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Bilateral

India-Macedonia 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. The Macedonian government appointed an Honorary Consul in Kolkata in 2009 and has subsequently appointed Honorary Consuls in Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki paid first official visit to India from 20-24 January, 2009. He also visited the memorial home of Mother Teresa (who was born in Macedonia) in Kolkata. The second Foreign Office Consultations between India and Macedonia took place in New Delhi on 15 September, 2010.

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, accompanied by the Dy. PM and Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Investments paid a visit to India from March 5-8 March, 2012 to promote economic linkages between the two countries and to showcase the investment and business opportunities in Macedonia to Indian investors. PM Gruevski called on the Indian PM on 5 March. During the meeting, various issues of mutual interest including bilateral and multilateral issues were discussed.

In continuation of PM’s visit, Deputy 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 and gave presentations on benefits Macedonia offered to foreign investors in six Indian cities.

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. This was the first visit by an Indian Minister to Macedonia. An MoU between CII and the Macedonian Industry Associations was signed during the visit.

President of the Macedonian National Assembly Trajko Veljanoski led a Parliamentary delegation on an official visit to India from 5-8 March 2013. During the visit, he met the Vice President, the Lok Sabha Speaker and Minister of State for External Affairs Smt. Preneet Kaur. The delegation also witnessed a joint session of the two houses of Parliament.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki visited New Delhi and Agra on 16 & 17 December 2013 and met the External Affairs Minister Shri Salman Khurshid. The two Ministers agreed that the bilateral political relations set solid foundation for bolstering the economic cooperation. Mr. Poposki also met Minister of State for External Affairs Smt. Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and representatives of CII. 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.

PM Gruevski paid 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 PM Modi on the VGS sidelines and discussed ways to bolster business cooperation. Gruevski also met VGS’s host, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. Gruevski took part in a business forum in Chennai and presented investment opportunities in Macedonia. Gruevski addressed the CII-Partnership Summit 2015 in Jaipur and also met Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and CII DG Chandrajit Banerjee.

Important Bilateral Treaties and Agreements

(a) Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPA), 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) Agreements on Avoidance of Double Taxation was signed on 17 December 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

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 garment 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.

Cooperation under ITEC and PCFD Programmes

Government of India offers scholarships under ITEC programme to Macedonia. Macedonian nationals have also been attending the Professional Courses for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) organised by the Foreign Service Institute. e Institute.

Indian community

The Indian community in Macedonia is very small. There are about 10 Indian nationals working in senior managerial positions in ArcelorMittal Steel, some Indian nationals engaged in the IT sector and the officials of the Sahara Parivar.

Useful Resources

Mission’s Website: http://www.indembsofia.org
Mission’s FaceBook Page: https://www.facebook.com/IndiaInBulgaria

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