Macedonia Info
MapGeographical position

The Republic of Macedonia is located in the central Balkans and shares common borders with the following countries: Albania – 151 km, Bulgaria – 148 km, Greece – 246 km and Serbia – 221 km.

Surface

Map RegionThe country covers an area of 25,713 sq km (roughly comparable to Belgium). Its terrain is mostly mountainous and traversed by the Vardar river.

Population

2.02 million Inhabitants; composition of population: the majority of the population is Macedonians 65%, minorities are Albanians 25%, Turks 4%, Serbs and others

Religions: Orthodox 67%, Muslim 30%, others 3%

Capital

Skopje (600,000 inhabitants), the economic, traffic, cultural and academic centre of the country. Main cities in Macedonia are: Kumanovo - 105,000 inh., Bitola - 88,000 inh., Tetovo - 72,000 inh., Veles - 58,000 inh.

Climate

The climate is a Mediterranean-Continental mix. Along the Vardar and Strumica river valleys, the climate is temperate Mediterranean. Inland, the climate is generally Continental with hot-dry summers and cold-wet winters.

Official language is Macedonian and Cyrillic alphabet

The best time to visit Macedonia

ChurchMacedonia is known as a “Cradle of culture, Land of nature”. Whether you choose to visit for eco tourism on our mountains and national parks, to discover the ancient cultural heritage, to visit one of Europe’s great biological reserves at Ohrid Lake, you are welcomed in Macedonia during the whole year. You can discover and taste the beauty of our country everywhere. The high season (July and August) offers the clear advantage for the guests wishful the good time and excitement especially in Ohrid – the city of Unesco. Spring and autumn seasons are ideal for the guests wishful to rest.

LakeThe Ohrid Lake is among the oldest lakes in Europe. Its astonishingly clean, clear waters together with the serene stillness of its mountain setting have captivated visitors since prehistoric times. The lake is enormous, at some 30 kilometers (18 miles) long and up to 288 meters (945 feet) deep.

In 1980 Lake Ohrid was proclaimed a place of world cultural and natural inheritance by UNESCO.

Real Estate Activities
An offer driven market with many benefits for the tenants

Despite the crisis and the collapse of the rental market (nearly disappeared in 2009), the local Macedonian business remains dynamic and keeps the real estate market alive thanks to several large buying acquisitions and diplomatic staff rotation.

In addition, several large companies in the telecom and banking sectors are still considering moving in a near future, which are all benefits for the numerous new office space projects that will be put on the market.

After the price adjustment of the rents of this year, no further rent price drops are expected in the future.

Nevertheless, the offer will exceed the demand and only the best projects will find a taker.

This recent shift toward a more professional and more structured real estate markets is a positive sign for the future. It could raise the number of companies paying rents and attract institutional investors in the country.

Buying prices remain the same, renting prices drop

The buying prices did not change. Without surprise, the renting prices knew a noticeable drop of around 15% which is expected to be replaced this year.

Vacancy ratio is multiplied by 2 in less then 12 months

Due to the overall collapse of the renting market and to the new supply of quality residential and some large buildings, the vacancy ratio grew to 9.48 % this year (4.5% last year).

This tendency is anticipated to be changed due to new expected demands especially in renting residential properties.

An office space market in strong mutation

A large number of promotion office buildings are being erected. These projects are larger and closer to Western quality standards. This is creating a large and new offer of office spaces, with more space than the market can absorb.

Skopje is therefore moving from a demand to an offer oriented market, which is totally new compared to last year, where quality space used to be very difficult to find!

Office stock in one year: + 15%

The new office stock for Skopje is 409.000-m2 (355.000-m2 last year, increase of 15%), from which 187.000 (157.000-m2 last year, increase of 19%) are related to Grade A and B office spaces. These spaces are offering quality office environment in buildings dedicated for office accommodation, therefore excluding “office-apartments” or too old buildings.

This represents a growth of more then 15% in only one year.

This growth was supported by two large projects: Soravia (11.000-m2) and NLB-Tutunska bank (6.000-m2).

Why Macedonia?

The latest international campaign conducted by Macedonian government has a slogan: “INVEST IN MACEDONIA! New Business Heaven in Europe”. Why is this true?

The Republic of Macedonia is rapidly advancing on the path of political and economic reforms towards strengthening its democratic society and its open market economy. The result is political and macroeconomic stability providing much room for growth.

In the past years, in both tourism and business investment sector, the interest for Macedonia has significantly grown and this growth continuous. In next five years many foreign citizens will decide to make Macedonia their second home country.

Excellent Strategic Location and Infrastructure: Although a landlocked country, Macedonia benefits from a strategic geographical position at the crossroads of two major pan-European transportations corridors (corridors 8 and 10) linking Central Europe to the Adriatic, Aegean and Black Sea.

The several countries bordering Macedonia provide 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.

Three multilateral and eight bilateral free-trade agreements give Macedonia duty free access to more than 650 million consumers from the EU member-states, the EFTA and CEFTA countries, as well as Turkey and the Ukraine. Macedonia has been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) since 2003.

By our professional opinion, now is the right time to invest in Macedonia! The real estates, industrial capacities and the factories are still under-priced and can bring a lot of profit now and in future. It will be our pleasure to be your guide if you want to buy or to invest in the Macedonian industry and economy.

Additional assets are:

  • - Untouched nature, unpolluted air, crystal clear waters, beautiful mountains with forests, lakes and waterfalls, rivers…
  • - Rich cultural heritage "Cradle of culture, Land of nature"
  • - Friendly and pleasant people
  • - Permanent economic growth
  • - EU and NATO candidate country. A full membership of the EU is expected for Macedonia in 2011/12
  • - 4-5 % annual increase in GDP in the past years
  • - One of the most popular destinations for eco- or cultural tourism

What makes Macedonia so special?

Macedonia is a unique blend of ancient and modern, offering a rich multicultural experience. In a period of less than an hour one can enjoy medieval monasteries, churches, mosques, vineyards, bazaars and space age shopping centres. The country’s mild Mediterranean climate has reflected on people’s lifestyle, making Macedonians cheerful, easy going, hospitable and welcoming to people from all countries and all backgrounds.

Macedonia’s capital city Skopje abounds with bars and restaurants filled with fashionable people, wearing Italian sunglasses and talking on the latest mobile phones. One particularly delightful pastime in Skopje is to stroll along the quayside on a warm evening down to the famous Stone Bridge, perhaps after a day’s shopping at the nearby shopping mall.

The city’s major landmark is the medieval fortress overseeing the city centre together with the Stone Bridge over the river Vardar, both dating from the time of the Byzantium emperor Justinian Primus when Macedonia was the leading province of the Eastern Roman empire.

In summertime, roller-skating and jogging is quite popular alongside the city’s riverbanks for some, strolling in the City Park, or mount biking and hiking in the surrounding mountains for others. Although Macedonia is a landlocked country, the coast of the Aegean Sea is only 250km away from the capital city of Skopje, while the country’s tourist mecca – the UNESCO-protected Lake Ohrid, is only 170km away.

Europe’s deepest and one of the world’s oldest, Lake Ohrid is a natural tectonic lake in the south-western part of Macedonia. It is a home to several endemic species, such as the famous delicious Ohrid trout. The town of Ohrid, which rests by the waters of the lake, is the birthplace of the Cyrillic alphabet and the Slavic literacy. With its stunning Byzantine churches, small cobbled streets, art galleries, fine accommodation, picturesque beaches, and lively nightlife, Ohrid is a great place to visit. In addition to its medieval churches, traditional town architecture and Roman amphitheatre, a must-see are the remains of the ancient fortress that oversees the lake. The Fortress’s origins date from the time of Alexander the Great. In the winter time, in only a short drive from Skopje are several highly developed regional ski centers.

Taxes and Rates

With the recent economic reforms, Macedonia has created the most attractive tax package in Europe.

Tax Tax Rate
Corporate Income Tax 10%
Personal Income Tax 10%
Value Added Tax 18% general tax rate
5% preferential tax rate*
Property Taxes  
Property Tax 0.1%-0.2%
Inheritance and Gift Tax 2-3% or 4-5% **
Sales Tax on Real Estate and Rights 2-4%

* Includes computer software and hardware
** 2-3% for the taxpayer in the 2nd order of succession and 4-5% for the taxpayer in the 3rd order of succession or not related to the testator

Regulation of Business

Market freedom, the freedom of entrepreneurial activity, as well as property rights are fundamental values outlined in the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.

Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

The Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia guarantees an investor’s right to property No person may be deprived of his/her property or the rights deriving from it, unless the use of that property affects the general welfare of the public. Foreign investors may acquire property rights for buildings and for other immovable assets to be used for their business activities, as well as full ownership rights over construction land through a locally registered company, If the property is expropriated or restricted, rightful compensation of its market value is guaranteed.

Regulations and Treaties

Acquiring Property

Foreign individuals can acquire property in Macedonia through a registered local company in the same way as domestic legal entities.

Construction land is alienated through a public tender procedure. Minimum bidding prices are set by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in compliance with the Construction Land Price Determination Methodology.

The State Authority for Geodetic Works maintains authoritative data regarding land ownership. The State Authority for Geodetic Works (www.katastar.gov.mk) is an independent body in charge of conducting geodetic works and registering real estate rights. It operates through regional offices located in 29 cities throughout the country and the head office in Skopje. The registration of real estate rights in the real estate cadastre is compulsory and is done ex officio or at the request of the client.

General Business Info

Informations about Macedonian legal system, investment climate, business environment, foreign investments and trade opportunities, economy, socio-economic analysis, privatization, development strategy, monetary policy, taxation and all other business useful information can be obtained from our Business Consulting Department (contact@agencija.us with Subject: For BCD).

Also, regarding your interest, we can deliver additional insight with a range of economical analyses such as:

  • The Company Law
  • Law on Investment Funds
  • Price controls
  • Competition
  • Monopolies and Antitrust
  • Protection of intellectual property rights
  • Licenses and permits
  • Concessions
  • Right to long-term lease
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms

Useful Info

Currency
Macedonian Denar (MKD) (1 EUR = app. 62 MKD).

Foreign currencies
Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices, post offices and at most tourist agencies and hotels. Banking hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays banks are open until 1 p.m. In the larger cities some banks are also open on Sundays. Credit cards: Most hotels, restaurants and shops accept credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, Eurocard/Mastercard and Visa). Cash dispensing machines are ubiquitous in a downtown area.

Electricity
Voltage of city power grid – 220V, frequency 50HZ

Water
Tap water is potable throughout Macedonia. Still, we recommend use of a bottled water.

International dialing prefix>
The international telephone code for Macedonia is +389.

Time zone
Central European Time zone (GMT+1).

Travel documentation
Passport or some other internationally recognized identification document.

Vehicles
When entering Macedonia by car the test certificate (motor vehicle registration documents), the international Green insurance card and mandate from the owner of the vehicle (if the driver is not the owner her/himself), are required.

Pets
Animals (dogs, cats and others) must have permission, the yellow health document and certificate of vaccination, especially vaccination against rabies.

Health insurance
In all bigger towns there are hospitals, infirmaries and pharmacies. The service is good and prices moderate. Foreign tourists do not pay for the health services if their native country signed the Health Insurance Convention with Macedonia (in that case you only need a form from your native country). The ambulance telephone number is 194.

Holidays
(National) 1st January - New Year, 6th and 7th January - Orthodox Christmas, 1st May–Labour Day, 24th May - Sts. Cyril’s and Methodius Day, 2nd August - Ilinden (St. Elijah's Uprising Day), 8th September - Independence Day;
(Other) 14th January - Old New Year (Vasilica), Easter Monday, Ramadan Eid, Hajj Eid

Working hours
Shops and department stores are open between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., or to 3 p.m. Few stores are also open on Sundays, especially in the summer. Public services and institutions usually work from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Important telephone numbers
Ambulance 194
Fire-service 193
Police 192
Assistance on the roads 196 (If calling out of Macedonia or using a mobile dial +3892 196)
General information 188
Information about local and district telephone numbers 188
Road conditions 15555

Photo Gallery
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