Minister Bogdanov: We Work for Quality Investment Projects with High Added Value

Minister Bogdanov: We Work for Quality Investment Projects with High Added Value

VMZ’s deductions to the state will not affect its investment program, he said

We will work for quality investment projects with high added value and easing the administrative burden for businesses. This was stated by the Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov during a hearing of the Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation in the National Assembly. ‘In order to have a large structurally defining investment project, there is a need for predictability and rule of law,’ Bogdanov pointed out.

He stressed that one of the main tasks is to work on attracting big investors in Bulgaria. Minister Bogdanov pointed out that since the beginning of the year there has been a positive trend and foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bulgaria for the first 4 months exceeded EUR 1.6 billion, which is an increase of over 60% compared to the same period last year.

In his words, the Investment Promotion Act needs to be updated to change the way Bulgaria encourages investors. It is important to change the incentives and make them more adequate, to have prepared land’, giving the example of the new industrial zone ‘Dobroslavtsi’.

The Minister of Economy and Industry assured the MPs that the state has also taken all necessary measures to increase the security of production and people in the arms factories. ‘As of now, all security measures have been taken at the bases, and there are additional levels of security to the more critical sites,’ he said.

Responding to a question, the Minister of Economy and Industry said that efforts were being made to ensure that the transfer of one hundred percent of the profit of VMZ — Sopot for 2022 in the form of a dividend would not affect the company’s investment programme. ‘Everything will be done to enable the VMZ to continue its programme and in terms of expansion of production capacities where they are scheduled to happen,’ he said.

Mr. Bogdanov reported that after his commissioned inspection of the dam repairs, it was determined that all of the State Consolidation Company funds had been spent. ‘So far, it has been established that this amount has exceeded half a billion leva, with not a single project completed and accepted by the State Acceptance Committee. With an expert committee from the State Consolidation Company, 10 ponds have been accepted but not regularised,’ he announced.

According to him, the Ministry of Economy and Industry had no information and feedback for two years on the status of the dam inspections — after all the documents had been submitted and the competent authorities had been contacted in 2021.

He pointed out that from now on an inter-ministerial group with representatives of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works, the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Surveillance and the Ministry of Economy and Industry will be formed to check the activities on the construction of dams, which is stated on documents but it is not clear whether it has actually been done. ‘Some of the money has been spent on projects other than dam repairs,’ he said, quoting the example of the pipeline in Pernik and the purchase of specialised drones. ‘An analysis will be done on how to minimise the damage,’ he was adamant.

Regarding the construction of the so-called government complex on the territory of Sofia Tech Park, Bogdanov said that the State Consolidation Company had allocated funds in advance and the company continued to suffer damages. ‘We will do our best to return the money to the state,’ he stressed.