Economic and Commercial Brief - North Macedonia Economic and Commercial Brief - North Macedonia


Economic and Commercial brief of North 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). At the request of the Macedonian leadership that Government of India use their Constitutional name (Republic of Macedonia) instead of the provisional name of FYROM, Government of India decided in August 2001 that the constitutional name would be used in bilateral communications whereas FYROM would continue to be used in multilateral fora.


The country is now renamed as Republic of North Macedonia after it changed its name w.e.f. 14 February 2019 following resolution of name dispute with Greece. Hence all the references to the country’s name before 14 February 2019 are as Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia while those thereafter are as North Macedonia.

The country 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 between the two countries 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-December 2018

14.28

15.86

30.14

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

Main items of Indian exports to North 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 North 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 the country 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 last 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.


March 2019