Northern Macedonia's gross domestic product (GDP) had
zero growth in 2017, while in 2015 and 2016 there was an
increase of 3.9 and 2.9 per cent respectively. In the list
of countries' gross national income (GNP) per capita,
Northern Macedonia is in 100th place. Of the former Yugoslav
republics, only Kosovo has a lower ranking with 115th place.
Unemployment in Northern Macedonia is 22.4 per cent, and
21.5 per cent of the population lives below the poverty
COUNTRYAAH, Northern Macedonia underwent an economic crisis in the
1980s that threatened the area with a complete collapse.
With few inhabitants and a vulnerable geographical location,
few believed that the Republic could manage on its own.
Following the independence of Northern Macedonia in 1991,
Greece introduced full blockade of Northern Macedonia by
closing the port of Thessaloniki for Macedonian goods. This
blockade lasted until 1995. At the same time, an
international blockade of Yugoslavia was launched, a
blockade in Northern Macedonia indirectly becoming a victim
of. The country was thus hit by blockade on two sides.
In 1995, Greece was pressured by the United States to
cooperate with Northern Macedonia, but even after the
lifting of the blockade, Northern Macedonia's economic
situation has been very difficult. The privatization process
initiated after independence in 1991 did not lead to the
expected economic growth.
The conflict with Albanian rebels from February to August
2001 set the country back economically. After 2001, the
government implemented tax reforms and established economic
zones aimed at increasing foreign investment. Together with
other economic reforms and measures to strengthen regional
integration, this has led the country from 2004 to have a
more positive economic development.
Agriculture contributes 10.9 per cent of GDP. Arable land
and pasture make up about 25 per cent of the country's total
land, but agriculture only employs 16.2 per cent of the
working population. Animal husbandry, and especially cattle
and sheep, is the most important form of farming. Most of
the cultivable land is found in the river valleys. Here
wheat, sugar beet, maize, cotton, tobacco, vegetables, fruit
and grapes are grown. There is considerable irrigation.
The country has relatively rich mineral deposits, and
coal is extracted. Otherwise, lead and zinc ore, copper and
chromite are recovered. There are also deposits of iron,
nickel, manganese, silver and gold that are only partially
Northern Macedonia covers 83.5 per cent of its
electricity needs through its own production from coal and
water resources. In 1995, a pipeline was opened from the
Bulgarian border to transport natural gas from Russia. In
2002, a pipeline was opened to transport oil from the Greek
port city of Thessaloniki to Skopje.
The industry contributes 26.6 per cent of GDP and employs
29.2 per cent of the working population. Major industries
are the iron and steel industry, the food, textile and
chemical industries. The country also produces footwear,
tobacco products, cement, pharmaceuticals and automotive
Transport and Communications
The communication network is generally poorly developed.
The road and rail networks along the Vardar Valley have
traditionally been important for freight and passenger
traffic between Greece and Central Europe. The total rail
network is 925 kilometers. The road network is 14 182
kilometers, of which 270 kilometers are highways. There are
international airports at Skopje and Ohrid.
The number of foreign tourists increased from 586,000 in
2010 to 1.1 million in 2018.
Northern Macedonia exports totaled US $ 4,601 billion in
2017, while imports totaled US $ 6,630 billion. With this,
the country had a deficit in the foreign trade balance of
just over two billion US dollars.
The four main export markets are:
- Germany(46.7 percent)
- Bulgaria(6.1 percent)
- Serbia(4.4 percent)
- Belgium(4.1 percent)
The main export products are food and beverages, tobacco,
textiles, iron, steel and car parts.
The six main import markets are:
- Germany (11.9 percent)
- United Kingdom(10.0 per cent)
- Greece (8.0 percent)
- Serbia(7.1 percent)
- China(5.9 percent)
The main import goods are oil, natural gas, machinery and
equipment, motor vehicles, chemicals and food products.