“The fact that we have managed to attract such a key investment as BHTC to Industrial Zone Bozhurishte awakens the interest of other German investors. The potential is considerable and we do have preliminary indications for investment intent”. That was announced by the Minister of Economy Bojidar Loukarsky following his meeting with the technical director of BHTC Andreas Teuner. The meeting was held as part of Minister Loukarsky’s visit in North Rhine-Westphalia.
“The first stage of our investment has already been successfully completed and we are now in production. At the end of last year and the beginning of this year we had a visit from our key clients, whose task was to license our production base in Bulgaria as an authorized supplier”, said Mr. Teuner. He added that the company is producing air conditioning components for leading brands like Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen, Scania, Volvo, Skoda, and Seat.
According to Mr. Teuner the investment of BHTC in Bulgaria is being closely observed by all major partners of the company, for whom the successful implementation of the project would be a clear sign of the potential of Bulgaria, especially in light of their production expansion plans. “German companies enter markets, where other German companies are already present and well-functioning, which is the case with Mexico, for example. That said, I believe that BHTC will be the first but definitely not the last investor in Bozhurishte zone”, added Mr. Teuner.
During the meeting it became clear that BHTC have already received inquiries from other investors in terms of the opportunities that Industrial Zone Bozhurishte offers as well as the development of their production in Bulgaria. One of the companies that has approached BHTC on that matter works within the automotive industry, the other deals with human resources and more precisely recruiting for R&D roles.
Following the successful launch of the production, BHTC currently employs 90 people and plans on increasing the number to 200 before the end of the year. In 2016 expectations are that they would further increase to 300, while at the same time the company will be developing its R&D center in Bulgaria. During the second half of the year BHTC will be presenting a report on their experience in Bulgaria to all its major partners and that would be a prerequisite for further investment interest. According to Mr. Teuner the sense of stability, which is being perceived since last elections is also a key condition to encourage investment in Bulgaria. “All these factors along with the availability of highly qualified technical experts and innovation potential are what eventually narrowed our choice down to Bulgaria out of all 8 countries that we initially investigated”, added Teuner.
During his business trip Minister Loukarsky also visited the production plant of a German meat-processing company, which is in the process of choosing a suitable location in Northern Bulgaria to expand their production capacities. It processes meat for the needs of the food industry and currently serves the markets in Germany, Spain, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, etc. The company’s plans to open a production base in Bulgaria envisage the creation of 60 to 80 new jobs, which will subsequently increase to 130. The company plans on supplying its resources locally, which would create additional employment in the animal breeding sector. The logistics will also be implemented by Bulgarian companies, with that multiplying the effect of the investment. Currently no decision on a particular location for the new production plant is made, yet a visit of the company’s CEOs to Northern Bulgaria is forthcoming. The produce which will be coming out of the Bulgarian plant will be destined for export.
Minister Loukarsky expressed his readiness to present all support to the potential investor in the process of identifying a suitable location. He also pointed out that there is the opportunity to appoint a personal project manager from Invest Bulgaria Agency, who would assist the investor in implementing the investment project with all means.
The same assurance was given by the head of Invest Bulgaria Agency Mr. Stamen Yanev, who attended the meeting. Part of it were also the head of the Bulgarian small and medium enterprises promotion agency Marieta Zaharieva, the trade representative in Frankfurt Rumen Bonev, and the Bulgarian Council Ivan Yordanov.
Minister Loukarsky also visited the prominent international wine and alcohol fair Pro Wein. This year Bulgaria is represented by 25 wine producers. Their participation in the fair was organized by the Bulgarian small and medium enterprises promotion agency and the National Wine Chamber of Bulgaria. This year’s edition of the fair has attracted almost 6000 exhibitors from 50 different countries.