Republic of Macedonia is a small country, located in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula (southeast Europe) and it has an area of 25.713 square kilometers. The country borders Serbia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania. Two of its neighboring counties are members of the European Union (Greece and Bulgaria), which contributes to the favorable geo-political location. Although the Republic of Macedonia is a land-locked country, it is located on the transit roads for transportation of goods from the Balkans to eastern, western and central Europe, which provides opportunities for development of economic cooperation with the neighboring countries.  

Location: Borders Serbia and Kosovo in the north, Bulgaria in the east, Greece in the south and Albania in the west.    
Total: 25.713 km2
Land: 25279 km2
Water: 434 km2

Borderline lenght:
Total: 850 km.
Borders: Serbia and Kosovo 231km (land border); Bulgaria 165km (land border); Greece 262km (238km land, 4km rivers and 20km lake) and Albania 191km (151 land, 12km rivers and 28km lake).

Coastline: Although Macedonia is a landlocked country, it is well connected with the ports of the neighboring countries (Greece, Bulgaria, Albania).

Climate: Mildly cold winters, hot summers

Population:  2.052.722 (2009)

Ethnic groups: Macedonian (64,18%), Albanian (25,17%), Turks (3,85%), Roma (2,66%), Vlachs (0,48), Serbs (1,78%), Bosniac (0,84%) and other ethnic groups (1,04%).

Religion: Orthodox Christians approximately 67%, Muslims approximately 32% and other 1% (2002)

Political organization: Republic of Macedonia is a multiparty, democratic country, based on respect of the fundamental human rights and freedoms. In economic terms, the country is characterized with macroeconomic stability, fixed foreign exchange rate pegged to the EUR, functional market economy, stable financial and banking system, and favorable climate for foreign direct investments. The country is strategically oriented towards integration in the European and NATO structures, and continuously puts efforts to achieve the European standards as a precondition for membership in the EU and NATO.

Foreign policy:  In 2001, the Republic of Macedonia signed a Stabilization and Association agreement with the EU and acquired free access to the EU market. In December 2005, the country obtained a candidate status for accession to the EU, and in 2009, the European Commission gave a positive recommendation to the Council of Ministries that the Republic of Macedonia is ready to start its negotiations for membership. The date for starting the negotiations has not yet been determined, however, the Republic of Macedonia remains dedicated to the process of integration to the EU. In this context, a number of activities have being undertaken, which include harmonization of the Macedonian with the EU legislation, structural adjustments in many areas, efforts to raise the institutional capacity, as well as other reforms to meet EU membership criteria.

In 2003, the Republic of Macedonia became 143rd member of the World Trade Organization. The membership in the WTO imposed further liberalization of the trade policy of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as implementation of numerous reforms related to the customs policy, standards and transparency. Along with the efforts for trade integration within the frames of WTO, Republic of Macedonia has undertaken activities for promotion of the relations with important current or potential trade partners, by signing bilateral or regional free trade agreements. Starting from 2006, Republic of Macedonia is a member of CEFTA – free trade zone of the countries of Central and East Europe. Following the transformation of this integration in CEFTA 2006, Republic of Macedonia became a part of the regional trade organization, whose objective is promotion of trade and economic relations among the SEE countries.