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Proceeding Paper

Digitalization of the Macedonian Economy in the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic †

Institute of Economics—Skopje, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, 1000 Skopje, North Macedonia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at the Digital Transformation in Business: Challenges and New Opportunities, West Mishref, Kuwait, 17 November 2022.
Proceedings 2023, 85(1), 29;
Published: 22 March 2023


Paper aims to elaborate the digitalization process in Macedonian Economy in the period after COVID-19 crisis, particularly aligned with the digitally skilled population and highly skilled digital professions, as well as the digital transformation of businesses. The methodological approach is quantitative and qualitative resulting from the very nature of the research question. The results demonstrated low level of digitalization both with businesses and population in the Macedonian economy after the outbreak of the pandemic.

1. Objectives

Future processes emphasize the shift toward digitization in many areas of living and actions [1,2]. The importance of this process has been intensified even more with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, changing the habits, needs, and processes of both individuals and business entities [3]. Every single economy, including the Macedonian economy, should upsurge digitalization in order to follow the trends in the global economy. Hence, this paper aims to evaluate whether the COVID-19 pandemic has improved the digital economy in the country, especially in terms of a digitally skilled population and highly skilled digital professions and digital transformation of businesses.

2. Methodology

The research was conducted through quantitative and qualitative analysis of two types of secondary data. The first type is quantitative data from relevant sources, realistically showing the degree of digital economy development, such as the OECD Digital Society Index, the WITSA Network Readiness Index, the Balkan Business Barometer, the Global Competitiveness Index, and detailed assessment with the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) of the European Commission [4,5,6,7]. The second type is qualitative data, derived from the legal framework, strategic programs, and policies of North Macedonia that cover the topic of digitization [8,9,10,11].

3. Results

The research identified an unnoticeable improvement in the digitalization of the Macedonian economy after the outbreak of the pandemic. Business entities are still very slightly digitized, and digitization is insufficiently supported. There is a low level of the population’s digital literacy, which is a serious obstacle for the more significant use of digital tools and services, including electronic shopping, affecting the electronic sale of goods and services by companies. Additional efforts are required to accelerate digitization, target sectors, and stakeholders, where it is most urgently needed and will generate the greatest added value.

4. Implications

This paper implies an enrichment of scientific knowledge about the digital economy, identifying the changes in the digital population skills and the digital transformation of businesses in the post-COVID-19 period, in the country, and beyond. The research refers to the changing role and perception of digitization in economies and societies and to the growing recognition of digitization and the development of the digital economy as a need. It points to the necessity of reforms and investments in digital technologies, infrastructure, and processes. Subsequently, every economy, including the Macedonian economy, will be more competitive on a global level, resilient, innovative, and less dependent.

5. Originality Value

The approach of evaluating the digital economy in the country through a mix of numerous indicators and parameters that are part of already existing bases marks the originality of the paper. Many of them are placed and compared in one place, giving a more comprehensive overview of the state, and the results can be more firmly confirmed and concluded.

6. Contribution

Considering the relatively new operating conditions as a result of the pandemic, this research contributes to the evaluation of the new states and circumstances in the digital economy in the country and indicates the shortcomings, challenges, and opportunities in the direction of its improvement. At the same time, the contribution of this paper is to indicate the connection of the digitization process with a series of policies to support and create an environment for the introduction, development, and application of digital technologies and tools in the economy, which must be adapted to ensure its successful implementation.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, I.S.G. and K.P.; methodology, I.S.G.; software, K.P.; validation, I.S.G. and K.P.; formal analysis K.P.; investigation, I.S.G.; resources, K.P.; data curation, I.S.G.; writing—original draft preparation, I.S.G. and K.P.; writing—review and editing, I.S.G. and K.P.; visualization, I.S.G.; supervision, K.P. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This research received no external funding.

Institutional Review Board Statement

Not applicable.

Informed Consent Statement

Not applicable.

Data Availability Statement

Eurostat digital economy and society database, available at: (accessed on 9 November 2022).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Digital Economy and Society Index 2021: Overall Progress in Digital Transition But the Need for New EU-Wide Efforts; European Commission—Press Release. European Commission: Brussels, Luxembourg, 2021.
  2. Regional Cooperation Council. Report on the State of Application of Digital Economy Society Index (Desi) In Western Balkan Economies; Regional Cooperation Council: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2021. [Google Scholar]
  3. Janevski, Z.; Angelova, B. COVID-19 Coronavirus as a Trigger: Transition to Digital Economy in North Macedonia. In Proceedings of the XXII International Scientific Conference: Emerging Trends in Business Economics: Towards Competitiveness, Digitalization and Financial Innovation, Belgrade, Serbia, 28–29 October 2020. [Google Scholar]
  4. Balkan Business Barometer. Available online: (accessed on 3 April 2022).
  5. Eurostat Digital Economy and Society Database. Available online: (accessed on 12 March 2022).
  6. OECD iLibrary. Digital Society (Dimension 10). Available online: (accessed on 18 March 2022).
  7. OECD iLibrary. North Macedonia Profile. Available online: (accessed on 18 March 2022).
  8. ITU Office for Europe. North Macedonia—Digital Development Country Profile; ITU Office for Europe: Geneva, Switzerland, 2022. [Google Scholar]
  9. At the Echor od Digitalniot Europsky Pazar: Neopodostnosti for Integration of Smes and at the Digitalnata Ekonomi Veneza. Available online: (accessed on 28 April 2022). (In Russian).
  10. National Strategy aa for ict 2021–2025. Available online: (accessed on 4 April 2022). (In Russian)
  11. Statista. Available online: (accessed on 28 April 2022).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gigov, I.S.; Poposka, K. Digitalization of the Macedonian Economy in the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic. Proceedings 2023, 85, 29.

AMA Style

Gigov IS, Poposka K. Digitalization of the Macedonian Economy in the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic. Proceedings. 2023; 85(1):29.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gigov, Iskra Stancheva, and Klimentina Poposka. 2023. "Digitalization of the Macedonian Economy in the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic" Proceedings 85, no. 1: 29.

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