Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
CAPITAL : Skopje
FLAG : The flag consists of a gold sun with eight rays on a red field.
ANTHEM : Denec Nad Makedonija (Today over Macedonia)
MONETARY UNIT : The currency in use is the denar (D EN ). Denominations from smallest to largest are fifty deni, one denar, two denari, and five denari. In May 2003, US $1 = D EN 55.56 (or D EN 1 = US $0.0179), but exchange rates are likely to fluctuate.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is in effect in Macedonia.
HOLIDAYS : Orthodox Christmas, 7 January; national holiday, 2 August; Day of Referendum, 8 September.
TIME : 1 PM = noon GMT.
Macedonia's climate features hot summers and cold winters. Fall tends to be dry in the country. In July the average temperature is between 20 and 23° C (70 and 73° F ). The average temperature in January is between –20 and 0° C (–4 and 32° F ). Rainfall averages 51 cm (20 in) a year. Snowfalls can be heavy in winter.
The terrain of Macedonia is rather hilly. Between the hills are deep basins and valleys, populated by European bison, fox, rabbits, brown bears, and deer. Ducks, turtles, frogs, raccoons, and muskrats inhabit the country's waterways.
According to the most recent estimates (1994), Macedonians comprise about 66% of the population. Another 23% are ethnic Albanians, mostly living in the west, particularly the northwest. Other groups include Turks (4%), Roma (Gypsies, 3%), Serbs (2%), and others (2%).
Inland fishing occurs on Lake Ohrid, Lake Prespa, and the Vardar River. The total catch in 2000 was 208 tons (primarily trout, bream, and carp), all from inland fishing. Macedonia has no direct access to the sea for marine fishing.
About 36% of the total area consisted of forests and woodlands in 2000, mostly in the eastern and southern regions. Bitola is the center for the wood products industry. Total roundwood production in 2000 was 1,047,000 cu m (36.96 million cu ft), with 84% used as firewood.
In 2000, 6.4 billion kWh of electricity were generated, 82.3% from conventional thermal plants and 17.7% from hydropower. Installed capacity totaled 1,566,000 kW in 2001. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 6 billion kWh. Macedonia's only domestic mineral fuel is coal.
In 1995, the Makedonija Insurance and Reinsurance Company was offering the following types of insurance: property, liability, life, accident, motor, fire, and marine.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) estimates that in 2001 Macedonia's central government took in revenues of approximately $850 million and had expenditures of $950 million. Overall, the government registered a deficit of approximately $100 million. External debt totaled $1.3 billion.
Personal income taxes range from 1.28-2.17%; corporate rates vary from 1.5-5.5%. Also levied is a payroll tax of 8.8-43%. On 1 April 2000 a value-added tax (VAT) was introduced with a standard rate of 19%. In April 2003, the standard rate was reduced to 18%. There is also a reduced rate of 5% applied to basic goods and services.
Macedonia has adopted a duty-free import agreement with Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia (as of October 1996); importers pay only a 1% border crossing tax for document handling. Macedonia is also seeking to establish a trade zone with Bulgaria and Albania. The average weighted tariff in 2002 was 14.5%, up from 11% in 2000. Corruption in the customs system discourages trade.
Macedonia's isolation, technological disadvantages, and penchant for political instability created a poor climate for potential foreign investors. In 1995, the government began restructuring and privatizing its largest state-owned companies. After 1997, inflows of foreign investment increased substantially. In 2001, Hungary was the largest source of foreign direct investment.(FDI).
Macedonia has no territories or colonies.
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