The two prime ministers discussed infrastructure, energy and transport projects for the region. Also in business news: Cyprus lost two notches on its credit rating and Croatia will get its first smart phone.
Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (right) met with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic on Monday in Skopje. [Tomislav Georgiev/SETimes]
The project of building a channel between Belgrade and Thessaloniki via Skopje has great economic potential and can contribute to economic development in the region, Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said after meeting Serbia Prime Minster Ivica Dacic in Skopje on Monday (January 28th). The two leaders discussed the implementation of infrastructure projects, ways to further build transport and energy capacities and securing energy stability in the region.
Rating agency Fitch Ratings cut Cyprus's credit rating two notches down to B from BB-, citing concerns that the government may need higher support for its banking sector than previously expected. According to the agency, the recapitalisation of the local banking sector could need 10 billion euros, increasing the size of support to the country to more than 17 billion euros.
Croatian IT firm M San has announced plans to launch the country's first smart phone this year. The dual-Sim device will be called Vivax and will use the Android OS system. M San also plans to introduce the first tablet made in Croatia.
Serbia's energy regulator announced that natural gas prices for household and business consumers in the country will be increased as of February 1st. The new rates are 8.6 percent higher for households and 9.5 percent up for small and medium-sized enterprises.
At a meeting in Skopje on Monday (January 28th), Macedonia President Georgi Ivanov and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani agreed to form a joint committee on economic co-operation and explore investment opportunities in the field of energy and tourism.
Romania's government approved the country's 2013 budget, which targets bringing down the deficit to 2.1 percent of GDP. The economy is expected to register a growth of 1.6 percent versus 0.2 percent in 2012.
(Various sources -- 23/01/13-30/01/13)