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Canada-North Macedonia relations

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Bilateral relations

The Republic of North Macedonia gained independence in 1991 and since then Canada and North Macedonia have enjoyed positive bilateral relations. Approximately 43,000 Canadians self-identified as being of Macedonian origin in the 2016 census, but the Macedonian diaspora in Canada claims the number is considerably higher.

Canada’s bilateral priorities are to encourage continued reform efforts in North Macedonia, enhance trade and investment relations, and support progress in North Macedonia’s EU accession.

Canada is represented in North Macedonia by the Embassy of Canada to Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro, in Belgrade, and maintains a consulate in Skopje run by an honorary consul. North Macedonia opened an embassy in Ottawa in 1996.

Bilateral agreements

Canada and North Macedonia signed a Social Security Agreement (2009) and Air Transportation Agreement (2013), and a Declaration of Strategic Partnership and Cooperation (2018). Both countries remain committed to concluding a Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA) in the near term.

Trade and investment

Merchandise trade between Canada and North Macedonia totalled $22.5 million in 2020. Canadian merchandise exported to North Macedonia was valued at $5.2 million in 2020.

The main export category is meat, followed by vehicles and parts. Canadian merchandise imports from North Macedonia totalled $17.3 million in 2020. The main import categories are iron, steel, and tobacco. 

North Macedonia offers commercial opportunities for Canadian companies in areas such as mining, information and communication technology, defence and security and clean technology.

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is active and promotes collaboration with the Canadian business community to improve the investment climate in North Macedonia. Much of this activity is channelled through the Canadian-American initiative ‘Macedonia 2025’, which trains young Macedonians in modern business practices.

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Development assistance

Working with the government and people of North Macedonia, Canada encourages political and economic reform in the country through supporting civil society initiatives. Through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), Canada supports human and minority rights, democratic development, good governance, respect for the rule of law, public sector capacity building, conflict prevention, peace-building and security sector reform.

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Military and defense cooperation

With the support of Canada, North Macedonia became the 30th NATO member in 2020. Prior to its inclusion as a NATO member, North Macedonia was an active participant in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program and provided troops to multilateral peacekeeping operations.

Prior to its NATO accession, North Macedonia was also an active participant in the Department of National Defence’s Military Training Cooperation Program. The program provides military training and capacity building, this including peace operations in order to develop and enhance bilateral defence relations.

In 2019, North Macedonia endorsed the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers – an initiative conceived and actively promoted by the Government of Canada.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and North Macedonia work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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