International retailers such as Zara & Carrefour will open their outlets to Macedonian consumers in a newly unveiled shopping and entertainment mall in Skopje.

Skopje City Mall will be the home to several international brands amongst the 130 retailers to be housed in the €70m mall that was financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Commenting on the new retail destination in the country, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski thanked the European financial body for identifying the benefits of the mall and investing in it to make it a reality.

"Our country is really growing into one of Europe’s centres for investment and development and many companies are interested in investing their capital in the Macedonian economy," added Gruevski.

EBRD provided a €18.9m loan to mall developer Balfin MK, a joint ownership of Albanian commercial real estate developer Balfin and Macedonian fashion retailer FASHION GROUP.

EBRD Director for Property and Tourism Claudia Pendred remarked that the investment was a first for the bank in the Macedonian retail sector.

"We are pleased to have supported this important project for Skopje at a time when commercial debt financing remains limited and to have encouraged higher energy efficiency standards in the Macedonian retail sector," said Pendred.

The mall, with a total retail space of 86,000m2 across three levels is located three kilometres west of Skopje city centre and will also house a movie theatre Cineplexx besides German and American retailers.

Skopje City Mall shopping mall manager concluded, "This state-of-the-art €70 million shopping mall is a new landmark which paves the way for future internal and overseas investment and promotes confidence in the future of the Macedonian economy."