Setting up a business takes less than a week in some parts of southeast Europe, according to World Economic Forum research. Also in business news: Serbia and Bulgaria pledge to improve co-operation.
Registering a new business in Albania takes four days, according to the World Economic Forum. [AFP]
Macedonia is most efficient country in the Balkan region for setting up a new company, according to research of the World Economic Forum. Registering a business in the country takes only two days. Next on the list is Albania at eighth position, where the procedure takes four days. Croatia is 43rd with nine days; Montenegro is at 49th with 10 days, and Serbia is at 57th with 12 days. Bosnia and Herzegovina is at 120th; opening a new business there takes 37 days.
The government in Albania will pay debts and un-reimbursed VAT worth $400 million (296 million euros) to private companies in an effort to give a boost to the economy, Prime Minister Edi Rama said. The announcement came after the previous government was advised to take the measure by the IMF and the World Bank, which said current conditions lead to rising bad loans.
Bulgaria and Serbia need to intensify their co-operation, particularly in the field of economy, Bulgaria President Rosen Plevneliev and Serbia President Tomislav Nikolic agreed at a meeting in Sofia. They announced the two countries would work jointly on the construction of a motorway from Sofia to Nis and on a railway section down the same corridor.
Cyprus has achieved progress in overhauling its banking sector and implementing structural reforms, but the country still faces serious risks, the European Commission, European Central Bank and the IMF said in a joint statement after their first review of the island's bailout programme.
Greece braced for a week of strikes, as civil servants joined school and university teachers in protests against job cuts as part of the country's bailout programme. Meanwhile, a mission of Greece's troika of international creditors, the EU, IMF and the European Central Bank, is in Athens for a scheduled inspection of its progress.
Romania sold a minority stake in its Nuclearelectrica nuclear power generator as part of its commitments under loan agreements with the IMF and the EU. The sale brought $85 million (63 million euros) and was carried out via an initial public offering at the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Turkish company Angora Gaz has obtained a license to sell 30 million cubic metres of natural gas to Greece annually. The contract is for a period of 30 years and the natural gas will be transported via the pipelines of Turkish state-controlled operator BOTAS.
(Various sources – 09/18/13-09/24/13)