COVID-19 and Trump’s indifference helped human rights abusers in 2020
Durov rejects Western funds’ offer to buy 5%-10% of Telegram with $30bn valuation
Belarusian government sees $2bn of withdrawals, issues $580mn worth of bonds in 2020
Lukashenko: I am no enemy of the people
One of Russia’s biggest wood product companies, Segezha could be Sistema’s next IPO
The volume of the Russian National Wealth Fund tops $183.93bn as gold overtakes dollar asset for first time
New Ukrainian VC firm QPDigital aims to invest up to $100 million in digital startups
EBRD investments reach record €11bn in pandemic-struck 2020
FPRI BMB Ukraine: Most Ukrainians are optimistic about 2021 – poll
OUTLOOK 2021 Lithuania
EBRD says loan to Estonia’s controversial Porto Franco project was never disbursed
Estonian premier quits after Tallinn development scandal
Top Centre Party official suspected of corruption in Tallinn real estate scandal
Czech Pirates and Mayors approve final coalition agreement for 2021 elections
OUTLOOK 2021 Czechia
BRICKS & MORTAR: Rosier future beckons for CEE retailers after year of change and disruption
Romanian tech entrepreneurs expand into banking sector
OUTLOOK 2021 Hungary
Hungarian government remains silent after Capitol riots
Storming parliaments: New Europe's greatest hits
World Bank expects modest recovery for Europe and Central Asia in 2021
FDI inflows to CEE down 58% in 1H20 but rebound expected
OUTLOOK 2021 Slovakia
Slovakia to invest €1.2bn in digitisation
BALKAN BLOG: The controversial recipe for building up Albania
Heavy flooding causes chaos in parts of Southeast Europe
Vodafone Albania plans €100mn infrastructure investments after AbCom merger
OUTLOOK 2021 Albania
Kyiv accuses Bosnian President Dodik of lying about icon gifted to Russian foreign minister
Bosnia’s real GDP contracts 6.3% y/y in 3Q20
Sofia-based LAUNCHub Ventures holds first close of new fund on €44mn
ING THINK: Growth in the Balkans: from zero to hero again?
OUTLOOK 2020 Bulgaria
Labour demand down 28% y/y in Croatia in 2020
Zagreb Stock Exchange's Crobex10 index at highest level since March 5
OUTLOOK 2021 Kosovo
Arrera Automobili aims to launch Albania’s first supercar
World Bank revises projection for Moldova’s 2020 GDP decline to 7.2%
Moldova’s PM resigns to prepare the ground for early elections
Socialist lawmakers in Moldova scrap settlement on $1bn bank frauds
Montenegro’s new ruling coalition carves up top state jobs
OUTLOOK 2021 Montenegro
Vast tide of floating waste threatens Balkan hydropower plants
North Macedonia's manufacturing confidence indicator down by 8.5 pp y/y in December
OUTLOOK 2021 North Macedonia
Transparency International warns of high corruption risk in CEE defence sectors
Moldova fears flooding from Ukraine's planned Dniester hydropower plants
Romania’s industrial recovery paused in November
OUTLOOK 2021 Serbia
Slovenia’s government to release funds to news agency STA after EU pressure
UK Moneyhub picks Slovenia for post-Brexit European base
Slovenia’s dire COVID-19 situation in 4Q20 caused second economic dip
Slovenia’s Eligma completes €4mn funding round
Turkish opposition leader lawsuit demands one lira from Erdogan, police probe “bald” interior minister posts
Akbank takes over Istanbul's Palladium Atasehir shopping mall
Armenia’s PM cautions conflict with Azerbaijan “still not settled” after trilateral meeting with Putin
Armenia prepares to ban Turkish imports
COMMENT: Record high debt levels will slow post-coronavirus recovery, threaten some countries' financial stability, says IIF
Russia, Kazakhstan pushing for oil production increases on the back of coronavirus vaccine-fuelled oil price optimism
OUTLOOK 2021 Georgia
Georgia’s political kingpin Bidzina Ivanishvili quits politics
Modern-day “Robin Hood” inspires Georgians drowning in debt
Iran’s navy conducts missile drill while analyst argues Trump even capable of nuclear strike in final days
TEHRAN BLOG: Who’s more credible? Johnson backing Trump’s Nobel chances or Iran applauding arrest warrant for US president?
Central Asia vaccination plans underwhelm, but governments look unruffled
Fears of authoritarianism as Kyrgyz populist wins landslide and backing for ‘Khanstitution’
OUTLOOK 2021 Kyrgyzstan
Mongolia's winter dzud set to be one of most extreme on record says Red Cross
Mongolian coal exports to China paralysed as Beijing demands virus testing of truck drivers
Mongolia fears economic damage as country faces up to its first local transmissions of coronavirus
Mongolia in lockdown after suffering first local coronavirus transmissions
OUTLOOK 2021 Tajikistan
China business briefing: Not happy with Kyrgyzstan
OUTLOOK 2021 Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan: How the Grinch stole New Year
Turkmenistan: The dammed united
COMMENT: Uzbekistan is being transformed, but where are the democratic reforms?
OUTLOOK 2021 Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s Makro positions itself for growth in a more competitive market
Download the pdf version
Turkey on July 1 was coming to terms with two big blows dealt by Europe to its fragile economy.
Firstly, Germany’s Volkswagen said the blow to demand caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis meant a proposal for it to build a $1.4bn auto plant in Turkey—already in doubt given union protests against investing in a country responsible for human rights offences during its incursion into northeast Syria last October—was no longer under consideration. Secondly, the European Union showed no sign of backtracking from a decision to exclude Turkey from a list of countries recommended for non-essential travel amid the pandemic, causing Ankara to tell the bloc to correct the “mistake” as soon as possible.
Volkswagen made it clear it now saw no point in building a new factory in Turkey or in a nearby country, saying that the steep drop in demand for cars worldwide caused by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic meant the manufacturing capacity was no longer needed.
The drafted plan was to build a plant in Manisa on Turkey’s western coast to make Volkswagen Passat models as well as Superb sedans that come under its Czech Skoda brand. The company was envisaging a possible start in 2022 with an annual capacity of 300,000 units, according to The Associated Press.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was so enthusiastic about persuading VW to select Turkey for its manufacturing facility that he ordered officials to buy Passat limousines. But then came the invasion of Syria to pursue Kurdish fighters and Turkey as a location met with opposition from German labour unions.
VW added that the pandemic had pushed market growth expectations far into the future.
The plant was originally intended to supply vehicles that would satisfy what was previously forecast as growing demand in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. VW said it would carry out all its planned vehicle projects with its current factories.
The EU’s exclusion of Turkey from its “safe list” of countries where it can advise non-essential travel is a grievous blow for a country that relies on tourism for something like around 13% of its GDP and is desperate to get its international tourism season rolling this summer given the huge damage already dealt to it by the virus emergency and related lockdowns and restrictions.
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy responded in a statement as quoted by Reuters: “The measures Turkey has taken to combat the coronavirus pandemic as well as her efforts and success in this respect are evident. We expect the correction of this mistake regarding the travel restrictions for our citizens as soon as possible.”
However, there have even been doubts expressed by representatives of the top Turkish medics association as to whether Turkey has yet brought its coronavirus outbreak under control. New daily cases of infection are still running at around 1,300—and that’s the official tally, the unofficial picture could be a lot worse say some experts.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy were set to visit Berlin on July 2 for talks with German officials to discuss the pandemic and tourism among other issues. Germany is a key source of tourists for Turkey.
Earlier on July 1, Erdogan told officials from his AKP party that Europe had maintained “restrictive” policies towards Turkey based on political rather than health factors. He also spent part of the day fiercely criticising foreign social media networks and warning that his administration would bring their platforms under its control or shut them down.
here to continue reading this article
and 5 more for free or purchase
12 months full website access including
the bne Magazine for just $250/year.
Register to read the bne monthly magazine for
Password could contain only
and have 8-20 symbols length.
Please complete your registration by confirming your
A confirmation email has been sent to the email
address you provided.
can't be empty.
No user with
this email address.
Access recovery request has expired, or you are using
the wrong recovery token. Please, try again.
Access recover request has expired.
Please, try again.
To continue viewing our content you need to complete
the registration process.
Please look for an email that was sent to
with the subject line
"Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have
instructions on how to complete registration
process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in
case this communication was misdirected in your
If you have any questions please contact us at email@example.com
Sorry, but you have used all your free articles fro
this month for bne IntelliNews. Subscribe
to continue reading for only $119 per year.
Your subscription includes:
For the meantime we are also offering a free
digital weekly newspaper to subscribers to
the online package.
Click here for more subscription options,
including to the print version of our
flagship monthly magazine:
Take a trial to our premium daily news
service aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging
For any other enquiries about our
products or corporate discounts please
contact us at
If you no longer wish to receive
Magazine annual print
Website & Archive
Combined package: web
access & magazine print
Take a trial to our premium daily news service
aimed at professional investors that
covers the 30 countries of emerging Europe: