Macedonia Market Opportunities

Macedonia Market Opportunities

Macedonia’s economy shrank by 4.5% in 2020. The gross domestic product in 2020 was still positive in the first quarter, but it was already marked by the beginning of the pandemic, so its value was only 0.9%.

This was followed by a continuous decline due to covid-19 of 14.9% in the second quarter, when the situation was the worst in the country. This was followed by a softening of the decline (3.3%) in the third quarter and a further decline of 0.7% in the fourth quarter, which already indicates the starting stabilization of the economy.

The government of North Macedonia has set the budget deficit for 2021 at 4.9% of annual GDP (€56 million), following a deficit of 8.49% of GDP in 2020. The 2021 budget is aimed at supporting economic stability, accelerating GDP growth and long-term fiscal consolidation. The deficit will be financed by borrowing on the local and foreign markets, of which EUR 275 million will be raised on the domestic market.

In an effort to mitigate the impact on the economy of North Macedonia, the government implemented anti-crisis measures in five separate phases. So far, the government has invested a total of over EUR 1 billion (approximately 9% of GDP) in supporting the economy. The first two sets of measures, implemented between March and May 2020, mitigated the impact of the crisis on the economy. The other packages are focused on revitalization, economic recovery, consumption stimulation and industrial production.

Measures taken included: paying minimum wages to workers in companies affected by covid-19; exemption from paying income tax (companies and self-employed persons); providing interest-free loans (€3,000 to €90,000 per company with a six-month grace period and two-year repayment) and soft loans (with an interest rate of 1.5%) through the Development Bank of North Macedonia; a VAT refund for the purchase of domestic products and a reduction of VAT on the products and services of artisans and restaurants.

So far in 2020, the Central Bank has reduced its interest rate three times (from 2.25 to 1.5%). It also allowed banks to change loan terms faster and through more straightforward procedures, as well as extending the time for classifying a non-performing loan from 90 to 150 days. In addition, the central bank entered into an agreement with the European Central Bank to repurchase bonds in the amount of EUR 400 million in order to provide liquidity in euros to the country’s financial sector. This agreement will be valid until at least June 2021.

International institutions are helping to finance additional costs due to the pandemic. Financial assistance from the EU was EUR 160 million, while it was EUR 17 million from the IMF using the Rapid Financing Facility.

Post-COVID-19 opportunities for foreign exporters

Energy industry

According to allcountrylist, North Macedonia is working to accelerate the pace of the green energy transition. Replacing coal with natural gas and reducing carbon emissions by 2040 is in line with the country’s latest energy development strategy. To this end, the government has adopted a loan package of EUR 80.5 million for energy projects and a grant of EUR million for studies on the feasibility and environmental impact and social aspects of green energy projects.

In recent years, there have also been intensive investments in the gasification of the country, and coal-fired power plants are being converted to gas and solar. Among the interesting projects for the coming years are the rebuilding of the REK Bitola and Oslomej coal-fired power plants, as well as the planned construction of a wind park in Bogdanac.

Water management and waste industry

Approximately 35% of households in Macedonia are not connected to sewerage. Most pollution is caused by untreated sewage in urban areas. Officially, there are 24 wastewater treatment plants, which represent 24.5% of the required capacity. All untreated wastewater is discharged into rivers. At the same time, approximately 99.6% of untreated industrial wastewater is also discharged into waterways.

The EU mostly financed the construction and renovation of water infrastructure. Since 2018, the EU has financed wastewater treatment plants in Prilep, Radoviš, Strumica and Kičevo. The EU intends to continue funding other wastewater treatment projects in North Macedonia.

Projects in Bitola and Tetovo are to be launched soon. Their financial coverage is prepared through IPA II projects. At the same time, technical documentation has already been created for treatment plants in the municipalities of Veles and Štip, where the prerequisite for the possible success of Czech companies in these projects (as well as in other sectors) is the ability to draw on and share experience in the use and drawing of EU / IPA II funds. This is certainly one of the very interesting opportunities for Czech companies.

Rail and rail transport

The railway infrastructure in North Macedonia is in a bad state. The European Union has promised help and is committed to financing projects to build and modernize the railway lines Kičevo on the border with Albania and Kumanovo on the border with Bulgaria. Project financing will be covered by 37% from the EU and 63% from state sources.

Projects include railway track, earthing, tunnels, bridges, overpasses, retaining walls, service areas, railway stations, electrification, installation of telecommunications equipment and signaling. The conceptual design of the solution for the railway is drawn up and tenders for construction contractors are being launched. Construction is expected to begin in 2021 and be completed by the end of 2025.


Practical telephone numbers (emergency services, police, firemen, information lines, etc.)

Dialing code: + 389 (North Macedonia)

Police 192

Firemen 193

Emergency room 194

Emergency services 195

Information and Warning Service 1985

Road Service AMSМ 196

Towing service in Skopje + 389 70 219 411, +389 77 400 404

Skopje Central Station +389 23 248 701

Skopje Airport +389 23 148 333

Skopje Bus Station +389 22 466 313, 466 011, 402 385.

Important web links and contacts

the official website of the Government of North Macedonia,

official website of the city of Skopje,

official website of the Tourism Organization of North Macedonia,

Skopje Airport,

buses Skopje,

State Statistical Office,

National Bank (Main menu – Statistics – External Statistics – Foreign Trade),

public revenue administration,

customs administration,

Macedonian Stock Exchange,

Securities Commission,

Ministry of Finance,

North Macedonia Free Zone,

Ministry of Economy,

Directorate of Technological Industrial Zones – Дирекция за технология источник девушкани зони

Hive. “Partizanski Odred” 2, 1000 Skopje Tel: +389(2) 3111-166 Fax: +389(2) 3111-177

Chamber of Commerce – Stopanska komora na Severna Makedonija

Hive. Dimitrie Chupovski 13, Skopje Tel.+389 23244000 Fax.+389 23244088 web: Macedonian Chamber of Commerce Ul. “Crvena Skopska Opshtina” Br: 10 1000 Skopje

Macedonia Market Opportunities