Minister Nikolov: We are developing a strategy for the successful integration of Bulgarian industry into European and global value chains

Minister Nikolov: We are developing a strategy for the successful integration of Bulgarian industry into European and global value chains

‘The Ministry of Economy and Industry, with the support of the European Commission, has started developing a National Industrial Strategy. It will cover two key sectors of our economy that are both high carbon and energy intensive — manufacturing and extractive industries. The strategy will identify the actions needed for the green transition – reducing the carbon footprint, increasing the digitalisation of production, improving resource and energy efficiency, and introducing innovative and circular production models.’ This was announced by the Minister of Economy and Industry Dr. Petko Nikolov at the conference ‘Green Transition Forum 4.0: New Perspectives for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)’.

Minister Nikolov pointed out that the aim of the strategy is the successful integration of Bulgarian industry into the European and global value chains, creating conditions for the development of industry in a new, modern and innovative way, with a more efficient use of resources and energy for the respective region, in the context of European green ambitions.

In his words, the requirements of the Green Deal and electricity prices make it necessary for Bulgarian companies from energy-intensive industries to spend more and more money on innovative technologies, ICT solutions and building their own renewable energy capacities, but their full decarbonisation requires investments beyond their capabilities. Minister Nikolov stressed that for many of the regions in which they are located, these enterprises are structurally decisive and are of significant importance for socio-economic development.

Dr Nikolov emphasised the need for additional financial support for Bulgarian enterprises. ‘The scale of the necessary reforms requires greater support from the EU and the preparation of a plan to reform the industry through technological modernisation and digitalisation to ensure the preservation of production, jobs and successful inclusion in European and global value chains’, he insisted.

In his words, decarbonisation poses many challenges for companies. ‘Achieving climate neutrality requires planning, assessing the technical feasibility and economic viability of the transition, and investing heavily in clean technologies and energy sources’, the economy minister added. He stressed that the green transition poses the greatest challenges to energy-intensive industries, which have a significant share in the structure of the Bulgarian economy and a significant contribution to exports. Among them Minister Nikolov mentioned the chemical industry, metallurgy, metal processing, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and others. ‘These industries are an important part of the value chain with relevance to many other sectors’, he said.

Minister Nikolov defined the development and introduction of innovations in the industry as particularly important for defending and increasing the competitiveness of both our country and the EU as a whole. ‘The green and digital transition cannot take place without industry, especially energy-intensive industry’, he stressed, adding that mining and production of metals and rare earths and innovation are at the heart of green and digital technologies. ‘This is why a proactive industrial policy and active support for innovation is needed and can restore the position of European industry on the global stage and reduce its strategic dependencies in sensitive sectors such as energy, critical raw materials and digital technologies, among others’, said Dr Petko Nikolov.