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Sweden & North Macedonia

Introductory information to companies

Introductory information for business and interested in investing in North Macedonia

  • April 2001, Macedonia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement with EU in Luxembourg
  • November 9, 2005 the European Commission recommended Macedonia to become candidate state
  • December 17, 2005 Macedonia is officially recognized as an EU candidate state
  • On 14 February 2019, following  the entry into force of the Prespa Agreement with Greece,  the official name of the country changed to Republic of North Macedonia, or its short version, North Macedonia.

Infrastructure and Communications

  • North Macedonia is a landlocked country, strategically positioned at the two major pan-European transportation corridors (corridor VIII and X), linking Central Europe to the Adriatic, Aegean and Black Sea. North Macedonia's immediate neighborhood provides an actual and potential consumer market of about 30 million people. As a whole, South Eastern Europe is a market of over 80 million persons.
  • North Macedonia has two international airports, in Skopje and Ohrid. Since 2010 the airports are awarded under 20-year concession to the Turkish airport operator TAV. Direct flights from North Macedonia to Sweden are introduced by Wizzair.
  • The railway network extends over 900 km. The rail system is still state owned but in 2007 the railways company was split into two separate entities (infrastructure and rolling stock), as a preparatory step for privatization. Both network and rolling stock are in serious need of investment for it to reach western standards.
  • The Mobile networks cover up to 99% of the population. The mobile market penetration rate is about 100% of the population

Trade Agreements

North Macedonia is a signatory of three multilateral Free Trade Agreements:

  • SAA - (Stabilization and Association Agreement) with the EU member-states;
  • EFTA - (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) and
  • CEFTA - (North Macedonia, Albania, Moldova, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo).

In addition to the multilateral, North Macedonia has also signed two bilateral Free Trade Agreements:

  • Bilateral Free Trade Agreement with Turkey and
  • Bilateral Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine

These agreements enable duty free access to more than 650 million consumers.

North Macedonia has also been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2003.

Starting 1st July North Macedonia officially became signatory of the Single Transit System of the European Union. Consequently, the electronic transit declaration procedure started at any country signatory of the Convention on a common transit procedure is acceptable for all other countries signatories of the Convention. This simplifies formalities in trade and transport with goods, in extended region where all 28 Member States, four EFTA member countries (Norway, Island, Switzerland and Lichtenstein) and Turkey are members.

Banking system

  • The National Bank is an independent institution, the sole money-issuer, whose main objective is to maintain price stability. The National Bank is responsible for the stability of the national currency (North Macedonia Denar, MKD). It maintains a stable exchange rate by pegging the Denar to the Euro and keeping inflation low. It regulates general liquidity of the banking system, liquidity in the payment system as well as the implementation of monetary policy. The Central Bank serves also as the main regulatory body responsible for the supervision of all banking institutions.
  • The Governor of the National Bank is appointed by the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia, on a proposal of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia. The current Governor of the NBRM is Anita Angelovska Bezhovska Bogov, since May 22, 2018.
  • The banking system itself consists of 18 universal banks and 8 saving houses, regulated by the Banking Law. Banks have high levels of liquidity, a satisfactory level of capitalization, and higher efficiency and profitability, with a relatively low level of intermediation.
  • The three largest banks - Komercijalna Banka AD Skopje[1], Stopanska Banka AD Skopje (National Bank of Greece is the main shareholder) and NLB AD Skopje (NLB Ljubljana is the main shareholder) dominate the banking system, holding together more than 60% of the net assets of the banking system.

Free Trade Zones

There are four major designated Free Trade Zones in North Macedonia: Skopje 1 (Bunardzik) and Skopje 2 - an area north of Skopje; an area in the city of Shtip; and an area in the city of Tetovo.

  • Investors in technology and industrial zones can benefit from tax holidays for up to 10 years for profit tax and personal income tax for the employees, VAT and custom duties exemptions and other incentives.
  • The land in Free Trade Zones may be leased to foreign investors for a period of up to 99 years.
  • The Constitution of North Macedonia guarantees the free transfer and repatriation of investment capital and profits. By law, foreign investors are entitled to transfer profits and income, subject to having registered their direct investments and paid all legal obligations relating to taxes and social insurance contributions.
  • In accordance with the Constitution of North Macedonia, the investor's right to property is guaranteed.

There is no single law regulating foreign investment. Rather, the legal framework applicable to foreign investors is made up of various laws, including: the Companies Law, Security Law, Profit Tax Law, Personal Income Tax Law, Law on Value Added Tax, Foreign Trade Law, Law on Takeovers, Law on Foreign Exchange, Law on Investment Funds, Banking Law, Law on Supervision of Insurance, Audit Law etc.

Contact person at the Embassy of Sweden in Skopje:

Jana Gjorgjinska, Promotion and Communications Officer E-mail: jana.gjorgjinska@gov.se Phone no: +389 (0)2 32 97 815 Mob. phone no: +389 (0)75 246430

[1] East Capital Explorer AB invests in Komercijalna Banka. Initial investment capital amounted 12 million Euro.

Last updated 06 Apr 2022, 1.14 PM