medNews

ISRAEL, GREECE AND CYPRUS: AGREEMENT ON GAS PIPELINE FOR EUROPE

The Israeli Minister of national infrastructure, energy and water resources, Yuval Steinitz, met yesterday in Jerusalem the Greek Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism Giorgos Stathakis and the Cypriot Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Georgios Lakkotrypis, in order to promote a closer cooperation with Europe in the Energy sector and to meet, as soon as possible, the European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arais Canete. The news is released by the economic newspaper Globes.

Objective of the meeting was the decision to promote the construction of a pipeline to link Israel to Cyprus and Greece, and then to Italy and Bulgaria (the EU has already prepared a feasibility study on this project) in order to export natural gas and make Europe less dependent from Russia, from an energy point of view.

The costs are estimated to be around USD 5.7 billion and the price should be USD 7-9 per BTU in order for the project to be economically advantageous. Sources in the energy sector affirm, however, that the real cost of the project will be over USD 2 billion more than estimated and that a USD 7-9 price would not be economically acceptable on a market in which Russia sells 175 billion cubic metres of gas (accounting for 43% of the total gas consumed in Europe) for a price of USD 4.40 per BTU.

The same day, the European Commissioner for Energy said that the 124 agreements currently in place for gas supplies will be united in a single instrument, again with the objective of reducing the dependency of Europe towards Russia.

The pipeline can become a more profitable business in the case new deposits will be found, while Minister Steinitz underlined the political and strategic aspect for the balance between countries in the region.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

SLOVENIA, ERJAVEC "MORE RESOURCES FOR SECURITY"

At the end of the 2-day meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in Brussels, the Head of Slovenian Diplomacy Karl Erjavec declared the need for more funds to be allocated for security in the future. This applies also to Slovenia, whose funds for security will have to increase. Erjavec mentioned the risk of another migratory flow on the Balkan route and the risk of terrorism. On the occasion, a meeting of the Ministers of the countries that will establish a battalion in Latvia, to be led by Canada, to consolidate the position of the Alliance in Eastern Europe, was held. It is foreseen that Spanish, Italian, Polish, Albanian and Slovenian soldiers will be part of it, together with Latvians and Canadians.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

ALBANIA, POLITICAL ELECTIONS SET FOR 18 JUNE 2017

Albanians will be voting for the political elections on 18 June 2017. The date was set by the Head of State Bujar Nishani. Currently, Albania is governed by the centre-left majority of Prime Minister Edi Rama, who in June 2013 obtained a great victory, defeating the centre-right of the then Prime Minister Sali Berisha, at his second mandate. Immediately after that, Berisha decided to resign, leaving his place to his heir apparent Lulzim Basha.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

MONTENEGRO, TENDER FOR MEDICINES AND MEDICAL PRODUCTS BLOCKED

On 3 December in Montenegro the call for the purchase of medicines was blocked due to a submission of an irregularity report. It is to be recalled that on 7 November 2016 Montefarm, public authority that provides national pharmacies with medical and health products, published three calls for tenders for the purchase of these products, for a total value of slightly more than EUR 31 million, distributed as follows: EUR 1.64 million for 195 types of medical products, EUR 19.7 million for 331 types of ampoule products and EUR 10.66 million for 486 types of medicines for oral administration.  

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

MOROCCO, FIRST PRIVATE HYDROELECTRIC STATIONS

The Moroccan company Platinum Power, whose main shareholder is the American Investment Fund Brookstone Partners, will launch a project for the construction of 3 private hydroelectric stations  in Morocco, in the Beni Mellal region, 200km north-east from Marrakech. It is an unprecedented project in the country, because so far all hydroelectric stations have been managed by the national authority ONEE. An amendment to the law on renewable energy, approved in 2015, allows private initiatives in the production of energy from renewable resources, in this case water. This regulation allowed the private project of Platinum Power to show its public utility. The project was published on the Moroccan Government gazette on 24 October. Platinum Power foresees a MAD 2.8 billion (over EUR 260 million) investment for the construction of three small hydroelectric stations: Boutferda (18 MW), Tillouguit Amont (8 MW) e Tillouguit Aval (30 MW), which will benefit from the water coming from the Atlas. The estimated annual production is 250 GWH. This project received an agreement for a waiver on its urban impact by the Regional Commission for Investments (CRI) of the Beni Mellal-Khenrifa Wilaya. It should create 480 jobs during the construction, and 80 additional jobs after the beginning of operations, date that is so far unknown. Platinum Power, specialized in the development, funding, construction and management of projects for energy production from renewables, operates also in Ivory Coast and Cameroon, and has a network that produces almost 2,500 MW in the hydroelectric, wind and solar energy secotors. Other Platinum Power shareholders are, in addition to Brookstone Partners, the German development bank KfW, the European Investment Bank, the French Agency for Development and Morocco (through the fund for the growth of SMEs). 

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

TUNISIA 2020, 34 BLN DINARS ON FUNDING AGREEMENTS AND PLEDGES

Fadhel Abdelkefi, Minister of Development, Investments and International Cooperation, wrapped up the international conference on investments and economic and social development of Tunisia.

He explained that 4,500 people participated at the event, among which 1,500 were business partners coming from 70 countries and 40 delegations. Official commitments amount to 34 billion dinars (15 billion on agreements and 19 million in funding pledges).

The Minister underlined the agreements signed with France, which was represented by Prime Minister Manuel Valls, which foresees 3 billion dinars credit to be given over the next four years, as well as over 420 million dinars in funding agreements with preferential conditions, and a 25 million dinars donation, for which the discussions for the re-negotiation of the debt with France for investments in Tunisia was launched.  

He added that he had a meeting with the French Ambassador to Tunisia for the submission of projects to build hospitals and for regional education.

Saudia Arabia, on its side, signed a financing contract for 1.8 billion dinars through the Saudi Fund, with an additional financing mechanism at preferential rates (up to 25-30 years with an interest rate not above 2%, over and above a 7 year extra period granted).

For Germany, an agreement was signed with KFW in order to grant Tunisia a 260 million dinars loan, while the European Union gave a 500 million dinars donation.

The European Investment Bank signed with Tunisia a financing contract that amounts to 6.8 billion dinars on a time-span of 4 years, as well as a 600 million dinars loan with preferential conditions.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

LEBANON, GROWTH FORESEEN AT 2.2% IN 2017

Business Monitor International (BMI) foresees a 2.2% growth of the real GDP of Lebanese economy for 2017, compared to the +1.7% forecasat for 2016. According to BMI, private consumption is the main engine of the Lebanese economy and will contribute with 2.9% of the growth rate for 2016, and with 3.4% for 2017.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

OECD REVIEWS ITS OUTLOOK FOR SLOVENIA

The OECD foresees a 2% growth in Slovenia for this year, which is 0.5% higher than June estimates. For 2017, it indicates +2.4%, slightly more (+0.1%) of what announced earlier, while for 2018 the forecast is of +2.3%. in this period, unemployment is supposed to decrease: according to ILO criteria, this year it will drop to 7.8%, in 2017 to 7.1% and in 2018 to 6.9%. It is also foreseen a decrease of public deficit, supposed to reach 2.4% of the GDP this year, 1.6% of the GDP in 2017 and 0.9% of the GDP in 2018.

Together with the creation of new jobs, internal consumption should also grow. Thanks to European funding, investments are expected to growth, especially in the infrastructure sector.

Financial media underline the negative OECD estimates with regards to the public deficit (supposed to reach 85% of the GDP by the end of the year) and note that positive indexes are also due to the positive international conjuncture, therefore reforms are still necessary, first and foremost that of the pensions.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

TURKEY, CONSUMERS CONFIDENCE DECREASES

The consumers’ confidence index dropped to 68.9 in November, recording a -6.9& compared to the previous month. The index recorded a sharp increase after the parliamentary elections of November 2015, with a 23% increase on a one-year basis.

According to the Chief Economist of Finansbank, the worsening of financial indicators, particularly the constant weakening of the Turkish pound, are the main reasons for the drop in the confidence index.

The economist added that the index was resilient compared to other preliminary indicators in the last few months. Afterwards, it increased by 11% in August, remained stable in the following months, until the growth of loans and industrial production showed some signals of decline.

The unemployment expectations index dropped to 71.3 (-7.6% compared to the previous month).

Also the indicator that measures the expectations on the internal financial situation of the country decreased by 5.4% in October, reaching 89.01.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

TUNISIA, EUR 14 MILLION FROM EBRD TO 700 SMES

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) decided to allocate EUR 14 million in the next 3 years to 700 Tunisian small and medium sized enterprises, in order for them to benefit from technical assistance in various sectors: consultancy, marketing strategy, human resources management, Iso quality system. This was announced by the EBRD national Director of the program of technical assistance to Tunisian SMEs, Anis El Fahem. He added that the Bank will shortly sign other conventions to fund public projects in the energy sector at the margins of the international conference for investments “Tunisia 2020”, to be held next 29-30 November in Tunisia.

Since 2012, 320 Tunisian enterprises benefited of technical assistance grants for a total value of EUR 4 million, in order to strengthen their competitiveness on the market.

(ITALPRESS/MNA).


Source: medNews

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