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Macedonia

Basic Information

Area: 25,713 km2

Calling code: +389

Population: 2,055,004

Official Language: Macedonian

Time zone: CET (UTC+1), Local time: 10:30

Overview

Macedonia is situated at the crossroads of South Eastern Europe, bordering Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo and Serbia. It’s territory covers 25,433 square kilometres of land, with an estimated population in 2011 of 2.077,328 with 66.5% speaking the official language Macedonian, 25.1% speaking Albanian and the remainder Turlish, Serbian and Roma. It’s location making it ideal as a centre for European trade from a logistics and distribution point of view. Skopje is it’s economic, political,cultural and academic capital.

Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 to become the thriving republic that it is today. It became a member of the UN in 1993 and in 2001, Macedonia became the first South Eastern European country to sign the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union and is currently a candidate for accession to the EU itself and has also has entered negotiations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to become a NATO member.

Economy

There are plenty of excellent investment opportunities in Macedonia with the public Investment Programme 2009-2011 providing backing to over 90 ongoing projects worth over €2.4 million.
The sectors of logistics, water, public services, environmental technologies, education, science and health offer excellent investment opportunities and the energy sector being a key priority with 70% of Macedonia’s hydro-potential open for investment. Foreign investors are entitled to own construction land.
In the last five years Macedonia has seen a steady growth in GDP of approx. 5% and has a low inflation rate at 2.5%.
Main sector of business include automotive, pharmaceuticals, ICT and food and drink production.
International companies already with a presence in Macedonia include EVN, Mobilkom Austria, Societe Generale T-Home, The National Bank of Greece, Hellenic Bottling Company S.A., Titan Group, Mittal Steel, Duferco, Johnson Matthey, QBE Insurance Group Limited, Johnson Controls.

Infrastructure

Macedonia has 14 airports across the country, ten of which have paved runways. Skopje and Ohrid being the International airports connecting Macedonia with several major European cities. Across the borders can be found the regional airports in Belgrade, Sofia and Thessaloniki which are all within a few hours drive, so these can be used too.

Macedonia’s railways stretch for some 699 km. An international train connects Ljubljana, Slovenia and Thessaloniki, Greece by way of Macedonia which operates twice a day.
Two major Pan-European transport corridors pass through the country and there is easy access to the neighbouring ports of Thessalonica, (100 km from the border) and Durres, (150 km from the border.)
The republic enjoys a modern digital telecommunications infrastructure.

Workforce

Macedonia benefits from well educated, qualified and available workforce with the average monthly salary approximately €430. The education system is similar to that of Western Europe enjoying excellent higher education facilities. The majority of the Macedonian workforce speak English fluently however the Macedonian Government has implemented training schemes to assist investors with recruitment.
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