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Dec 19, 2007 15:39 EEST
December 19 (SeeNews) - Foreign direct investments (FDI) in Macedonia for the first nine months of the year totalled $116.6 million (80.96 million euro), central bank statistics showed on Wednesday.
No comparative figures are available because the central bank, the NBRM, has only issued FDI statistics on monthly basis and provided no cumulative data so far.
FDI in the country of some two million people almost tripled to $344.8 million last year, mainly due to the sale of 90% of the country's power distributor ESM to Austria's EVN for 225 million euro.
Macedonia's conservative government, which took office in August 2006, has pledged to speed up the country's economic growth above the four percent average annual rate that has been reported since 2004, at the same time maintaining a narrow budget deficit and reducing unemployment.
The ex-Yugoslav republic received European Union candidate status in 2005. It is one of the poorest countries in Europe, with a gross domestic product per capita of around $2,300.
Macedonia hopes to increase the share of FDI in gross domestic product (GDP) to four percent by 2009 from below one percent in 2006.
($ = 0.945 euro)
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