It is of particular significance to assure our Swiss partners that Bulgaria is a reliable and perspective partner of the Swiss business in South-Eastern Europe. This was declared by the Minister of Economy Bozhidar Lukarski at a business forum which is conducted today in Zurich, organized by the Embassy in Bern jointly with economiesuisse and with the participation of the Prime Minister, Mr. Boyko Borisov and the Ministers of Regional Development and Public Works, Ms. Lilyana Pavlova and of Transport, Information Technology and Communications, Mr. Ivaylo Moskovski. Minister Lukarski added that there are a number of possibilities for the implementation of Projects of mutual interest and that the bilateral trade economic relations, though good, are far from their potential.
Minister Lukarski indicated that the efforts of the Bulgarian Government are directed at the ratification of Bulgaria as a constructive and deserving confidence partner. “Our country maintains good macroeconomic and financial indicators which provide a certain level of stability for the investors who show interest in Bulgaria”, he declared. Further to that our country has advantages as favorable tax policy, competitive expenditures for production and investment incentives, provided through the Investments Encouragement Act. Minister Lukarski underlined that the considerable growth in our export, which for the first four months of the year reached 12,7 % is also an indicator for the built up good perspectives and economic revival.
Minister Lukarski added that the main priority in the work of the Ministry of Economy is the improvement of the business environment, the attainment of high competitiveness for the Bulgarian companies on the international markets, in particular the small- and medium-sized enterprises as well as attractions of investments in sectors with high added value. “Namely these are the engines for the Bulgarian economy and for the building up of the sustainable export-orientated model we strive for”, he said.
One of the specific measures for the attainment of the defined objectives in accordance with the words of Minister Lukarksi is the building up of infrastructure, which fosters the development of highly technological productions. In this direction Project “Sofia Tеch Park” which provides a platform for the integration of science and business as well as the industrial zones developed by National Company Industrial Zones, which already successfully attract big foreign investors, is being built up with priority.
The provision of an adequate connection between the educational system and the business is also of decisive role in the enhancement of the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy and the attraction of more foreign investors according to the words of Minister Lukarski. “The idea is to create specialists who shall satisfy the business needs and the main mechanism is the introduction of the dual system for vocational training”, Minister Lukarski indicated. Switzerland is one of the countries using this system of training which also maintains the lowest levels of youth unemployment – 2,9%. The Swiss experience will be applied in Bulgaria for the application of the dual system through the implementation of a pilot project with Swiss financing in the amount of 3,5 million Francs.
Over 100 representatives of Swiss and Bulgarian companies from various spheres attended the forum. Minister Lukarski indicated that there are possibilities for the Swiss and other foreign investors in the sector of the services (transport and logistics, information technologies, outsourcing and so on), the industry (machine building, electronics and electrical engineering, chemical industry, agriculture), as well as tourism, balneology and investments in alternative energy sources. Within the framework of the event Minister Lukarski also held bilateral meetings with Swiss companies, which show interest in stepping on or expanding their presence in Bulgaria.
Within the framework of his visit Minister Lukarski took part in meetings with the Vice President and Federal Minister of Economy, Education and Research Mr. Johann Schneider-Ammann, with the Minister of Economy of Zurich Canton, Mr. Marcus Keggi, with the Minister of Infrastructure of Zurich Canton, Mr. Ernst Stocker as well as with the Federal President and Federal Minister of Justice and Police Ms. Simonetta Somaruga