Economic and Commercial Brief – Macedonia Economic and Commercial Brief – Macedonia

Embassy of India

Sofia

Economic and Commercial brief of Macedonia

Macedonia emerged as an independent country in January 1992, having formerly been a part of Yugoslavia.  India was one of the 40 co-sponsors of the Resolution in the UN General Assembly for its admission into the UN under the provisional name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), although bilaterally we subsequently agreed to use the name Republic of Macedonia. However, a dispute with Greece over it name hampered Macedonia’s entry into the EU and NATO, with Greece stalling its accession to both. The decades long name dispute is now nearing resolution with an agreement reached with Greece this year to change the name of Macedonia to North Macedonia.  Domestic processes are underway in Macedonia to amend the Constitution to rename the name as North Macedonia. If successful, these should be completed by January 2019, following which the Greek Parliament will accept the revised nomenclature, paving the way for Macedonia's entry into NATO and eventually the EU. 

            Macedonia has introduced a ONE-STOP-SHOP SYSTEM for company registration that significantly reduces administrative barriers and start-up costs. Macedonia is current ranked 10 in the Ease of Doing Business Index.

Trade

The following table shows the bilateral trade of India and Macedonia during the last few years:


  Year

India’s Exports to Macedonia (in US$ millions)

India’ s Imports from Macedonia (in US$ millions)

Total Bilateral Trade  (in US$ million)

2013-2014

10.79

19.92

30.71

2014-2015

14.51

9.05

23.56

2015-2016

12.87

7.08

19.95

2016-2017

14.88

24.13

39.01

2017-2018

17.38

46.61

63.99

April 2018-Sep 2018

9.38

14.40

23.78

(Source:Ministry of Commerce and Industry, New Delhi)

Main items of Indian exports to Macedonia are: cotton yarn; sesamum seeds; coffee raw and decaffeinated; tractors; plastics, sheets, film, foil, strip of non-cellular plastics, not reinforced, laminated, supported or similarly combined with other materials; medicaments, consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses; ferrosilicon manganese; tobacco, partly or wholly stemmed or stripped otherwise unmanufactured; antibiotics; heterocyclic compounds with nitrogen heteroatoms only, etc.

Main items of Macedonian exports to India are: ferro-nickel; oil seeds; wood, sawn or chipped lengthwise, sliced or peeled, whether or not planed, sanded or end-jointed; paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, coated, impregnated, covered, surface-coloured; prepared foods obtained from unroasted cereal flakes; electrical capacitators, fixed, variable, or adjustable “pre-set”.

Investments

Macedonia got EU candidate status in December 2005 and is entitled to duty-free exports to EU member-countries. This has enhanced its attractiveness as a potential launching pad for the EU market. It has low profit tax and low income tax of 10% and zero tax on reinvested profit.

Indian investments in Macedonia are limited but show an upward trend. In 2004, Arcelor Mittal took over Balkan Steel and later also bought the state-owned shares, amounting to 90% of the ownership. However, though Arcelor Mittal is owned by a PIO, it is a Europe-based company based in Luxembourg.

A subsidiary of Bang Overseas Ltd., Mumbai, (Bang & Scott DOO, Macedonia) was incorporated in September 2011. The company is into trading of fabrics and garment manufacturing.

An Indian Company, BGR Group signed an agreement on 12 January 2016  to invest € 31 million to set up facility to manufacture stainless steel kitchenware for export.

Another Indian company, Indus Medika Laboratory, Mumbai, has made the biggest investment this year of € 3 million in Macedonia to set up a high-tech laboratory in Skopje, the first of its kind in Macedonia. The laboratory was inaugurated by Ambassador Ms. Pooja Kapur in the presence of Macedonian Minister for Investment and Deputy Health Minister.

Visits

Honourable Minister of State for Textiles Shri Ajay Tamta visited Macedonia on 6-8 May 2018.  During the visit, he held discussions with Macedonian Minister of Economy Mr. Kreshnik Bekteshi and the Textiles cluster of Macedonia. During the meetings, both sides agreed on the enormous potential to expand Macedonia-India economic relations. In the Textiles sector, setting up cultivation of fiber and fabric production facilities in Macedonia by Indian companies and cooperation in skill development and disposal of textile waste were identified as areas with great potential.  Apart from Textiles, Information Technology, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, tourism, film making and creative industries were identified as possible sectors for cooperation where Indian and Macedonian companies find exciting opportunities to invest and partner in each other’s’ countries. Hon. MOS visited Textiles manufacturing facility (Okite-Tex Macedonia) and food processing facility (Bonum Macedonia) during the visit.

            Several Macedonian delegations have visited India including Prime Minister Gruevski paying a 6-day visit to India from 11-17 January 2015 to attend the Vibrant Gujarat [VGS] Summit in Gandhinagar, the CII-Partnership Summit in Jaipur and to address business fora in Chennai and Kolkata. He met Prime Minister Modi on the VGS sidelines and discussed ways to bolster business cooperation.

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December 2018