Northwest Bulgaria can receive up to 60% state aid for investments
‘The problem with the repair of the Ogosta dam is long-standing and is already very acute. The dam must be repaired as a matter of urgency.’ This was said by the Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov, who today, together with representatives of the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Surveillance , inspected the Ogosta dam. The building permit issued expires in May and he is adamant that by the end of April it should be clear exactly how much money is needed for the renovation to begin.
‘The repair of the wall of the Ogosta dam is the duty of the state and the state must do its job. We have discussed the next steps and I hope this will reassure the public because we are taking real action. Yes, the resource that was set aside years ago has been spent, there is no such resource now, but what we have committed to is, as the funds are restored to the SCC, to do our best to allocate resources to the repairs. I will work with my colleagues to find a solution before the building permit expires,’ Minister Bogdanov said.
According to him, a team will be formed from the regional administration of Montana, the State Consolidation Company (SCC), the State Agency for Metrological and Technical Surveillance (SAMTS), The State Enterprise Management and Maintenance of Dams (SEMMD) and the Ministries of Economy and Industry and Agriculture and Food. The expert panel will assess the necessary works to be carried out on the dam wall.
Minister Bogdanov reminded that over the years BGN 600 million have already been spent for the repair and reconstruction of dams, but Ogosta was not among the dams awarded for repair. Therefore, there is currently no signed contract for this, which requires finding a solution and securing financial resources to carry out the necessary works.
Bogdanov pointed out that the Ministry has appealed in court against the prosecutor’s refusal to initiate proceedings for the money already spent without public procurement.
In Montana, Minister Bogdanov discussed the economic development of the region at a meeting with Regional Governor Ivaylo Antonov, representatives of the Municipality and MPs from the region — Vanina Vetsina and Irena Dimova. ‘It is extremely important for the development of people and for them to choose to stay here that there is a level playing field between the regions in Bulgaria. These imbalances that we observe at the moment between South, North and North-West Bulgaria must be overcome,’ the minister said during the meeting. He pointed to the capacity that has been built at district and municipal level as a leading factor for addressing regional imbalances in the country.
The Minister of Economy announced that a regional investment unit will be established to present the advantages and opportunities for projects in Montana and the region. The team will be supported by the Ministry of Economy, the NCIZ and representatives of the Trade and Economic Affairs Offices (STIV).
The Minister pointed out that Northwest Bulgaria offers a good business environment. ‘Here is the highest threshold for state aid. Up to 60% of the capital expenditure can be allocated if an investor is attracted to the region,’ Bogdanov stressed.
The possibility of creating a new industrial zone was also discussed at the meeting. In Bogdanov’s words, the construction of prepared land, appropriate infrastructure and the availability of trained personnel will encourage the attraction of more investment and will stimulate the expansion of the production of companies that are already developing their activities. The Minister stressed the need to draw up a map of the opportunities offered by the region, thus enabling companies to launch their investment plans more quickly. Bogdanov pointed out that the National Company Industrial Zones will help the process of implementation of projects open to public-private partnership.
The Economy Minister also visited one of the leading electric bicycle companies in the region.