Connect with us

Finance

Economic Relations Between the Western Balkan Six Countries

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Regional cooperation between the western Balkan countries is the key factor that will lead those countries towards the EU perspective. Improving relations of the Western Balkan countries is a goal that should be fulfilled. The improvement of these relations is a commitment made by the countries themselves at the EU-Western Balkans Summit of Zagreb (2000) and Thessaloniki (2003). Regional cooperation is the way towards regional economic prosperity, social and economic stability.

It is very obvious nowadays that the responsibilities and benefits of the western Balkan countries are tied to the development and bilateral cooperation. Cooperation is an issue applied in different fields, the ones of cross-border nature, to political understanding, addressing to a social and socio-economic prosperity.

Regional cooperation is an important strategic approach of building positive relations. The Western Balkan countries should be opened to collaborate towards a sustainable economy, regional collaboration and partnership as factors of vital strategic importance of building positive relations among them.

I will do the analysis of the impact of such collaboration in in the economic cooperation, achieving economic stability and identifying the respective competitive advantages, strengthening regional market integration and mutual elimination of non-tariff trade barriers. In specific, in this paper I will focus on bilateral economic relations between Albania and Serbia in the frame of integration process.

INTRODUCTION

“We note increasingly stronger support among the countries of the region for the development of regional ties. It is very encouraging that the areas of trade, energy and transport are among those where regional cooperation is the most substantial. Economic development is crucial if the region is to produce the jobs needed for its people. Further efforts are needed to increase trust and cooperation between peoples and countries. In the area of justice and home affairs, the countries need to enhance regional cooperation to achieve results.

Extended regional cooperation in south-eastern Europe is essential, regardless of the different stage of integration of the various countries, and an important criterion for the European course of the western Balkan countries. The stability, prosperity and security of the region are of significant interest to the EU. The EU will continue to foster all endeavours to promote regional cooperation.”

Perhaps the most tangible achievement of all lies in the fact that most of the Western Balkan countries are on a path towards European Union accession, something that seemed far off in the 1990s. It is incumbent upon us not to understate the serious challenges that lie ahead, both in terms of macroeconomic stability and even more so with regard to longer-term development. A key contribution of this book is to underscore the incomplete reform process in the region. We should be worried about this, as without further reforms the lackluster growth of recent years could become the norm, imperiling the convergence of living standards towards Advanced European levels, and denying employment opportunities to many in the region.

ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THE WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES

According to David Lipton, IMF first deputy managing Director, he transition from socialism to capitalism and democracy was less smooth than in other parts of Emerging Europe. But once the war ended and peace returned, these countries did more than rebuild: they began a transformation into market economies, liberalizing prices, privatizing many state- and socially-owned enterprises, and building the institutions needed to support a market economy.

On his report analyses the main economic developments and achievements in the Western Balkan countries, and lays out the key macroeconomic policy challenges for the future. While the collapse of communism 25 years ago marked the start of the transition to market economies for all Emerging Europe, the economic transformation of the Western Balkans really got going only after the conflicts that engulfed the region in the 1990s subsided. Hence, the past 15 years are the main focus of this report. The report is structured as follows. The overview chapter surveys the key findings and policy recommendations. Individual analytical chapters then focus in depth on the following key thematic issues: growth and structural reforms, macroeconomic developments and policies and the role of the IMF in the economic transformation, and the financial sector. Each analytical chapter concludes by outlining the key challenges that the Western Balkans face and suggests possible policy responses. Given that the Western Balkan countries are following the path previously taken by New Member States to become members of the European Union, the analysis relies heavily on comparisons between these two subregions. In compressing the experience of more than 17 countries over 15 very eventful years, the report inevitably focuses on broad themes, and cannot do justice to the nuance and diversity of individual country narratives. While the report highlights the role of the IMF during the economic transition, the Fund is only one of a number of agencies that have supported these countries over the past 25 years. In particular, the IMF may have taken a lead role in the early phases of transition, but for some Western Balkan countries the prospect of accession to the European Union has also been an important catalyst for reform. Other key players include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Central Bank, European Investment Bank, and World Bank, as well as bilateral country donors and private and voluntary sector institutions. But whether external assistance comes from the IMF or others, its impact pales in significance to the importance of domestically-driven reform and development, which is the principal subject of the report. The report was prepared by a team from IMF headquarters in Washington DC, IMF offices in the region, and the IMF’s Joint Vienna Institute (JVI). The views presented are those of the authors.

REGIONAL COOPERATION

Regional cooperation is a principle of the highest importance for the political stability, the security and economic development of the western Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro (including Kosovo, under the auspices of the United Nations, pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999). Many of the challenges facing the western Balkan countries are not only common to them but also have a cross-border dimension, which involves their regional neighbours.

Since the enlargement of 1 May 2004, the EU and the western Balkans have become even closer neighbours, and so the situation in the western Balkan countries, their progress on the road to European integration and their present and future relations with the EU really are of immediate concern to the EU itself. When Bulgaria and Romania become EU members, the entire western Balkan region will be surrounded by Member States of the European Union. This will have important repercussions for both the countries of the region and the EU in a number of areas, in particular where the free circulation of goods, services and persons are concerned. These challenges have to be addressed in the broader context of south-eastern Europe.

The different set of reasons – political, economic and security – for which regional cooperation in the western Balkans is crucial, are closely interlinked: for instance, regional stability and security are needed for economic development, which in turn favours stability and security in the region.

Since the Stability Pact was founded, the heads of state and government of the south-eastern European countries have met regularly for consultation. At the Bucharest Summit in February 2000, they adopted a ‘Charter on Good Neighbourliness, Stability, Security and Co-operation in South-eastern Europe.’ A range of co-operative relationships has replaced bilateralism. Most Stability Pact projects and activities were proposed and are carried out by two or more countries of the region.

Previously every country of south-eastern Europe had a big brother outside, and most of the countries of Europe had a preferred partner in the Balkans. That was the reason for many conflicts, sometimes even proxy-wars, or a reason why conflicts in the Balkans became wars in Europe. The Stability Pact is the political answer to this outdated political approach from the nineteenth century. The Pact has created an upward spiral of mutual trust and practical steps. But both sides are still mistrustful, watching to see that the other side delivers, gives indications of confidence-building and that the conditions are fair. Seems that the region is about to choose a positive and successful path: day by day, the Pact is building the new, wider Europe.

Why did the Western Balkans converge more slowly? One possible explanation is that the closer physical distance of the New Member States to advanced EU economies may have offered advantages in terms of access to markets and investments, and facilitated the transfer of knowledge. These relative advantages are only recently partially offset by improvements in infrastructure links between the Western Balkans and Advanced EU economies. Yet even after controlling for the physical distance, econometric evidence suggests that, except for the postwar recovery period, the pace of convergence in the Western Balkans has been slower than in the New Member States. This is partly due to the absence of convergence within the Western Balkan region, because poorer countries such as Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to grow significantly faster than the richer countries, such as Croatia. What other factors may have constrained faster convergence? There is a growing literature on the impact of structural factors on convergence, though mostly on larger panels of countries. Findings suggest that domestic financial development speeds up convergence and that human capital is more important to growth for countries that are less developed. Better institutional infrastructure and selected labor market reforms have been shown to facilitate convergence at the regional level (Che and Spilimbergo 2012). Reform priorities for sustaining convergence have been found to vary with income levels. Empirical evidence suggests that in lower-middle-income countries, priorities should be reforming banking and agricultural sectors, reducing barriers to FDI, increasing competition in product markets for a more vibrant services sector, improving the quality of secondary and tertiary education, and alleviating infrastructure bottlenecks. In upper-middle income countries, boosting productivity growth would require deepening capital markets, developing more competitive and flexible product and labor markets, fostering a more skilled labor force, and investing in research and development and new technologies (Dabla-Norris and others 2013). Finally, a survey of various studies that focus specifically on the transition process concludes that institutional quality and market liberalization policies to promote private sector growth have a positive impact on economic growth, despite their initially disruptive effect. In line with these findings, the analysis here shows that improving the quality of governance, and developing market-oriented institutions, a strong human capital base, and deeper financial systems help poorer countries catch up. In contrast, the dominance of the public sector in the economy hinders the catching-up process. And the Western Balkans have lagged behind the New Member States in these areas. In light of the critical importance of economic transformation, the next section explores progress to date.

The implementation of the economic collaboration is the way towards progress, standing for a multilateral agreement successfully applied in those countries. This framework should be assisted and monitored. This monitoration should include evaluation of the economic outcomes as far as provide a full vision of the potential benefits and on reducing the trade costs and increasing trade.

ADVANTAGES AND POTENTIAL DRIVERS TO REGIONAL MARKET INTEGRATION

Reforms are considered potential drivers to regional market development and integration.

1. Institutional Reforms.

The protection of property rights is a common problem in most of the Western Balkan countries, particularly relative to the EU average, though to a lesser extent in FYR Macedonia. Indicators related to corruption and government inefficiency also point to reform gaps in most countries. Compared to NMS, inefficient government spending appears to be an important constraint in Serbia, Albania, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Serbia, and to a lesser extent in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Montenegro, reform needs are large in areas linked to corporate sector performance. Specifically, this includes the strength of reporting standards, efficacy of corporate boards, and protection of minority shareholders. Encouragingly, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia, and Montenegro score relatively well in terms of burden of government regulation, even compared to the EU average. For Croatia and Serbia, however, the gaps in this area remain large.

2. Infrastructure.

The analysis of specific reform gaps within the broader infrastructure pillar suggests that the Western Balkan countries have had a mixed performance when assessed vis-à-vis their peers. In terms of overall quality of infrastructure, Croatia ranks better than its New Member State peers, while the largest overall quality gaps exist in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. All Western Balkan countries, except Croatia, lag behind the EU by a wide margin. The gap analysis points to important reform potential in railroad infrastructure in Albania, FYR Macedonia, and Serbia. Compared to the average EU country, road and air transport infrastructure gaps are large in all countries, though to a lesser extent in Croatia.

3. Goods Markets Efficiency.

The results of the analysis suggest that the Western Balkan countries impose a relatively low tax burden on businesses. Total tax rates are well below those of NMS and EU average in FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Similarly, all countries but Bosnia and Herzegovina perform well or are broadly at par in terms of procedures and time to start a business. Gaps in competition policy, measured by the intensity of local competition and the effectiveness of anti-monopoly policy, point to potential reform needs in this area.

Gaps in trade barriers, tariffs, and impediments to foreign ownership and foreign direct investment (FDI) are relatively moderate in most Western Balkan countries, but almost always negative. Rules on FDI and foreign ownership seem to be stricter in Croatia and Serbia. Agricultural policy cost seems to be a significant burden for the economy in Croatia and Serbia, and to a lesser extent in Albania.

Labor Market Efficiency Performance of regional labor markets, when benchmarked against New Member State peers, is relatively mixed, as measured by indicators on the flexibility of setting wages, flexibility of hiring and firing, and redundancy costs. All of the Western Balkans lag behind their peers in at least one of these three areas. Croatia has relatively more inflexible hiring and firing rules, and stronger tax disincentives to work but relatively more flexible wage setting. The labor tax wedge is also relatively large in Serbia. In contrast, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina score lower in terms of flexibility of wage setting. Most of the Western Balkan countries (except Albania and Montenegro) compare less favorably to the New Member States in terms of retaining and attracting talent, contributing to skilled labor shortages. In these areas, as well as in professional management and cooperation on labor-employer relations, gaps tend to be larger vis-à-vis the EU. In other areas, differences with respect to the EU are less important, reflecting significant labor market rigidity in both sets of countries.

The economic development is certainly tied to the political stability which make the direct approach to the regional cooperation. This kind of approach builds strong relations between the western balkan countries. The non-tariff trade is a way of having a sustainable future not only for the country itself, but even for the region. Accompanying that to the other key factor of political stability, sees to be the right way of non forced, natural cooperation towards the bright economic future of these countries.

CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS FOR A SYNCHRONIZED INVESTMENT AGENDA IN THE REGION

The event on February 24th – the first all-inclusive Western Balkans summit at the EBRD – will provide an ideal opportunity for business leaders and international companies to learn more about the countries and the Bank’s role in them.

“The idea is to present this region as a whole as an investment destination,” said the EBRD’s Senior Political Counsellor Oleg Levitin. “We hope that this conference, besides facilitating much needed foreign investment, will send a very strong political message about the maturity and stability of the region.”Regional integration through road corridors, gas pipelines, expansion in the manufacturing sector and other projects will be at the top of the agenda.”We believe that regional integration needs to be made a priority,” said Claudio Viezzoli, the EBRD’s Director, Western Balkans.

The EBRD sees supporting and promoting the Western Balkans as particularly important to foster the region’s development by strengthening its potential. The countries benefit from the IFI Joint Action which includes more than €30 billion of joint commitments for the period 2013-2014 in Central and South Eastern Europe as a whole.In the Western Balkans and Croatia alone the EBRD invested in more than 80 projects totaling more than €1.2 billion in 2013. This was a new record. Over the years, the total of EBRD investments in the region has reached €10.5 billion.

The Bank is active in all sectors of the economy but has a targeted approach in each country, based on the individual country’s needs and priorities as defined in the respective country strategies. A major goal of the EBRD’s increased engagement in the region in recent years has been to support the countries in their response to and overcoming the financial crisis which had hit the region hard.

After a protracted period of contraction, in 2013 the countries again registered growth of 2 per cent on average and prospects for growth in 2014 are similar. Particularly interesting for investors are the significant catch-up potential and the efficiencies of increased cross-border economic activity.

The attractiveness of the region for foreign investment has increased thanks to improved political stability and progress in the Euro-Atlantic integration in recent years. Croatia became a member of the European Union in 2013, and Montenegro and Serbia are in the process of membership negotiations. Other countries are continuing on the course of EU approximation. At the same time intensified regional cooperation has significantly brightened economic prospects and the region’s stability.

The EBRD sees itself as a supporter of these processes, a promoter of the interests of the Western Balkans and a door-opener for international and regional investors contemplating an engagement in the region.The countries have a lot to offer: from fertile soil to a strong industrial tradition, from vibrant entrepreneurship to a proud history of innovation, from rich natural resources to a skilled and educated labour force and to stunningly beautiful landscapes – the Western Balkans have it all. The Western Balkans investment forum offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the countries and the region and to get in touch with key decision-makers and business representatives.

Having a stability in politics and regional cooperation make the Western Balkan countries interesting to generate new employments as a result of positive impact in the economy. The gain in this case will be more collective than individual. Negotiations should be strengthened. There are lakes and rivers shared by these countries, therefore specific regional cooperation is needed.

DIRECTIONS AND AREAS OF ECONOMIC INTERACTION BETWEEN ALBANIA AND SERBIA IN THE LIGHT OF THE EUROPEAN INTEGRATION PROCESS

Free trade

Regional trade liberalisation is progressing. A network of bilateral free-trade agreements among the countries of the region, including Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova, has been established, thus creating a free-trade area of 55 million consumers. This sends an important signal to the investor community, which will find a market of high absorption potential for industrial and consumer goods. To reap the full benefits of trade liberalisation in the region, the free-trade agreements need to be fully and efficiently implemented. The countries of the region committed themselves to complete the network of free trade agreements. Regional trade across south-eastern Europe is fully in keeping with the EU perspectives of the different countries in the region, independently of where they stand on their way to membership. Trade liberalisation and facilitation is one of the pillars of the stabilisation and association process (SAP): a main instrument of the SAP is the autonomous trade measures that the western Balkan countries enjoy – free access, without quantitative limit, to the EU market for practically all products.

Energy and transport infrastructure

Significant progress is being made on forming a regional energy market and rebuilding infrastructure. The projected south-eastern Europe regional energy market, which should provide modern and liberalised gas and electricity systems, will be key to a regional energy market based on European standards, transparent rules and mutual trust, and it will set the right environment for the optimal development of the energy sector. The agreement governing energy trade will substantially contribute to attracting investment into this strategic sector. Where transport infrastructure is concerned, an integrated regional transport strategy, consistent with the trans-European networks and taking into account the pan-European corridors, is a high priority. The EU also supports projects of regional significance and regional initiatives in the areas of environmental protection, science and technology, information and communication technology, and statistics.

Fight against organised crime and corruption

Organised crime and corruption are threats to security and democratic stability, and obstacles to the rule of law and economic development in the region. Combating organised crime and corruption is a key priority for the governments of the region. Particular focus is being placed upon fighting all forms of trafficking, particularly of human beings, drugs and arms, as well as smuggling of goods. Strengthening the regional operational cooperation for police and prosecution is considered a key priority for the countries of the region.

EU assistance

To promote regional cooperation in priority areas, the EU is providing political support, practical/technical guidance and financial assistance through the CARDS programme (Community assistance for reconstruction, development and stabilisation), which is one of the main instruments of the stabilisation and association process.

Priority areas where regional CARDS assistance will be focused for 2005-06 are listed below.

• Institution building: this priority focuses primarily on strengthening the administrative capacity of the countries, and support to public administration reform, through instruments implemented regionally.

• Justice and home affairs: actions in this field have a special focus on the fight against organised crime and corruption, and include enhanced police regional cooperation and judicial regional cooperation.

• Cross-border cooperation: by promoting economic and social cooperation of border regions, including support to networking activities and the involvement of civil society. The EU supports the development of cross-border cooperation between the western Balkan countries, as well as between these countries and EU members, acceding and candidate countries.

• Private-sector development, by facilitating foreign direct investments in the region.

• Infrastructure development, through initiatives in the sectors of transport, energy, environment and information society.

Considering that in the Balkan countries exist multi-ethnic societies, should be a positive thing in terms of trade, because minority groups should be seen as an added value for the implementation of the non-tariff trade. The elimination of the barriers is an important factor that is representing the approach of positive relations between those countries.

Cross-border finance is the future of Western Balkan countries. Although traditional trade barriers such as tariffs have come down, and innovations in transportation and communications technology have shrunk the distance between nations, trade costs remain high, particularly in developing countries. High trade costs isolate developing countries from world markets, limiting their trade opportunities and impeding growth. High trade costs also appear to disproportionately affect small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), time sensitive products and goods produced in global value chains. Trade procedures that are more cumbersome than necessary and delay the movement, release and clearance of goods constitute a significant part of these trade costs. Trade facilitation is intended to relieve these bottlenecks at the border. The WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) represents an important milestone by creating a multilateral framework for reducing trade costs. While changes in trade procedures can be implemented unilaterally, a multilateral agreement on trade facilitation brings added value. It provides greater legal certainty to the changes in measures. It helps reforming governments to marshal support from domestic constituents. Finally, it helps with the adoption of similar or compatible approaches to trade procedures and coordinates the provision of donor support for capacity-constrained developing countries.

Cooperation in the region represents a key element for the development of the Western Balkan in general, and a powerful collaboration towards an integrated market. Stability Pact has played an important role in the cooperation between the countries of Western Balkans. It is obvious that it many initiatives in order to promote democratic stabilization and economic development in the Western Balkan countries.

CONCLUSION

The Western Balkan financial systems need to deepen further and broaden access to financial services while preserving and enhancing financial system stability. Reforms are needed to reduce market imperfections and information asymmetries, and to allow for efficient intermediation of credit to finance investment. While Western Balkan countries have done relatively well in providing the infrastructure necessary for financial development more generally and credit deepening in particular, they have lagged their New Member State counterparts in strengthening the foundations of financial stability.

By intensifying cooperation between Balkan Countries,can turn into an element of integration, progress, stability and cooperation in the region. The European perspective of both countries will be a common good and cooperation factor for both countries. The two countries seem determined to cooperate in terms of economic exchange and cooperation as part of the new EU perspective on the Western Balkans (launched in Berlin by the German Chancellor in August 2014) and the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).

They should have some common priorities that will guide them to a successful economic perspective besides the clear EU path that have towards. Strengthening their trade dynamics is an ambitious cooperation framework.

Advertisement

Finance

Buy a Reconditioned Tour Bus for Sale That Is Like New And Costs Half the Price

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Tour buses are good for running a private game resort or a tourist transportation company. Since it can be a bit of a hassle if you do not have your own transport for your valued guests. While there may be options such as hiring or leasing vehicles, it’s so much better when the group is all together. They can get the same information, go site seeing at the same time. And they can also have the experience as a team – after all, more the merrier. A bus has more space. You should consider owning a bus to use it as part of your business or to lease it to other businesses. If you are considering starting a new transportation company to transport people. Then investing in used buses can bring a lot of benefits to your business. And is the shortest route to success.

What is a tour bus?

A tour bus is a bus used for the transportation of people to various places. It can be approximately 45 feet in length and can transport between 43 and 60 people per trip. Additionally, they have cargo space used to store goods and belongings. And gets used for more than one aspect of business within the transportation of people.

These buses vary in size and fit every budget and business need. You do not want to buy a random bus that offers no style or even comfort. You must dig deeper to find something that will last you for a long time. And will also have electrical and mechanical systems that will be relevant for several years to come. Reconditioned buses are of good quality and are a tourist attraction on their own. They have modern style exteriors, comfortable and spacious interiors, safety, and advanced technological features.

Which is the best tour bus for sale in the market?

When you are purchasing a high-value product such as a vehicle, you want it to be in the best quality. And generally have a stylish and attractive appearance. You want this vehicle to last you over a long-term period. You want a bus that requires minimal maintenance to keep it in great shape. And you want it to perform the activities that you have set out for it. When looking for transportation for your business of moving tourists around destinations. You want a bus that will be reliable and affordable. Something that is attractive and can draw in more customers. Every Tour bus for sale should have the following amazing features:

  1. The exterior– this is an important part of any bus because first impression counts. Imagine a bus so beautiful that everyone wants to ride in them. Reconditioned and repainted used buses have a like-new appearance. They have features such as grab handles, which are easy for use by people of all ages. They have stylish huge inch wheels with beautiful chrome wheel covers. The chrome wheel simulators give that sparkle to the bus as you drive. The tinted windows are big to give your passengers a great view. Passengers love the view while driving around various destinations and tourist attractions. To top it up, the bus should have a modern style, design, rear, and headlamps, to give it an impressive appearance.
  2. The interior– It makes all the difference to the passenger with its comfortable seats. Depending on the size, tour buses can fit between 14 and 35 passengers. They have vinyl seats that maximize comfort. Every bus comes with an air conditioning and heating system that keeps the vehicle warm or cold. One can adjust the temperature as per the needs of the passengers. They have a wide passenger door giving the passengers convenience. The wide door avoids cramping up with a much smaller door. A large passenger cabin ensures there is enough space between the seats. This makes sure that passengers can sit with comfort and not feel squashed. After all, comfort is the defining factor for any bus. As people spent significant time sitting on the bus and viewing places of attraction.
  3. Safety – It is one of the key aspects that every bus should have. Every seat should have a safety belt that is long enough to fit any size of a person. The seat belts offer much-needed support in case of emergency braking. All used buses have built-in speed limiters to ensure driving speed is always within the legal limits. This avoids unnecessary speeding that causes accidents. They also offer the driver advanced cruise control and stability control systems. This ensures that at any given time, the driver has full control over the vehicle. The bus should have large external rear and side-view mirrors. This is to make sure that the driver has clear visibility of vehicles that are behind and beside the bus. There is an added technological feature that informs the driver of any tires that have gone or are going to be flat. This is important as the driver can then work to maintain the required tire pressure.
  4. Special features – while a bus is not designed to be a sports car. It packs in the experience of driving the latest luxury cars. With several exciting features, a reconditioned used bus will not disappoint you. Its purpose is to improve your driving experience. They have engines designed to be eco friendly. The engines save up a lot of fuel with its impressive and amazing miles per gallon ratio. The driver’s side has an airbag to support safety in case of a collision. There are many other special features that are useful. These features will ensure that your passengers enjoy the ride to the most. And are waiting for you to explore.


Benefits of having a tour bus

Traveling by bus has benefits to both the owner and the passengers. If you are in the business of transporting people, then a bus is something you should have. Since it’s essential for transporting tourists, visitors, or large groups of people. These buses have a range of benefits, including but not limited to the following:

  1. For the passengers, the most evident benefit is space. With buses, passengers can carry a lot of their belongings in one go. This is without even compromising the space that’s required for passengers. And this is because buses have large passenger cabin space.
  2. If the passengers are on tour as a group, they will want to travel together always. Now having a bus is a bonus for them as they will get to experience the entire tour as a group. And they will travel together as a group.
  3. Buses are safe and this is due to the fact that they travel at low speeds. As it’s evident that speeding is one of the causes of crashes and collisions on the road.
  4. Buses are comfortable to travel. They come with comfortable and spacious seating arrangements and even include flip seats. These flips seats allow more passengers or more luggage, whichever comes first.
  5. As a business owner, you can offer visitors and tourists the convenience of saving money. As they will have dedicated transport to take them to the various sites. They will even save time since they don’t have to wait to hire private vehicles or public transport. And the entire group travels together.
  6. Buses are reliable. All you need to do to make sure that the bus never lets you down is a regular service. The tires must have enough air pressure and fuel and then you are good to go, that’s it.
  7. Buses have a long life span. They can be functional and durable for as long as 10 years or more. And with regular service intervals, it can last for a longer period.
  8. Depending on how your business is set up, you can make some extra cash through the bus service. For example, if you own a holiday resort where you accommodate tourists and visitors, you can add a bus tour. The tourist will love it as they get familiar with the local area.
  9. The bus can generate a great amount of income especially in peak times of the seasons. Since there are a big number of tourists and visitors coming at the same time.
  10. The bus has many other uses. For example, it can operate as a shuttle bus to the airport when it’s not transporting tourists. It can also operate as a bus to transport people to events. Or even for transporting people to entertainment functions such as concerts and festivals.

Financing your tour bus

There are several ways in which you can finance your bus. You must make sure that you find a suitable and affordable way.

  1. You can finance your bus through a cash transaction. This is possible when you have disposable funds that are available for investment. This way has an added advantage in that you do not have to pay high interest as you did not borrow cash.
  2. You can also get it financed through credit. Many bus companies offer great and the best specials for the finance of their used buses. All you must do is inquire with their finance department. They will share with you all the great deals and benefits that come with using their finance facilities. While financing may incur an extra cost through credit, you should make sure to get affordable deals. Many companies have tailored deals that are fit for you individually and their financing is one of the best in the market today. They can calculate how much you qualify for, and what the monthly repayment amount will be. So that you are well prepared in your budget.


More reason to buy tour bus for sale

Now that you have examined the features that come with a tour bus for sale in American and Canadian markets. And are aware of the various benefits that you can reap from purchasing one, you can now look into investing. It is no doubt that owning a bus will give you additional profits, should you manage it right. With a wide range of used buses for sale to choose from, you can always buy one that fits your budget and business needs.

Continue Reading

Finance

Windows Small Business Server 2008

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

In big business it isn’t entirely difficult to create a computer atmosphere that is robust, serves its users well, and is not broken down more often than not. The trick is to hire the right people to build and maintain the network and deal with IT projects as they come up. OK, maybe it’s not quite THAT simple but it doesn’t need to be a nightmare, provided the right resources are in place.

In the small business world, things often become entirely different. Many small businesses simply don’t have the resources to build – let alone maintain – a network that will adequately take care of business needs. Many small businesses wind up with a mismatch of different parts put together piece by piece by whichever technician was available at any given time and was offering the right price. Nobody’s really sure how the pieces fit together and why this was done or that was configured differently. Just finding a password for a router can be a gargantuan challenge in its own right.

I doubt I’ve ever met a small business owner who wouldn’t do whatever it would take to make their network stable and more importantly, useful and to manageable, were the resources to do so in place. From a software vendor’s point of view, it’s great to charge lots for your product and have a niche base of large businesses who can afford it. We all know that small business is in many ways driving the economy. Is it really wise to target only those large businesses and leave a wealth of opportunity on the table?

Sure, there are plenty of free and open source products out there that can take the edge off of ferocious software prices, and in fact I’ve bestowed their virtues here oh so many times. I am indeed a firm believer in the value of open source in business. My view of those benefits begin to fall apart however when we consider running an entire business on open source software when resources are limited.

Open source products are typically more difficult to manage than their commercial counterparts and support can at times be hard to find. Even the best technician needs technical support from time to time and when it’s not available – especially when a critical system is down- things can get hairy.

To me, it makes more sense for a small business to run critical servers etc. on mainstream software and leave open and source to the likes of non-critical desktop computers, web servers, and even some email servers. A small business can survive a day or two without email but is dead in the water without point of sale or accounting software.

Windows servers can form the foundation of a Windows network and let’s face it; Windows is the most dominant operating system out there. Windows servers can also serve Mac, Linux, and UNIX computers as well, so all told they’re not a bad choice for a network foundation. The problem is, they are usually not all that inexpensive.

Microsoft saw an opportunity to address the needs of small businesses, provide some higher end products that would help drive those businesses, and of course increase their own ‘[

revenues. Small Business Server is a bundle of a number of products and is priced a great deal below what one would pay for the individual packages if they were bought separately. Small Business Server was first released in 1997and frankly the first couple of versions were – well, let’s just say “not so great”.

It really wasn’t until Small Business Server 2003, released in (you guessed it!) 2003 that Small Business Server came into its own right. Small Business Server 2003 includes the standard Windows Server plus Microsoft Exchange Server, Windows SharePoint Server, and a plethora of “wizards” that make managing the server relatively easy for a small business owner. The Premium edition also includes Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft ISA Server It doesn’t much matter at this point what these things are except that they are excellent business tools.

Taken together, these products provide a solid foundation for a network that includes shared calendar, contacts, and tasks. Also included is a team web site (also known as an Intranet) and with the Premium edition, a database server and a network firewall.

If you consider the standard edition weighed against the individual software packages for 5 users, Small Business Server 2003 comes in at about $575 while the individual packages are priced at about $2100. That becomes roughly $1150 compared to about $2700 when you license 10 users. The savings go and on as users are added.

So, what’s the catch? Small Business Server 2003 can handle a maximum of 75 users, domain trust relationships are not available, and only the Small Business Server 2003 can be a domain controller. It doesn’t matter a hoot what those things mean except that very few small businesses would ever know the difference.

Microsoft is due to release Business Server 2008 in November 2008. If you own a small business and are in the market for a new server, Small Business Server 2008 will be one of those products you’d be remiss to overlook. If you need a server today you can buy the 2003 version with software assurance and get the upgrade for free. Just beware though, Small Business Server 2008 will be 64 bit only so be careful to buy the right hardware!

Continue Reading

Finance

Types of Intruder Alarm System

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

You don’t ever want to have to deal with an uninvited “guest” who has made his way into your home or office. One way to scare this person away is by installing an intruder alarm system. You will be able to keep your belongings, as well as your loved ones, safe once you have your alarm system in place. What a relief it will be to know that you have taken positive steps to protect your loved ones.

Many local businesses sell alarm systems for homes and businesses. There are many different styles and sizes to choose from. Some cost as little as $10 and others cost hundreds of dollars because they give you whole-system options. The more complicated systems require professional installation while the cheaper ones come in easy to install kits. It is not necessarily true that the more expensive systems do a much better job than inexpensive ones.

The entire alarm system concept is very easy to understand. It basically is just a simple electrical burglar alarm that is built right into a home or business entry. These alarms go off when they detect some kind of foreign intrusion. Two types of electrical systems that are used quite often are: closed-circuit and open circuit. A closed-circuit system works when for some reason the electrical circuit is broken (by an intruder) and the flow of electricity is stopped. When that happens, an alarm goes off. An open-circuit system works after the door is opened. When that happens, the circuit is closed and the flow of electricity is triggered and sets off an alarm.

Circuit-type alarm systems work very well in protecting the outside of your house or office building. However, they don’t work as well as a motion detector to protect the inside of your home of building. Motion detectors use either microwave energy or ultrasonic sound waves to detect any kind of motion. So, when an intruder passes near the motion detector, an alarm will sound.

These are just a couple of ways that you can keep your home or business secure when you’re present – or not. An intruder alarm system, if activated by an intruder, will go off loudly and alert you and sometimes the local police that an unwelcome visitor has broken into your home or office.

Continue Reading

Finance

Synopsis on First Aid Health for Everyone

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Call it troubles, or calamities or unforeseen incidents, when any one of them strikes us and we are wounded physically then low behold we only have to attend to ourselves, by either visiting the doctor or helping ourselves with the First Aid Kit. First Aid usually is the first option or the initial remedy to any kind of illness or physical injury. First Aid kit is available at all places whether it is a school, a playground, home or an office. Let’s quickly skim through the earlier phases of first aid invention:

During the earlier times i.e in the 11th century the religious knights performed the first aid called the Knights Hospitaller. They are the ones who use to assist and take care of knights and pilgrims, in addition to imparting training to other knights in how to give treatment to usual battlefield wounds or injuries. The most popular amongst people or the renowned organizations as we call it are the Red Cross which was founded in 1863, the St. John Ambulance which was formed in 1877 and of course the American Red Cross in 1881, all these amazing organizations were conceptualized and built with a strong foundation of ethical principles and values of the great Knights Hospitaller.

The main objective of the First Aid can be summarized in 3 main areas:-

* Save life: The main focus of medical assistance is to save life.

* Prevent deterioration of health: Providing the right medical assistance immediately ensures that the health does not deteriorate further and the condition does not get worsened.

* Enhances speed of recovery: Proper and timely medical assistance ensures that the wound healing happens faster to cite an example applying plaster on a wound immediately will start the healing process spontaneously.

Typically people would purchase a First Aid kit from any superstore or pharmacy. The entire kit comprises of the following items; scissors, cloth tape adhesive ones, cloth and adhesive bandages, packs of ointments, wipes antiseptic ones, space blanket, compressing dressings, gauze pads, gauze gloves, tweezers etc. It is but obvious that each standard medical First Aid kit will be different and will vary as per the price and the size of the kit and the price of each item will be different.

Usually these First Aid kits can be easily accessed by the people and it is so user friendly that people are provided tools along with the first aid kit which assists in administering them in case of injury or use these tools and assist people who have suffered injuries like scratches, surface cuts, splinters, grazes and many more. There is another variant of First Aid which is called as Emergency First Aid. This kind of First Aid is administered by a qualified individual who has the knowledge and the required tools to take necessary actions in an emergency situation. It is highly recommended for most of the people to stay calm and call 911. Training for Emergency First Aid can be imparted by the renowned organizations mentioned above besides the American Heart Association and National Safety Council. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA recommends important aspects in training for emergency aid are administration of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), splinting a broken bone, controlling bleeding and clearing airway passages.

Emergency First Aid has always been a boon to people as it assists in timely and corrective help even if the ambulance does not arrive on time. Appropriate qualified personnel can administer the patient and at least ensure that the patient’s health does not deteriorate till he/she is taken to the hospital.

Continue Reading

Finance

How to Manage Your Inventory and Use Inventory Management Software

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

How do you manage your inventory? The amount and the number of product lines can vary greatly between different business. Some businesses in a niche market may only have 5 or 10 products where other businesses can have thousands and thousands of product lines. Regardless of the number of lines the process to secure and manage inventory is the same. The factor that size and volume creates is that if you have inefficient processes and systems the problems are compounded.

At the basic level how do you manage inventory?

Step 1. Inventory is ordered.

To do this you need to work out what you need to order based on the customer demand. You never get your estimate of customer demand perfect but after a period of time you can get close. So to confirm this step again you need to order the stock that you expect customers to purchase over the next week or month depending on the shelf life of your product and also the financial cost of holding that stock.

This sound pretty easy but in reality this is where so many businesses owners spend many many hours. It is this task of ordering that is one of the most painful. If you get it wrong it can cost you a lot of money.

So what tools does inventory management software need to provide to make this tasks more accurate and efficient?

A good system will include the ability to set minimum stock levels and stock re-order quantities. The software should then be able to show the user what stock has hits its re-order level with tools to quickly add these items to a purchase order.

The other things that is also important is the ability to be able to see what stock is required for sales orders that you do not currently have in stock.

The above two capabilities are the most important tools you should look for in your inventory management software from a purchase order perspective

Step 2. Receive the stock.

This step is the simple process of receiving the stock. However what you need here is systems of control to ensure each pallet, crate, and box is checked against the purchase ordered so that you ensure what you have ordered has been received. If there is something missing it needs to be noted in your system and either placed on back order or the purchase order changed.

Your system is only as good as the data entered by you and your staff. if you are not disciplined then you will lose control of your inventory.

Step 3. Sale and dispatch of your orders.

This is where stock leaves your control through sales. Items through the sales process should be scanned to ensure accurate movement of the stock. If you are not giving the product directly to the customer then you need dispatch procedures to manage the outgoing orders and to ensure all the stock in the order is dispatched accurately and the data recorded in the system.

Step 3. Customer returns and supplier returns.

If you stock is faulty then you need to receive the stock back from the customer and then track the process of returning this to the supplier and getting a credit note. So many businesses are lazy in this area and do not have a good inventory management software system that helps ensure they not only return the stock but get a replacement or a credit note/refund. Do not burn your money here, ensure your systems gives you the ability to track on follow through on supplier returns.

Step 4. Stock adjustments and stock take

Stock will get damaged, lost and sometimes stolen so you need the ability to adjust stock levels to ensure your inventory management system is accurate. This is completed through stock adjustments and then on a larger scale a full stock take. For the stock take process you need to be able to print out your current stock list and then go through the process of counting and recording the stock levels so that the system is accurate.

Note: A good system allows you do complete partial stock takes so that you do not have to do the stock take at the one time or you can do a rolling stock take.

Step 5. Product pricing and stock reports

It is vital that you can quickly get reports on what stock is moving, what stock is not selling and what you are making money on so that you can manage your stock levels and most importantly your margins.

A couple of very important features that you find in a good POS system is the ability to change prices via the incoming goods screen so that as you see how much you are paying for stock you can adjust the price to maintain your margin levels.

The other feature unique to a limited number of POS systems is the ability to see an entire category of products including the stock levels, the average cost price, the last cost price and your margins with the ability to make bulk changes and individual changes on the one screen. This re-pricing tools is so valuable and save hours upon hours not to mention boosting profits.

So in summary good inventory management software provides the tools you need to manage the above steps. I encourage you to spend the time researching so that you find the right system with additional tools that are designed to save you countless hours each week and to ensure you control your stock levels and expenses in addition to your margin levels.

Continue Reading

Finance

Black Mold – Symptoms of Illness, Causes and Remedies

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

Published

on

Black mold – often referred to as toxic mold or mildew is an increasingly common problem in many homes and buildings. When the correct conditions are in place these being – a surface which contains moisture which may be due to high humidity levels or dampness and the correct temperature this fungi will to germinate and grow in abundance. In appearance it looks almost “furry” however, it can also be described as looking “powdery”

Just like any living organism the mold needs food and moisture to survive and this is when the the black mold may begin to cause symptoms of ill health in humans. The symptoms are triggered by something known as VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds. The mold produces these VOCs as it feeds on the surface on which it is growing and begins to break it down in order to get the nourishment it needs to flourish.

Anyone exposed to high levels of these VOC’s can experience any of a number of symptoms attributed to the black mold growth some of which can be very serious indeed.

Listed below are some of the most common symptoms of black mold induced illness:

1. Respiratory problems

2. coughs

3. Nausea

4. Rashes on the skin

5. Loss of memory

6. Dizziness

7. Problems with blood pressure

8. Asthma

9. Urinary tract infection

10. Damage to the lungs

11. Allergies – itchy or running nose, eyes etc.

12. Difficulty concentrating

This list shows just some of the illnesses where the symptoms can be attributed to exposure to black mold.

It goes without saying that should you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms you should get medical advise immediately. However the best way to ease or eradicate your symptoms caused by black mold is to eradicate the mold itself from your home for good.

As I have said before black mold needs moisture to grow and the moisture within our homes can be caused by one of two things high humidity or dampness or a combination of both. In both instances you need to take action immediately.

High humidity is caused by excess moisture in the atmosphere. The number one cause of elevated humidity levels in a building is quite simply lack of ventilation. As we go about our daily tasks we generate moisture and steam for example when cooking, bathing, perhaps using a tumble dryer to dry clothing, or hanging wet clothing to dry around heaters – the list is endless. The problem is without enough ventilation the moisture in the atmosphere builds because it has no escape, then as the temperature cools moisture begins to settle on cold surfaces as water droplets this is condensation. The wet surfaces such as window frames, walls etc. are then prime targets for the germination of black mold spores.

Dampness is usually caused by an underlying problem with water leakage. Poor property maintenance can lead to water seeping in through roofs, into basements, through cracks in walls or from leaking pipes. A constant drip will over time cause a huge amount of damage and the damp or wet surfaces create ideal growing conditions for black mold. Remember different species of mold will grow under different conditions.

The first step to getting rid of back mold and the symptoms of ill health it can cause is to identify the actual cause of the problem.

If your problem is due high humidity levels it is relatively easy to sort out. Simply open a few windows! This is the simplest and cheapest solution but maybe not the best one in the middle of winter. However there are other relatively cheap alternatives, for example:-

1. Install extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom which are directly vented to the outside of the building – NOT into attic space or basements, do that and you will have BIG problems in the future. These will remove steam caused by cooking and bathing. Remember to keep kitchen and bathroom doors closed to prevent the moisture travelling throughout the house.

2. If you use a tumble dryer this too should have a vent to the outside of the building. These pieces of equipment produce huge amounts of steam so by doing this alone you will cut the humidity levels greatly.

3. Try not to dry wet clothing in the house – where possible hang it outside to dry. If you must dry it inside hang it in an unheated room, open a window and keep the door closed.

4. Dehumidifiers are a great tool in solving this problem. They may be a bit expensive to buy but where you have an ongoing problem they are well worth the one off expense. A dehumidifier will draw the air in through a vent remove the moisture and blow the dry air back out and you empty the container of water! Obviously this is a very simplified description of how it works but believe me it does work! The cost running one of these units may be another concern, the truth is they are really not that costly particularly if you purchase a model which has a humidistat fitted. This means it will switch itself on and off as required rather than running constantly. Another point to consider is that dry air is far easier to heat than moist air so you should be able to cut down on your winter heating bill!

If the cause of your black mold is dampness, the solution may not be as simple and you may have to spend fairly large amounts of money to remedy the problem.

1. The first thing to do is to establish why you have damp areas in the first place – if necessary use a professional builder or plumber to assess the situation and have the necessary work carried out on the building. You cannot begin to eradicate the black mold and the symptoms of ill health it causes until repairs are completed.

2. If the damage is extensive it may be necessary to replace wood, plaster, carpets etc. If this is not the case the next step is to dry the area out remember – remove the moisture and the black mold cannot grow or spread. Opening windows in good weather will do the job as will the use of heaters. A dehumidifier is once again the ideal piece of kit. For large areas you can hire large industrial dehumidifiers. These will do the job much faster than heaters or open windows and many models have the added advantage of having air filters which should help remove any mold spores from the atmosphere

The Black Mold Clean Up;-

The task of cleaning any signs of black mold need not be an expensive one. However, you want it to be a non toxic one.

There are many natural ways to clean black mold from good old soap and water and elbow grease to solutions of tea tree oil or grapefruit seed oil. However there is a commercial mold cleaning kit which removes black mold quickly and easily and prevents its return. The kit contains two solutions the first is MOLDERIZER. This product is 100% organic so there are no harsh, toxic chemicals. It is safe to use on virtually any surface from walls and wood to carpets and rugs and will cause no harm to children or pets. The second solution in the mold cleaning kit is called SAFE SHIELD. When applied after cleaning with Molderizer it will act as a barrier and will protect the surface and prevent mold growing in the same area again.

Continue Reading

Trending