Turkey, Kosovo tops in regional GDP growth

16/10/2013

Croatia, Greece and Cyprus continue to see a drop in GDP, according to the IMF. In other business news, the EU approved Aegean Airlines' bid to acquire its rival Olympic Air.
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Istanbul's busy shopping districts help fuel what is expected to be a strong year for the Turkish economy. [SETimes]

Turkey will be the country with the highest GDP growth in the region in 2013, according to IMF's latest World Economic Outlook 2013, with an expected economic growth of 3.8 percent. In the region, Kosovo is expected to have growth of 2.64 percent, followed by Macedonia with 2.2 percent, Romania and Serbia at 2 percent, Albania at 1.7 percent, Montenegro by 1.5 percent, and Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) will increase by 0.5 percent. The outlook predicts that Croatia will see a drop of 0.6 percent, Greece a drop of 4.2 percent and Cyprus a drop of 8.7 percent.

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Serbia's government has announced a series of austerity measures in an effort to cut public debt and avoid bankruptcy. The measures include imposing "solidarity taxes" of 10 percent to 25 percent on public wages more than 520 euros a month, hiking the VAT on food and staples from 8 percent to 10 percent, increasing the retirement age for women from 60 to 63 years and cutting state subsidies for firms that are losing money.

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Croatian company Kumal will build a plant for production of insulating materials in the technological and industrial development zone in Stip, Macedonia. The investment of 7 million euros is expected to create 50 direct and 100 indirect jobs. Construction is set to begin in the spring of 2014.

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The EU approved Aegean Airlines' bid to acquire its rival Olympic Air, the former Greek flag carrier. The deal, at 72 million euros, is the second attempt to buy the loss-making airline.

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The latest 5s and 5c model of iPhones will be available in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Romania beginning October 25th. Fans of the Apple smartphone in Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey will be able to buy the new models a week on November 1st.

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Greek media company Antenna Group plans to add as many as five cable channels to its current operations in Serbia over the next 12 months. Antenna acquired its first channel in Serbia, Prva Srpska Televizija known as Fox Televizija at that time, in 2009.

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Turkey and Greece should boost their relations, particularly when it comes to co-operation in tourism in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey EU Minister Egemen Bagis said. He also stressed the potential in fields such as energy, security and economic dynamism.

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Bulgaria and Croatia should take additional measures to encourage business and institutions to co-operate at all levels, the presidents of the two countries, Rosen Plevneliev and Ivo Josipovic, agreed at a meeting in Sofia. The two officials opened an economic forum to discuss ways to strengthen economic co-operation.

(Various sources -- 9/10/13-15/10/13)

This content was commissioned for SETimes.com.
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