Romania's GDP growth leads the EU


Quarterly economic growth registers at 1.7 percent in Romania, Eurostat says. In other business news: Turkey ranks third in a list of the world's friendliest destinations for Muslim travellers; Albania encourages Italian investment.

The GDP in Romania grew by 5.1 percent this year. [AFP]

Romania registered the highest GDP growth among all EU countries in the last quarter of 2013, according to Eurostat data. Over the period Romania's economic growth stood at 1.7 percent compared to 0.4 percent for the EU as a whole. On an annual basis Romania's GDP expanded by 5.1 percent.


Cyprus-based messaging app provider Viber Media has been acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten for $900 million. Viber will add 300 million users to Rakuten's existing 200 million users.


Greece's economy contracted less than expected in the last quarter of 2013. Over the period, GDP shrank by 2.6 percent after dropping 3 percent in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, unemployment reached a new high of 28 percent in November from 27.7 percent in October.


Bulgaria and Turkey agreed to suspend transit permits by March. The decision came after a three-day blockade of the main border checkpoint by truck drivers over a dispute involving one-off transit traffic permits.


The first office of the Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA) has opened in the Croatian capital of Zagreb. The organisation, aimed at supporting Chinese investors seeking to invest in the region, plans to open offices in 24 countries, including Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey, Greece and Moldova.


Hundreds of Cypriot state utility and port workers staged a 24-hour strike last week to protest the government's plans to privatise their companies. The privatisation plans are part of the island's international bailout deal.


Turkey ranks third in a list of the world's friendliest destinations for Muslim travellers, according to the latest study of Singapore-based Muslim travel specialist Crescentrating. Malaysia tops the list, followed by the United Arab Emirates.


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Albania urged Italian businesses to boost their investments in the country, particularly in vocational training. At a meeting with businessmen, Prime Minister Edi Rama outlined Albania's benefits as an Italian investment destination, including its geographical proximity, low cost labour force, favourable tax system and strong government support for investment creating jobs.


Five hundred Greek companies have business in Turkey, according to data provided by the Commercial Representative Office of the Greek embassy in Ankara. The companies operate in the several fields, including banking, energy and food products. Total Greek investments in Turkey amount to $6.6 billion.

(Various sources -- 13/02/14-19/02/14)

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