Doubts as to whether the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis could continue in his post were raised on January 16 after he failed to win parliamentary backing for his minority government.
The Azerbaijani energy company SOCAR has expressed an interest in investing in the Bulgarian gas transmission network. The news was reported by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev himself on the occasion of a visit by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borissov to the central Asian country.
Romania has lost its second prime minister in little more than six months. Mihai Tudose resigned on January 15 after the ruling Social Democrats (PSD) voted overwhelmingly at a meeting of its executive committee to withdraw support for his government. The PSD removed their previous prime minister, Sorin Grindeanu, with a vote of no-confidence in parliament in June 2017.
According to the National Wine Agency of Georgia, 2017 was a record year for Georgian wine exports. Data shows that 76.7 million bottles of wine were exported to 53 countries, representing an increase of 54 per cent compared to 2016. The total value of the wine Georgia exported rose to 170 million US dollars, 49 per cent higher than in 2016. Continue reading Georgian Wine Posts Record Results
Four Emerging Europe countries are among the leading nations ranked in the first edition of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Readiness for the Future of Production report. The report takes into account a country’s readiness to capitalise on future production opportunities, mitigate risks and challenges, and be resilient and agile in responding to unknown future shocks.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe continued a six-day visit to the Baltics and the Western Balkans with a stop in Sofia on January 14, where he met with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov. The two men agreed to to continue working towards the early implementation of the Japan-EU free trade agreement. Bulgaria took over the rotating six-month presidency of the European Council on January 1.
The Georgian government has promised to develop a fibre-optic internet network in its more remote regions. Minister of the Economy and Sustainable Development Dimitri Kumsiashvili said that bringing reliable, high-speed internet to predominantly rural areas is one of the most important projects currently being undertaken by Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency.
Bulgaria’s Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov has suggested that the Balkan country is ready to join the eurozone, and that it will take its first steps along the road to adopting the single currency this summer. Mr Goranov told assembled journalists in Sofia on January 11 that Bulgaria will “most likely apply in the first semester” to join the EU Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), the successor to ERM which helps non euro-area countries prepare themselves for participation in the euro area. The convergence criterion on exchange rate stability requires participation in ERM II.
A year since its launch, a campaign designed to support local businesses by encouraging Georgians to buy local products has been hailed a success by both its initiator, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, as well as businesses. Companies of all sizes have taken part, seeing the project as a chance to increase awareness of their products and boost sales.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is providing a financing package of over 30 million euro to IMMER Group, a leading Eastern European producer of flexible packaging, to support export-led economic growth job creation in Ukraine.
Since Georgia began exporting kiwifruit to the European market just over two years ago, it has become one of the country’s most productive and profitable exports. With a kilo of kiwifruit selling for around 1.20 euros, the fruit has proven to be a good earner for producers. Exports – currently at around 100 tons per year – are expected to increase, not least as the Japanese market is now being targeted. Continue reading Georgia’s Sweetest Export Targets EU & Japan Expansion
P&O Maritime, owned by the world’s largest port operator DP World Group, has officially entered the Ukrainian market, acquiring a controlling stake in the towing company LB Shipping. The deal had been in the works since Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure, Volodymyr Omelyan, signed a memorandum of understanding with P&O Maritime in 2016. Continue reading P&O Maritime Enters Ukrainian Market