Coordinated efforts to attract local investment, assistance from our commercial attachés to represent Bulgaria’s municipalities abroad and deepening partnerships in all areas of mutual interest. This was agreed between the Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stoyanov and the Executive Director of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB) Silvia Georgieva.
“The main priority is to prepare our economy for the coming winter,” Minister Stoyanov underscored. In this regard, opportunities were discussed to deepen partnership with local authorities to better respond on site. The Executive Director of NAMRB Silvia Georgieva shared the municipalities’ concern about the fact that under the current legislation they are equated to commercial enterprises. Representatives of the municipalities will also provide detailed information to the Ministry of Economy and Industry on the survey being prepared on the dependence of our economy on gas supplies. As of now, 74 municipalities are heated entirely by gas, said the Executive Director of the NAMRB. The association has expressed interest in actively participating in the working group that will discuss energy supply issues, and the economic minister has committed to inviting their representatives to discussions in all areas where changes are coming.
Active work on the preparation of amendments to the Investment Promotion Act is another of the priority areas for the Ministry of Economy. The current order no longer meets the societal conditions and one of the important tasks is to reformat the system so that a track is opened for smaller investments that can be made in many more places in the country. It would also be much more important for local communities to develop enterprises that create lasting livelihoods and ensure sustainability, the meeting made clear.
In this context, NAMRB briefly presented its work on one of the most ambitious projects implemented in recent years by the Association, within which the economic potential of 10 pilot municipalities was thoroughly analyzed and solid business plans were developed for them. In this way, the NAMRB has created an investment portfolio of these regions that is of interest to the Ministry of Economy and Industry. In recent years, an insignificant number of municipalities have managed to develop their own clear plans for attracting investments based on the real opportunities and development prospects of the municipalities, and the existence of a specific investment profile is a starting point for the work of various state structures in attracting investor interest to the municipalities, participants in the meeting stressed.
A better partnership between the commercial attachés of the Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Bulgarian municipalities was among the other topics discussed during the meeting. “The annual meeting of our commercial attachés is coming up and we hope that your representatives will participate in it. Improving communication between municipalities and our representatives abroad is also a basis for attracting more investment locally,” the Economy Minister stressed.
“We do not see the caretaker government as a team that will simply wait for its mandate. We look at you as ministers of a regular government and the NAMRB will not reduce the intensity and pressure with which it works,” said the Executive Director of the Association Silvia Georgieva. She expressed the readiness of the municipalities to be actively involved in the expert formats of the Ministry of Economy, especially since some of the problems have a long background that has reflected on the work of the municipalities.
Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stoyanov expressed hope that the unification of the expert potential of municipalities, business and trade unions could give a solid impetus to solve many of the long-delayed problems in the sector.