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EU Economic and Financial Dialogue with Western Balkan and Turkey

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The annual Economic and Financial Dialogue with the EU, the Western Balkans and Turkey will take place today in Brussels.

North Macedonia’s National Bank President Anita Angelovska-Bezoska and Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski will take part in the economic and financial dialogue between the EU, the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Representatives of the EU Member States, the Western Balkans and Turkey, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, as well as representatives of the central banks of the Western Balkans and Turkey meet once a year for their annual economic policy dialogue.

The dialogue on economic governance with the Western Balkans and Turkey is meant to prepare them for their future participation in the EU economic policy coordination. Ownership is key to achieve the results envisioned in the Economic Reform Programmes and the below jointly agreed policy guidance. The dialogue reflects to some extent the European Semester process at EU level.

This year’s dialogue will include evaluation of fulfilment of EU guidelines on the Economic Reform Programmes (ERPs).

The submitted 2018 Economic Reform Programmes (ERPs) of the Western Balkans and Turkey outline the medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal framework as well as structural reforms (affecting areas such as labour markets and education, energy, innovation and the business environment) to enhance competitiveness and long-term growth. The programmes cover the period 2018-2020.

Participants are expected to recall the commitment to set out a new set of targeted policy guidance to support efforts towards fulfilling the Copenhagen economic criteria.

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Economy

Alkaloid mulls EUR 11 million investment to expand production capacities

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Alkaloid AD Skopje is extending production capacity at its Skopje facility to meet increased demand for products.

The drug-maker is extending its existing production facilities, designed to cover an area of 7.000 square meters and will create 200 new jobs.

The dedication to permanent growth and development, the commitment to follow in the footsteps of latest trends and achievements in the pharmaceutical industry, has been the company’s main driving force in the past 20 years. “Alkaloid AD Skopje (ALK) retained its continued investment formula, and had invested over 200 million euros allocated mainly in pharmaceuticals division.

To this end, investments in the new production facilities will reach 11 million euros. The entire process will comply with the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations

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Economy

US launches monopoly investigation into major tech companies

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The US Department of Justice has opened a broad antitrust investigation into tech giants. The department has not said which companies will be investigated specifically but it’s highly likely that Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook will be swept up in the case.

The investigation will look into how the top tech companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon grew in size and expanded their reach into other businesses. Officials are interested in whether the companies have “stifled innovation by thwarting competition unlawfully or otherwise harmed consumers.”

The department’s antitrust division did not name the companies but announced on Tuesday that it was reviewing market-leading “online platforms” to see how they have come to power and whether they engaged in illegal practices that reduced competition and made it difficult for smaller companies to grow.

The investigation raises the prospect that the companies could be fined, forced to change their business models, or in an extreme scenario, broken up.

The Justice Department said it had received a number of complaints against big tech companies that include allegations surrounding search, social media and retail services.

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Economy

Volvo recalls million cars over risk of fire

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Swedish carmaker Volvo is recalling more than a million vehicles worldwide because some of the components in the motor are at risk of melting, a spokesman says.

In the worst-case scenario, the problem could lead to engines catching fire, the spokesman said on Saturday. However, Volvo has not received any complaints of this happening.

According to Swedish broadcaster SVT, the problem affects models with four-cylinder diesel motors manufactured between 2014 and 2019. This includes the V40, V60, V70, S80, XC60 and XC90.

The recall is the second piece of bad news for the Chinese-owned manufacturer this week: On Thursday, Volvo reported a sharp drop in profits in the second quarter of 2019, despite a significant increase in sales.

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