About Us India - Macedonia Bilateral Relation

Bilateral Political Relations
India was one of the 40 co-sponsors of the Resolution in the UNGA for the admission of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [FYROM]. India established Diplomatic and Consular relations with FYROM on February 9, 1995. India now refers to the country as the Republic of Macedonia in bilateral communications.

The Indian Embassy in Bulgaria is concurrently accredited to Macedonia. In 2006, the Government of Macedonia appointed an Indian businessman in New Delhi as its Honorary Consul before proceeding to open a full-fledged Embassy in New Delhi on October 7, 2008.

The Government of India appointed an Honorary Consul to Macedonia in 2008. Currently, the post of Honorary Consul to Macedonia is lying vacant. The Macedonian government appointed an Honorary Consul in Kolkata in 2009 as a follow-up of the Macedonian FM's visit. Macedonia has subsequently appointed Honorary Consuls in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

Macedonian PM Gruevski accompanied by the Dy. PM and Finance Minister and the Minister of Foreign Investments visited India during 11-17 January 2015 for the Vibrant Gujarat and CII-Partnership Summits. Earlier, the same delegation visited India from March 5-8, 2012 to showcase the investment and business opportunities in Macedonia to Indian investors.

In continuation of the Macedonian PM's 2012 visit, Dy. PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski, accompanied by the Ministers of Information Society & Administration and Foreign Investments and Director of Technological Industrial Development Zones, visited India in October 2012 on a visit and gave a presentation on benefits Macedonia offered to investors in six Indian cities.

President of the Macedonian National Assembly Trajko Veljanoski led a Parliamentary delegation on an official visit to India from 5-8 March 2013. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki visited New Delhi and Agra on 16 & 17 December 2013 and met the External Affairs Minister. The two Ministers agreed that the bilateral political relations set solid foundation for strengthening the economic cooperation. A Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and an MoU on Cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute of Ministry of External Affairs were signed.

Minister of State for External Affairs, Smt. Preneet Kaur, accompanied by a business delegation of the CII, visited Macedonia on 10-11 July 2012 and met FM Nikola Poposki, Dy. PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavrevski and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and former FM, Antonio Milososki. The talks focussed on potential for improving the bilateral cooperation between the two countries including economy, culture and education & science.

Important Bilateral Treaties and Agreements
(a) Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was signed on

17 March 2008.

(b) Agreement on the Mutual exemption of visa requirements for holders of Diplomatic passports was signed during the visit of Macedonian FM to India in January, 2009. The Agreement came into force on 15 May, 2010.

(c) Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation was signed on 17.12.2013.

(d) MoU on Cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute of Ministry of External Affairs was signed on 17 December 2013.

Commercial and Economic Relations
The bilateral trade turnover between the two countries was US$ 39.02 million in 2016 (Indian exports-US$ 14.88 million and Indian imports – US$ 24.13 million). The Trade volume has been fluctuating. The following table shows the bilateral trade during the last five years:

(in US$ Millions)

Year

India’s Exports to Macedonia

India’s Imports from Macedonia

Total Bilateral Trade

2012

9.12

22.94

32.06

2013

10.79

19.92

30.70

2014

14.51

9.05

23.56

2015

12.87

7.08

19.95

2016

14.88

24.13

39.02


(Source: Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, GOI)

Main items of Indian exports to Macedonia are: gas oils of petroleum or bituminous minerals; agricultural & forestry tractors; partly or wholly stemmed pre-stripped flue-cured tobacco, coffee; sesamum seeds; single cotton yarn of combed fibres; medicaments; plates, sheets, film, foil & strip of non-cellular polymers of propylene; pneumatic elevators & conveyors etc.

Main items of Macedonian exports to India are: ferro-alloys, marble and travertine, electrical machinery & equipment and plastics.

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. A subsidiary of Bang Overseas Ltd., Mumbai, (Bang & Scott DOO, Macedonia) was incorporated in September 2011. The company is into trading of fabrics and garments manufacturing. In 2013, Sahara Group announced its intention to build the ‘Saharayan Makeeduniya’ Complex at the Ohrid Lake shore and an integrated dairy, animal husbandry and allied agriculture farm. However, Sahara’s projects do not seem to have progressed as envisaged due to various factors. On 12 January 2016, an agreement between Macedonia's Government and Indian metal products manufacturer BRG Group on the latter’s investment of EUR 31 million in restarting of former 'Porcelanka' factory was signed. The project with a potential for creating 1,000 jobs would manufacture steel kitchenware for export.

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, low income tax and zero tax on reinvested profit. Macedonia's geographic location, fiscal and business sector reforms offer opportunities for Indian companies to invest and sell in Macedonia. A rapidly growing Indian economy also offers Macedonian companies substantive opportunities for trade and investment in India.

Cooperation under ITEC and PCFD Programmes
Government of India offers scholarships under ITEC programme to Macedonia. Macedonian diplomats participate in the Professional Course for foreign diplomats organized by the Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi from time to time.

Cultural Relations and people to people contacts
Macedonians evince keen interest in Indian culture. The first International Yoga Day was celebrated on 21 June 2015 in Skopje and was widely covered in the local media. The second International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Skopje at the City Hall on 19 June, 2016, in cooperation with Art of Living and other important Yoga centres. The day-long event was attended by around 1000 people. The third Yoga Day was celebrated in Skopje on 25 June 2017 which was attended by around 500 people. Four Indian films, namely, Dharavi, Stree, Naseem, and Doghi were shown in a film festival Cine Days in Macedonia in November 2015. India was featured as a focus country in the festival. Shankar's International Painting Competition is popular in Macedonia and Macedonian children participate in this competition from time to time.

Indian Community
The Indian community in Macedonia is very small. There are about 10 Indian nationals - some are engaged in the IT sector and a few are working as executives in multinational companies.