The government’s efforts in the economic sector are directed toward economic growth, reduction of the administrative burden on the business, and attracting new investments through support for the development of Industrial zones. This was stated by the Minister of economy Emil Karanikolov at a press conference to present the economic priorities from the government’s Governance program.
Minister Karanikolov outlined five main priorities to work toward, among which, besides reduction of the administrative burden and the development of Industrial zones, he also indicated increasing the Bulgarian economy’s competitiveness by applying a policy in support of small and medium enterprises, increased and effective post-privatization and post-concession control, as well as support for the implementation of all measures from the Strategy for development of the capital market.
Karanikolov stressed that until now, a total of 187 offered services have been analyzed at the Ministry of economy, 113 of which shall be modified. “67 fees have been suggested for reduction, and the fee will be dropped altogether for 21 services. 15 services and regimes have been suggested for reduction of required documents, and 8 shall be dropped altogether, which shall save time and costs for individuals and companies”, he added.
The Minister of economy pointed out that the development of already existing industrial zones and the creation of new ones is a very important aspect of the successful stimulation and attraction of investments to our country. According to him, work is being done for the creation of new industrial zones all over the country, which will aid in overcoming regional imbalances. “So far, talks have been held for Zones in Lovech, Stara Zagora, whereas in Kardzhali, a Memorandum for cooperation between the Kardzhali Regional administration and “National company Industrial zones” EAD has been signed for implementation of the project”, announced Karanikolov. He was adamant that in industrial zones, infrastructure will be constructed first, and plots and construction rights will be sold afterwards, and also that new measures to encourage investors in them are envisaged.
The minister described support for small and medium enterprises /SME/ within the country as a main priority. Karanikolov said also that a program under “Innovations and competitiveness” /OPIC/ is upcoming, which will be facilitated for small, medium, and micro enterprises. Applying for it is expected to only require submitting a request for participation and a declaration that the candidate is not insolvent or in liquidation. This program will also permit a voucher system up to BGN 30,000 for the acquisition of machinery, issuing of certificates, and registration of patents. “Bulgarian development bank /BDB/ is yet another mechanism for support of SME, which form the spine of the Bulgarian economy”, added Karanikolov.
The Minister of economy also said that investments are stimulated through the capital market, and together with the Bulgarian stock exchange /BSE/, specific measures will be outlined to stimulate companies to be listed on the exchange. He clarified that an option is being discussed to support companies through Operational program “Innovations and competitiveness”, providing the funds to cover their expenses and the entire mechanism for listing a company on the exchange.