Slovenia and Balkan Weekly News Briefing — Week Ending 29 November 2015

SLOVENIA

This week two of Slovenia’s leaders are on the road. The PM has been in China and the Speaker of the Parliament has been visiting India. But Cerar is not alone in China this week …

Balkan States Woo Chinese Investors at Summit
At the ’16 + 1′ summit, which opened on Tuesday, China is deepening its interest in Southeastern Europe, investing in trade, finance, agriculture and infrastructure projects.
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/china-seeks-closer-ties-with-balkans-11-25-2015

Meanwhile visitors to Slovenia from abroad show that the number of tourists in the first nine months of 2015 is up by 11.8%

29/11/2015
Number of active companies up 2.4% in 2014
There were 186,433 active companies in Slovenia in 2014, up 2.4% from 2013. Their total revenue reached EUR 93.572bn, which is 3.3% more than in the year before, data released by the Statistics Office shows.
https://english.sta.si/2203995/number-of-active-companies-up-2-4-in-2014

27/11/2015
Graft watchdog upholds corruption allegations against Ljubljana mayor
Almost three years after first accusing Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković of misreporting his assets, the anti-graft watchdog has issued a new opinion largely upholding its original claims that some of Janković’s financial dealings constitute “explicit corruption risk”. The mayor, who maintains his innocence, has announced a new legal challenge.
https://english.sta.si/2204289/graft-watchdog-upholds-corruption-allegations-against-ljubljana-mayor

27/11/2015
EBRD keen to invest in Slovenian food industry
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is keen to invest in Slovenia’s food industry, whose companies are the most efficient in the region, an event co-organised by the EBRD in Ljubljana on Friday heard.
http://www.sloveniatimes.com/ebrd-keen-to-invest-in-slovenian-food-industry

27/11/2015
Slovenian scientists in breakthrough on rare earth technology
A group of scientists from the Jožef Stefan Institute (IJS) have helped bring about an important breakthrough on technology that will reduce the use of rare earth elements in key components of electric motors.
http://www.sloveniatimes.com/slovenian-scientists-in-breakthrough-on-rare-earth-technology

26/11/2015
HP business in Slovenia sold
The business of the Slovenian subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard (HP) has been sold to Selectium, a company owned by international IT services group Midis, in a move that the new partner says will ensure unaffected operations for existing clients.
http://www.sloveniatimes.com/hp-business-in-slovenia-sold

25/11/2015
Slovenia’s eco tax share in tax revenue highest in EU
Slovenia tops the list of EU countries by the proportion of environmental taxes in its total tax revenue, fresh data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, suggests.
https://english.sta.si/2203244/slovenias-eco-tax-share-in-tax-revenue-highest-in-eu

25/11/2015
Number of tourists in first nine months up 11.8%
A total of 3.09 million tourist arrivals were recorded in Slovenia in the first nine months of the year, which is an increase of 11.8% year-on-year. Tourists generated a total of 8.31 million overnight stays in the period, up 8% year-on-year, the Statistics Office said on Wednesday.
https://english.sta.si/2203202/number-of-tourists-in-first-nine-months-up-11-8

25/11/2015
Calcit to expand with EUR 10M loan from EBRD
Calcit, the Stahovica-based manufacturer of calcium carbonate pigments, fillers and granulates, has secured a EUR 10m loan from the European Bank of Development and Reconstruction (EBRD) to expand its production.
https://english.sta.si/2203133/calcit-to-expand-with-eur-10m-loan-from-ebrd

25/11/2015
Slovenian banks still struggling with bad claims
The share of bad claims on the books of Slovenian banks has been declining, but it remains a problem, according to figures released by the European Banking Authority on Tuesday.
https://english.sta.si/2202918/slovenian-banks-still-struggling-with-bad-claims

25/11/2015
Adria Airways Tehnika sold to Polish Linetech Holding
The owners of Adria Airways Tehnika have signed an agreement to sell the aircraft maintenance firm to the Polish industry peer Linetech Holding in a deal unofficially worth two million euros.
http://www.sloveniatimes.com/adria-airways-tehnika-sold-to-polish-linetech-holding

ALBANIA

Former Yugoslav States, Albania Vow to Step Up Drive to Join EU
Former Yugoslav republics and neighboring Albania vowed to resuscitate their drive for European Union integration after the migrant crisis rocked the region and created the worst political rifts between Balkan states since the civil wars of the 1990s.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-25/peace-in-europe-not-possible-w-out-balkan-integration-biden

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

24/11/2015
Bosnia’s National Airline Awaits Imminent Closure
BH Airlines, the troubled national carrier of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is likely to be put into liquidation before the end of the year after running up a debt of around 17.5 million euros.
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/bosnian-only-flag-carrier-braces-for-imminent-liquidation-11-23-2015

CROATIA

27/11/2015
Croatia’s economic sentiment in November close to record level
In November, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) in Croatia remained close to a record level and broadly stable in both the euro area and the European Union, according to a European Commission survey whose results were released on Friday.
http://www.hina.hr/#vijest/9083288

ALSO Croatia among fastest-growing economies in EU and Croatia’s industrial output leaps 6.4 pct in October

26/11/2015
President starts talks on new PM in deadlocked Croatia
Croatia’s president opened talks with parliamentary parties Thursday to try and name a prime minister-designate and end a political stalemate after an election 18 days ago failed to produce an outright winner.
http://news.yahoo.com/president-starts-talks-pm-deadlocked-croatia-204655067.html

23/11/2015
Croatia Stalemate Makes New Elections More Likely
With negotiations on forming a working majority of MPs in Croatia’s parliament getting nowhere, new parliamentary elections look increasingly likely.
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/new-parliamentary-elections-on-horizon-in-croatia-11-20-2015

HUNGARY

27/11/2015
Fitch disappoints with continued ‘junk’ rating
Hungary’s reduction of external debt was not enough to earn an upgrade. Political stability, business environment and indebtedness remain the drags, according to the rating agency.
http://bbj.hu/news/fitch-disappoints-with-continued-junk-rating_107734

27/11/2015
Siemens eyes Paks upgrade turbine contract
Chairman-CEO Dale A. Martin of Germany’s Siemens expressed intentions to sign a €1 billion contract with the Hungarian government to supply the turbines for the upgrade of Paks nuclear power plant, German business daily Handelsblatt reported yesterday, according to Hungarian news agency MTI today.
http://bbj.hu/economy/siemens-eyes-paks-upgrade-turbine-contract_107875

27/11/2015
Hungarian, Chinese business partners seal deals worth nearly $2 bln
Hungarian and Chinese companies signed contracts with a combined value of almost $2 billion in Beijing yesterday, Hungarian news agency MTI reported today.
http://bbj.hu/economy/hungarian-chinese-business-partners-seal-deals-worth-nearly-2-bln_107879

KOSOVO

28/11/2015
Protests in Pristina against agreement with Serbia, opposition leader arrested
Thousands of people rallied in Pristina on Saturday, protesting against an agreement on the normalisation of relations with Serbia and demanding the Kosovo government scrap it.
http://www.hina.hr/#vijest/9083972

MACEDONIA

29/11/2015
Pro-Russian Parties Seek To Derail Montenegro’s NATO Bid
Pro-Russian parties in Montenegro are stoking unrest in Montenegro in an apparent bid to sabotage Podgorica’s hopes of receiving an invitation from NATO next week to join the alliance.
http://www.rferl.org/content/montenegro-opposition-protests-nato-bid/27395329.html

27/11/2015
Zaev and SDSM admitted that they lied to the public for the events in Kumanovo
SDM leader Zoran Zaev finally admitted that he and his entire party manipulated the citizens of Macedonia after the action of the Ministry of Interior in Kumanovo Divo Naselje. Zaev and SDSM then claimed that the action is rigging done by the Macedonian authorities although were killed 8 members of the security forces, writes Press 24
http://kurir.mk/en/?p=51226

27/11/2015
The project “Foreign experts for domestic companies” continues to deliver excellent results
http://kurir.mk/en/?p=51205

27/11/2015
China Daily: Macedonia is credible friend and partner
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang yesterday met with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Beijing, where reached Agreement on cooperation in infrastructure and industrialization, writes China Daily.
http://kurir.mk/en/?p=51200

26/11/2015
Ahonen: Macedonia can easily become IT leader, the Government understands the future
Tomi Ahonen, the world renowned motivational speaker and author of bestsellers for mobile technology, says that the IT sector and mobile technology can initiate the development of Macedonia. According to him, these industries are dominated by young people, which our country has, reported Lider.
http://kurir.mk/en/?p=51156

25/11/2015
Chinese companies interested in investing
Chinese companies are interested to increase investment in Central and Eastern Europe, and this will open up new opportunities for companies, said businessmen from Macedonia participating at the 5 Trade Economic Forum, held in the Chinese city Sudzhou.
http://kurir.mk/en/?p=51110

25/11/2015
Low metal prices concern (Google Translate)
Halving of the stock prices of metals questioned the viability of domestic mines. The cost of production is higher than the purchase. Business — sector requires authorities to make efforts to restart production in Zletovo and Kr and find a new investor …
https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.co.uk&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://mrt.com.mk/node/27852&usg=ALkJrhg7GRJlnWGVMABs7xE1MucmuQ2jmw

MONTENEGRO

US and NATO Praise Montenegro’s Progress
US and NATO officials welcomed Montenegro’s security reforms ahead of a key meeting ne
xt week, when alliance foreign ministers will decide on whether to invite it to join the club.
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/us-nato-praise-montenegro-reforms-11-26-2015

SERBIA

27/11/2015
PM says “very favorable” conditions secured in China
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic stated on Thursday that a memorandum has been inked in China on the construction of two sections of Corridor 11.
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2015&mm=11&dd=27&nav_id=96179

27/11/2015
Serbia’s ‘Institutional Chaos’ Deters Investors
Belgrade’s failure to implement reliable business regulations and judicial reform is damaging the country’s chances of economic recovery, warn experts.
http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/serbia-s-institutional-chaos-deters-investors-11-26-2015

26/11/2015
Belgrade wants to reestablish flights to Pristina
Marko Djuric said on Thursday that Belgrade is interested in restoring flights to Pristina after 16 years
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2015&mm=11&dd=26&nav_id=96178

25/11/2015
Business environment “improves considerably”
The Serbian Chamber of Commerce (PKS) on Wednesday presented the results of the fifth annual survey of 1,000 businesses.
http://www.b92.net/eng/news/business.php?yyyy=2015&mm=11&dd=25&nav_id=96157

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