It is unacceptable that the Light Industry Council has not met for 4 years and I hope that this will never happen again. With these words, the Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stojanov opened today’s meeting. The Council is a permanent body of the Ministry of Economy and Industry and should hold regular meetings to discuss problems and identify government measures and policies. In recent years, however, its work has been suspended.
“We are restoring the work of the Council and will make its meetings regular”, Minister Stojanov stressed. He commented on how important this sector is for the Bulgarian economy, as the production of textiles, clothing, leather and footwear create about 10% of the added value in the industry. “It employs about 90 thousand people, which is about 19% of those employed in industry. About 5,000 companies are actively operating in the sector,” he added.
The Minister of Economy said that he is aware of some of the problems facing the industry – improving the qualifications of employees, attracting young people and developing innovation, and digitization. “Each of these areas is a challenge, but also an opportunity if business and the state partner well and work properly,” Nikola Stojanov added.
In this regard, he stressed that the Ministry of Economy and Industry is pursuing a targeted policy to expand the market presence and support Bulgarian manufacturers, as well as working towards the active introduction of dual training. “I hope that all topics of mutual interest will now be discussed operationally, in a permanent dialogue between us,” Minister Stojanov added.
The Minister of Economy expressed his personal gratitude to the representatives of the sector for the way the sector has adapted to the Covid crisis and for all they have been able to do in the first months when the shortages of a number of raw materials and personal protective equipment were great.