Bulgaria, Turkey to link gas networks


Details of the 191-kilometre pipeline will be discussed in March. Also in business news: Albania is introducing new measures to reduce the time it takes to register a new business.

Turkey will link its gas network to Bulgaria's under a new joint project. [AFP]

Bulgaria and Turkey agreed to establish a joint company to build a gas pipeline that will link their networks. The specific parameters and the price of the 191-kilometre pipeline will be agreed on in March. Construction is expected to take about two years.


Cyprus, Turkey and Bulgaria are among the best places to do business in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, according to Bloomberg's 2014 best for business ranking. In the list of 21 countries, the three Balkan peers rank 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively. Romania and Croatia are 8th and 9th, respectively. Macedonia and Albania are at the bottom of the list at 17th and 29th.


Cyprus's economy diminished less than expected last year, according to preliminary data from the finance ministry. GDP declined by 5.5 percent in 2013, while previous forecasts suggested it would be down by 7.7 percent.


Albania is introducing new measures to reduce the time it takes to register a new business, said Economic Development Minister Arben Ahmetaj. The measures include an online English-language service for foreign businessmen, an easier to access website for the National Registration Centre and a wider range of services, including an e-signature system.


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Turkey's Central Bank will have to aggressively raise interest rates to stop a sharp decline in the Turkish lira, analysts warned ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the bank. The currency has lost almost 20 percent of its value in the past month amid political instability in the country.


The privatisation deal for the sale of Croatia's state railway cargo unit HZ Cargo to Romania's Grup Veroviar Roman has failed. The buyer changed conditions for the purchase, which has prevented the government from continuing with the sale, authorities said. The Romanian group was in talks to buy 75 percent of HZ Cargo.

(Various sources -- 22/01/14-29/01/14)

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