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BSTDB sees 3.0-3.5% GDP growth in Black Sea region in 2013

SOFIA (Bulgaria), November 24 (SeeNews) - The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) expects economic growth in the Black Sea region to pick up next year and reach 3.0-3.5%, its president, Andrey Kondakov, said.

The bank operates in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine - its eleven founding countries.

"Something at around 3.0% would be normal for the region, and is still twice as high as in the eurozone," Kondakov told SeeNews on the sidelines of the Southeast Europe Business Forum in Istanbul on Friday.

SeeNews was as media partner of the two-day event organised by the Bulgaria Economic Forum.

The best performers in the region will be Russia and Turkey, Kondakov added.

The bank sees the region's economic growth this year at an average of 2.6%, the BSTDB president said during his presentation at the forum.

Regulations, which may change overnight, are among the biggest risks to investors in the region, Kondakov told SeeNews. "We saw some examples [of this], including in the area of renewable energy." Kondakov also pointed to currency risks and limited access to financing as further challenges in the region. Infrastructure too is still poor and the bank sees business opportunities in financing infrastructure projects, including through public-private partnerships.

In Bulgaria, the bank is active in steel manufacturing, tourism and energy. It has a project underway for a 60 megawatt wind farm in Suvorovo, in the northeast of the country.

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