jointly developed a Strategic Policy Framework for Improved Business Climate for Sustainable Enterprises in Macedonia.

The Survey and its sample:

The EESE Enterprise Survey of FYR of Macedonia was conducted nationwide in 2013, with the aim of identifying and assessing business environment factors that affect business development and job creation in the country. The survey was conducted to investigate more in depth 5 key factors that affect the business environment. To undertake this work, the survey established sampling frames for formal businesses.The survey which comprised  in-depth interviews with a total of 170 top executives of Macedonian companies. The sample of companies covered sectors of particular importance for the Macedonian economy, most notably manufacturing, wholesale, construction, professional activities and other service activities. Regarding size, more than 85% of the sample were small enterprises (1-49 employees), with most of the remaining enterprises being equally split between medium-sized (50-249 employees) and larger enterprises (more than 250 employees).

The 2019 update

In 2019, within the project on Strengthening Social Dialogue 2019–2021 funded by the European Union, the tripartite constituents, through the Economic and Social Council (ESC), have requested the ILO its support to build their capacity in the area of the enabling environment to better shape the national economic and social reform agenda. As a first phase of the intervention, an update of the key constraints on the business environment that had been assessed in 2013 has been conducted, addressing the following aspects: where it has improved, where it has not, reforms that were implemented and whether they have led to positive changes. Based on the preliminary results of this update, a series of consultations were undertaken with the representatives from business associations, trade unions and government, with a view to agree on the focus to be given in further assessment and discussions within the ESC on key constraints on business environment, and formulation of a roadmap for further improvements in specific priorities agreed upon by the ESC. As a result of this process, an Update of the report on the key constraints on the business environment, available in English and Macedonian, was produced.

On the request of the Economic and Social Council, the constraints identified in the report were further detailed in three policy proposals on entrepreneurial culture, access to finance, and the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The documents were endorsed by the Council in May 2021, with a promise that they will be considered in the policy development process.