The US business website Bloomberg has published a list of 60 most innovative countries in the world. Slovenia, which was not included on the list last year, ranked 31st this year, between Spain and Hungary. The most innovative country on this year’s index is South Korea, followed by Germany and Finland. Slovenia was ranked second for efficiency of tertiary education, and eighth for the added value in the manufacturing sector. Slovenia’s worst ranking relates to the patent activity, taking 60th place.
Croatia’s international gross reserves reach EUR 17bn
Last year, the Croatian National Bank (CNB) made an effort to reduce the appreciation pressure on the its kuna currency, intervening altogether on the foreign exchange market five times, out of which only three times in December, totalling EUR 1.8bn. According to data from the CNB, Croatia’s international gross reserves reached EUR 17bn at the end of November, and analysts Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) expect their further growth to record levels. 85% of the international reserves were in euros, followed by investments in US dollars (about 13%), and special drawing rights (2%). The RBA expects full commitment of the central bank to stable exchange rate policy during this year, Croatia’s poslovni.hr reports.
Fuel in BiH is more expensive than in the richest European country
Drivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) pay more for fuel than residents of Luxembourg, the country that is considered the richest member of the European Union. According to the Foreign Trade Chamber of BiH, which considers the data from the International Union of Road Transport (IRU), last week a litre of gasoline 95 cost BAM 2.26, gasoline 98 cost BAM 2.41 and diesel was BAM 2.36. In the same week, gasoline 95 in Luxembourg cost EUR 1.1 (BAM 2.15), gasoline 98 was EUR 1.119 (BAM 2.33), while a litre of diesel cost EUR 1.02 (BAM 1.99). Price of certain types of fuel in other EU countries, such as Germany, Austria and Slovenia was almost the same or less than in BiH. Consumer Protection Associations say that the unacceptable justification of the state is that it cannot do anything due to free price formation. “Obviously most powerful (petrol) distributors in BiH determine how much profit they want and everyone else has to follow. Most distributors have different expenses, but consumers pay identical prices at petrol stations, so obviously there is an agreement to follow the most powerful and the one who dares to set the highest possible price and thus plan for a good profit,” the association’s president, Gordana Bulić, told Bosnia’s online portal Slobodna Bosna.
Haradinaj: tariffs will remain until Serbia recognises us
Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj said yesterday evening that 100% tax on imports of products from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina remains in force until there is “mutual recognition between Kosovo and Serbia”. The US and the EU have urged Kosovo earlier to abolish the import tax. Haradinaj said that Ksovo is“working towards getting rid of the tax because it’s suggested by our allies in the US, but we will come to such decision by reaching a comprehensive agreement on mutual recognition with Serbia”, Haradinaj said. Chairman of the Kosovo Assembly Kadri Veseli pointed out that Kosovo is “determined to preserve friendship and strategic partnership with the US forever” and that such relationship “will never change”.