Business News

Bulgaria records 3.1% economic growth in 2018
Bulgaria’s economy grew by 3.1 per cent last year, based on preliminary data, the country’s National Statistics Institute (NSI) said on March 7. In real terms, gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 was 107.9 billion leva in current prices, or 55.2 billion euro. In the fourth quarter, Bulgaria’s economy grew by 0.8 per cent compared to the previous quarter and 3.2 per cent year-on-year. In real terms, GDP in the last three months of 2018 was 29.8 billion leva or 15.2 billion euro. NSI’s preliminary data gave a breakdown by key growth components only for the last quarter of 2018, not the full year. Fourth-quarter figures showed domestic consumption shrink for the first time in four years, on a quarterly basis, declining by 0.1 per cent compared to the previous three months, but was five per cent up on an annual basis. Gross fixed capital formation in the fourth quarter increased by 2.8 per cent and was 6.6 per cent higher on an annual basis. Exports in the fourth quarter rose by 3.1 per cent, while imports increased by 2.4 per cent (year-on-year, exports were 1.4 per cent higher and imports rose by 1.6 per cent). In real terms, the fourth-quarter trade deficit was 641 million leva, but the full-year trade balance showed a surplus of 915 million leva, the equivalent of 0.9 per cent of GDP.   Source:
Information Service
Number of social media users hits 3.9 mn
In a few years, the social media has created a tremendous information revolution and spread rapidly on all aspects of life, especially the opinion industry in various social, political and economic forms. Although it has become an integral part of everyday life, it has witnessed many opinions about how important it is and to what extent they should have an impact on society. The number of social media users in Kuwait has reached 3.9 million, noting that the number of the intramural users in Kuwait is 1.8 million users. The percentage of devices connected to the Internet reached 168% of the total population in Kuwait, which reflects the passion of followers of social media. The number of social media users is 3.9 million, 98% of the total number is Internet users in general and 92% of the total population or 3.1 million people use social media via mobile phones or 73 percent of the total population. Number of social media users has witnessed an unprecedented boom in recent times, especially as the proportion of devices connected to the Internet reached 168% of the total population in Kuwait, and the total number of those who have SIM cards in Kuwait reached 7.10 million. The number of prepaid users is 62% compared to 32% for long-term users and 92% of those who connect to the Internet through the 4G network. As for the number of social media users, there were 3 million active Facebook users (29% female, 71% male). The WhatsApp, Instagram active users is 1.8 million (38% female, 62% male) followed by Twitter with 1.68 million active users (25% female 75% male) followed by Snapp Chat where the total number of users of 1.65 million active users (55% female) 45% male). This application is more popular among females because it contains filters to modify the image and is distinct from other applications.   Source:
Franchise Industry
COSTO: The revolutionary retail chain expands its wings
COSTO retail chain has announced the opening of their second store in Kuwait after the successful run of their pilot store in Khaitan. Costo Khaitan has received phenomenal response from customers from day one of their operations. COSTO is a customer driven purchase store where customer feedbacks determine the future products in the store. Giving customers the delight to buy exactly what they want, be it any brand or product. The Fahaheel store spread over 11,000 sq/ft, unlike normal supermarkets and hypermarkets will feature a limited set of products across categories that caters to all necessary needs of a customer. Costo is part of Regency Group which is among the foremost retail players in GCC region. The best price for customers is made possible as the group has its own sourcing centers in Turkey, China, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. This ensures the best quality products reach customers in minimum time at the lowest prices. The concept of Costo was arrived after a lot of in-depth research done by group’s internal research along with consultants from Europe and Turkey. Team Costo is in fact delighted that they chose Kuwait to launch this retail brand as customer response has been overwhelming which has further strengthened their belief in this revolutionary retail concept. The vision of Costo is to be the preferred retailer providing anything from Fresh, Food & Non Food, butchery, household, fashion, footwear, electronics, mobiles and laptops at world class quality at best possible prices. Perishable goods, farm produces and meat are exclusively flown in from around the globe on daily basis to offer uncompromised quality standards. In order to achieve their mission of reaching every customer, the promoters, Regency Group, aim to spread this retail store in all the major areas of Kuwait. 3rd store is all set to open before the end of this month, further details will be revealed after Fahaheel store opening.   Source:
Solar power charging stations to be set up
The concerned institutions such as the Environment Public Authority and the Ministry of Electricity and Water in cooperation with a private company, are currently working on setting specific mechanisms for these stations, which will be established this year as a pilot project in preparation for generalizing this experiment after ensuring its success as well as according to the spread of this type of cars in the local market. The sources pointed out that the pilot station for charging electric cars shall be operated with solar energy and energy storage and will evaluate the project within a specified period of time to get conclusions.   Source :
Yucatan state government and UNAM promote the creation of the Museum of the Light in Merida-Mexico
Greater scientific knowledge, new cultural space and an additional attraction for tourists that visit Yucatan- is what the new “Museum of Light” represents, a project promoted jointly by the Government of Yucatan and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which will allow the state to have an enclosure unique in its own type, and in a world class level. This new avant-garde site will be built on the grounds of the old railway station of Mérida, better known as “La Plancha”, and will enrich the cultural circuit of the historic center of the Yucatecan capital and regain the attention of locals and tourists to this point of the city that for many years has been condemned to oblivion, turning it into a national reference for cultural tourism. With an investment of US $5 million for its construction, this modern space will present the scientific and technological advances around the luminescence art and offer a site designed to bring knowledge through various interactive activities designed for the delight of people of all ages. During the visit made last February by the Rector of UNAM, Enrique Graue Wiechers, to Mérida, it was announced that the museum will have an area of ​​4,430m2 and will feature dozens of different attractions, such as: six areas of permanent exhibition, a room of temporary exhibitions, an experimental laboratory of science and artistic workshops zone.   Source:
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