India–North Macedonia relations

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India-North Macedonia relations
Map indicating locations of India and North Macedonia

India

North Macedonia

India–North Macedonia relations refers to the bilateral relations that exist between India and the Republic of North Macedonia.

History[edit]

India co-sponsored the United Nations General Assembly Resolution to admit Macedonia to the United Nations. Diplomatic and consular relations between India and Macedonia were established on 9 February 1995. Macedonia appointed an Indian businessman in New Delhi to serve as Macedonia's Honorary Consul in 2006. The Embassy of Macedonia in New Delhi was opened on 7 October 2008. The Embassy was registered under the country's constitutional name of Republic of Macedonia, rather than its United Nations reference, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. India officially refers to the country as the Republic of Macedonia, despite objection from Greece.[1][2] Macedonia appointed an Honorary Consul in Kolkata in 2009, and subsequently appointed Honorary Consuls in Mumbai, Chennai, and Bangalore. India appointed an Honorary Consul in Macedonia in 2008. The Embassy of India in Sofia, Bulgaria is jointly accredited to Macedonia.[3]

Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki visited India in January 2009, becoming the first Macedonian government official to visit the country.[4] Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski and several other ministers, visited India in March 2012 becoming the first Macedonian Prime Minister to visit the country.[3][5] Stavreski, and several other ministers, visited the country again in October 2012. Gruevski, Stavreski and other ministers visited the country again in January 2015 to attend the Vibrant Gujarat and CII-Partnership Summits. National Assembly President Trajko Veljanoski led a parliamentary delegation on a visit to India in March 2013. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki visited New Delhi and Agra in December 2013.[3] The two countries signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement[6] and an MoU on Cooperation between the Diplomatic Academy of the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service Institute during the visit on 17 December.[3]

From India, the highest level visits to Macedonia have been at the level of minister of state. Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur, and a CII business delegation, visited Macedonia on 10–11 July 2012 becoming the first Indian minister to visit the country. Kaur met with Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Zoran Stavrevski, and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy Antonio Milososki.[3]

Citizens of Macedonia are eligible for scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Several Macedonian diplomats have also attended the Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) programme run by the Foreign Service Institute.[3]

Trade[edit]

Bilateral trade between India and Macedonia totaled US$62.24 million in 2015, a slight decline from $68.36 million in 2014. India exported $48.41 million worth of goods to Macedonia, and imported $13.83 million. The main commodities exported by India to Macedonia are gas oils of petroleum or bituminous minerals, agricultural and forestry tractors, partly or wholly stemmed pre-stripped flue-cured tobacco, coffee, sesamum seeds, single cotton yarn of combed fibres, medicaments, plates, sheets, film, foil and strip of non-cellular polymers of propylene, and pneumatic elevators and conveyors. The major commodities imported by India from Macedonia are ferro-alloys, marble, travertine, electrical machinery and equipment, and plastics.[3]

India and Macedonia signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement on 17 March 2008.[3]

Arcelor Mittal acquired a 90% stake in Balkan Steel in 2004. In September 2011, Mumbai-based fabric trader and garment manufacturer Bang Overseas Limited founded Bang & Scott DOO (Macedonia), a wholly owned Macedonian subsidiary. Indian metal products manufacturer BRG Group signed an agreement with the Macedonian Government on 12 January 2016 to invest EUR31 million in the country. The factory in Porcelanka will employ 1,000 people and manufacture steel kitchenware for export.[3] In December 2016, Indian cable manufacturer for the automotive industry Malhotra Cables announced that it would invest $10 million to establish a manufacturing plant in Skopje.[7]

Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy visited Macedonia in January, July and October 2013. He met with Prime Minister and announced plans to EUR invest 2.7 billion in the country. Despite allegations of fraud and debt against Sahara in India, the Macedonian Government portrayed Roy domestically as a businessman who wanted to help the poor Macedonians because "Mother Teresa helped a lot of poor people in India." His arrest in India in March 2014 was met with shock in Macedonia.[8]

Cultural relations[edit]

Alexander the Great, the king of Macedon, began a campaign to conquer India in 326 BC, after conquering the Achaemenid Empire of Persia. He fought a notable battle against Porus of the Paurava kingdom on the banks of the Jhelum river. Mother Teresa, who became an Indian citizen in 1951, was born in Skopje (in present-day Macedonia) in 1910.[9]

As of December 2016, there are 10 Indian citizens and people of Indian origin in Macedonia. They hold senior managerial positions in ArcelorMittal Steel, or work in IT and other sectors.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MINA Breaking News - Macedonia & India deepen relations". macedoniaonline.eu. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  2. ^ "India Recognises 'Republic of Macedonia'". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "India- Macedonia Relations" (PDF). Ministry of External Affairs. December 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  4. ^ Manchevska, Dijana. "India Recognizes Macedonia by Constitutional Name; Deepens Ties". www.umdiaspora.org. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  5. ^ "There's great potential for strengthened economic and political cooperation between Macedonia and India". Влада на Република Македонија. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  6. ^ "India and the Government of Republic of Macedonia Signed an Agreement for The Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income". pib.nic.in. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  7. ^ "India's Malhotra Cables to build $10 mln manufacturing plant in Macedonia - SeeNews - Business intelligence for Southeast Europe". seenews.com. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Macedonia believed Sahara chief was India's return gift for Mother Teresa". The Indian Express. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Mother Teresa's heritage contested by Balkan countries". The Indian Express. 3 September 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2017.