Coat of Arms
President Gjorge Ivanov
»25,713 km2 (148th)
» Per capita -$10,718
» Per capita -$4,935
»Macedonian denar (MKD)
»Summer[DST] CET (UTC+1)CEST (UTC+2)
Macedonia is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe.
It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991.
It became a member of the United Nations in 1993, but, as a result of an ongoing dispute with Greece overuse of the name Macedonia, it was admitted under the provisional reference of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”
It constitutes approximately the northwestern third of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises the neighbouring parts of northern Greece and a smaller portion in southwestern Bulgaria.
The country’s capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to the 2002 census. Other cities include Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar, Kavadarci, and Strumica.
It has over 50 lakes, plus sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Macedonia is a member of the UN and of the Council of Europe. Since December 2005, it has also been a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.
Ranked as the fourth ‘best reformatory state’ out of 178 countries ranked by the World Bank in 2009, Macedonia has undergone considerable economic reform since independence.
The country has developed an open economy with trade accounting for more than 90% of GDP in recent years. Since 1996, Macedonia has witnessed steady, though slow, economic growth with GDP growing by 3.1% in 2005.
This figure was projected to rise to an average of 5.2% in the 2006–2010 period. The government has proven successful in its efforts to combat inflation, with an inflation rate of only 3% in 2006 and 2% in 2007, and has implemented policies focused on attracting foreign investment and promoting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The current government introduced a flat tax system with the intention of making the country more attractive to foreign investment. The flat tax rate was 12% in 2007 and was further lowered to 10% in 2008.
In terms of structure, as of 2005 the service sector constituted by far the largest part of GDP at 57.1%, up from 54.2% in 2000. The industrial sector represents 29.3% of GDP, down from 33.7% in 2000 while agriculture represents only 12.9%, up from 12%. Textiles represent the most significant sector for trade, accounting for more than half of total exports. Other important exports include iron, steel, wine and vegetables.
With a GDP per capita of US$9,157 at purchasing power parity and a Human Development Index of 0.701, Macedonia is less developed and has a considerably smaller economy than most of the former Yugoslav states.
According to Eurostat data, Macedonian PPS GDP per capita stood at 36% of the EU average in 2011.
Macedonia is ranked 62 with an Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 0.173235
Top 5 Products exported by Macedonia
- Reaction and Catalytic Products (15%),
- Ferroalloys (10%),
- Non-Knit Women’s Suits (4.3%),
- Centrifuges (4.0%),
- Refined Petroleum (3.6%)
Top 5 Export destinations ofMacedonia
Top 5 Products imported by Macedonia
- Refined Petroleum (11%),
- Platinum (6.4%),
- Crude Petroleum (3.1%),
- Cars (2.4%),
- Nickel Ore (2.1%)
Top 5 Import origins of Macedonia
- Greece (13%),
- Germany (10%),
- United Kingdom (9.0%),
- Serbia (7.1%),
Macedonia is a veritable treasury of cultural heritage. Macedonia treasures a large number of cultural and historical monuments: churches, monasteries, icons, archaeological sites, mosques, old books, and other artefacts.
The first Slavic alphabet and literature also have their roots here. Many internationally recognized events are held in Macedonia: Ohrid Summer Festival, Struga Poetry Evenings, Ohrid Balkan Festival, Galicnik Wedding.
National folklore and traditional arts and crafts are still cherished.
The finely embroidered national costumes, the numerous old crafts shops have played an important part in preserving the tradition.
Macedonia (Македонија) is a small nation with a complex and fascinating history. Part Balkan, part Mediterranean and rich in Greek, Roman and Ottoman history, it offers impressive ancient sites side by side with buzzing modernity, managing to pack in much more activity and natural beauty than would seem possible for a country its size.
Easygoing Skopje remains one of Europe’s more unusual capitals, where constant urban renewal has made the city a bizarre jigsaw puzzle whose Turkish old town, ancient fortress, communist-era centre and contemporary building spree combine to create a multifaceted city that never fails to surprise.
Elsewhere in the country hiking, mountain biking, wine tasting and climbing beckon, while the remote mountains conceal fascinating medieval monasteries, superb alpine trails and traditional Balkan villages. Ohrid, noted for its beaches, summer festival, sublime Byzantine churches and 34km-long lake, is the centre of the country’s tourism industry, while in the winter months skiing at resorts such as Mavrovo become the main draw.
- This lovely compact country has a surprisingly divers myriad of attractions to offer. It’s a fascinating mix of the ancient Balkan, the laid-back Mediterranean and the hip and happening vibe of modern Europe.
- It all starts in lively Skopje, the country’s main city and the centre of its economy. It offers great shopping and party opportunities, but also grand historic monuments. The 5th centuryTvrdina Kale Fortress is one of the main landsmarks, together with the beautiful Sveti Spas Church, the charming old Ottoman bazaar Čaršija and the Kameni Most. This 600 year old Stone Bridge will take you right onto the city’s main square, where a gigantic statue of Alexander The Great awaits. If you’re up for a hike, make your way up to the enormous Millennium Cross on top of Vodno mountain, or take the rope railway to get the same views with less effort. If summer makes the city hard to bear, follow the locals to the delightful Lake Matka just out of town, where you can explore the gorge and caves through hikes and kayak tours.
- Smaller but a visitor’s favourite is the city of Ohrid, famous for its countless Byzantine churches. Beautifully situated on Lake Ohrid, this place is listed by UNESCO as both a cultural and a natural monument. It’s home to one of the most prominent collections ofByzantine icons in the world, second only to that of the famous Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow, as well as to the oldest Slavic monastery in the country and the picture-perfect Church of St. John at Kaneo right on the edge of the lake. The city’s little sister on the lake, Struga, offers similar charm but is less overrun with visitors.
- Still, many will argue that Macedonia’s best experiences can not be found in its cities, but rather in the stunningly beautiful mountain landscapes, remote monasteries and friendly rural villages. In any case, a tour of the countryside is a must-do for any visitor. Pelister
- National Park is the oldest of the country’s three national parks and a popular destination for its typical Eastern European flora and fauna.
- The larger Mavrovo National Park offers great landscapes year round and is popular for winter sports in winter. It also holds the impressive Sveti Jovan Bigorski Monastery and a relic of its namesake patron.
- There are dozens of other monasteries to see, of which the Monastery of Bogorodica and the Zrze Monastery are good picks. For true nature lovers, the little known Public Enterprise for Managing and Protection of the Multipurpose Area Jasen is an excellent and off the beaten track reserve with great wildlife spotting opportunities, and yet located right next to the capital.
- There are plenty of other attractions to choose from if you have enough time to spare.
- Consider a visit to the Stone town of Kuklica, which is only a short ride from the charming little town of Kratovo. Or, head over to the ancient Towers of Markonear Prilep.