Turkey lifts customs restrictions for Bulgaria


The two-day strike by Bulgarian truck drivers at the border ended with the restrictions being lifted. Also in business news: Greece's economy is expected to register positive growth next year.

Bulgarian truck drivers staged a two-day blockade of the country's borders with Turkey. [AFP]

Bulgarian truck drivers staged a two-day blockade of the country's borders with Turkey to protest lengthy customs procedures and other restrictions imposed by Turkish authorities. The blockade, which caused huge queues and anger among drivers from other countries, was lifted after the government in Sofia agreed with the Turkish side that the restrictions will be lifted.


Ratings agency Moody's lifted Turkey's government bond ratings by one notch, assigning them an investment grade. The move came amid the country's improving economy and public finances. Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan commented Ankara now expects much bigger investments from foreign companies and urged the central bank to prepare for possible appreciation of the Turkish lira.


The 4th international investment conference Sarajevo Business Forum brought together experts from various countries who discussed ways to boost co-operation. Its goal was also to present Bosnia and Herzegovina's potential to attract foreign investment.


Greece's economy is expected to register growth of 0.6 percent next year, ending a six-year recession, the European Commission said. Still, the commission said the growth depends on the pace of reforms in the product and services market. Forecasts are that unemployment will peak at 27 percent this year, before gradually lowering to 21 percent in 2016.


Serbian companies plan to unite their efforts in opening a retail chain for top-quality local products that would operate in Western countries, Dragoljub Rajic, head of the Serbian Association of Employers, told Tanjug. Goods offered in the stores will include organic food, pharmaceuticals, chemical and cosmetic products. They will be concentrated in countries in North America and the EU with significant Serbian diaspora communities.


Albania is working to become an electricity exporter, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said at the inauguration ceremony of a new control system near Tirana, which was implemented with a 17 million euro investment through a soft loan by the Italian government.


Croatia citizens will be able to work freely in Sweden once the Balkan country enters the EU on July 1st this year, local press reported citing a statement by the Swedish embassy in Zagreb. According to the reports, the same message has also been sent by Denmark.


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Bulgaria's economy has grown by 0.1 percent in the first quarter of this year on a quarterly basis, data from the National Statistical Office indicated. GDP expanded by 0.4 percent on an annual basis.


Cyprus' Finance Ministry removed limits on money transfers and withdrawals for international clients in another eight foreign banks operating in the country, bringing the total number to 12.

(Various sources -- 15/05/13-22/05/13)

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