North Macedonia’s mobile market is served by only two mobile network operators. Although the fixed telephony market has been liberalised, the incumbent MakTel still dominates this sector. Broadband services are widely available, with effective competition between DSL and cable platforms, as well as developing wireless broadband and fibre sectors. The number of DSL subscribers has continued to fall in recent years as customers are migrated to fibre networks. The Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services (AVMU) is the regulator body for fair competition in the telecoms industry.
Since its independence in 1991, North Macedonia has made progress in liberalizing its economy and improving its business environment, but has lagged the Balkan region in attracting foreign investment. North Macedonia’s economy is closely linked to Europe as a customer for exports and source of investment, and has suffered as a result of prolonged weakness in the euro zone. Unemployment has remained consistently high, but this data may be overstated due to the existence of an extensive gray market, which is not captured by official statistics.
North Macedonia maintained macroeconomic stability through the global financial crisis by conducting prudent monetary policy, which keeps the domestic currency pegged to the euro, and inflation at a low level. However, in the last two years, the internal political crisis has hampered economic performance, with GDP growth slowing in 2016 and 2017, and both domestic private and public investments declining.