Located in the Balkans just to the north of Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has a population of 2.1 million, 0.5 million of whom live in the capital, Skopje. The population has been increasing by approximately 1.5% per annum. 12% of the population are aged over 65, rising to 18% by 2030. The official languages are Macedonian (spoken by 2/3s of the population) and Albanian (spoken by ¼ of the population. Approximately two thirds of the population are Orthodox and one third is Muslim. The official currency is the Denar, worth approximately €0.016. The standard rate of VAT is 18%.

 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia               Capital: Skopje



2.1 million à 2.4 million (2030)

Proportion of people over 65 is 12% à 18% (2030)


Macedonian (2/3), Albanian (1/4)


66% Orthodox, 33% Muslim

GDP / head (2010)

€ 8,600   (EU average: € 24,400)


Denar (€0.016)



GDP growth (volume)



2.5% in 2012 (f)

3.5% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Dec 2011)

31.8%   (EU average: 10.0%)

Inflation rate

2.8%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)


Macedonia has a GDP per capita of €8,600, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, the Macedonian economy grew by 3.1% in 2011, and is expected to grow by 1.8% in 2012 (compared to the Eurozone average of 1.6%, and 0.2% respectively). The inflation rate was 2.8% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 31.8%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

Business meetings are still quite formal in Macedonia and communication is quite reserved until a working relationship has developed. Business people prefer to spend time getting a good negotiation rather than worrying about deadlines. Decisions are taken by the person at the head of the company.