Over ¼ of European companies in Asia are considering relocating their investments to Europe. This was announced by the Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stojanov during the opening of the Annual Meeting with the Economic and Trade Relations Offices. According to him, this is another proof that every crisis is an opportunity that our country should use effectively.
The cited data on sentiment among European companies are a historic high for the last decade, it became clear during the meeting. By comparison, in 2021 only 7% of these companies were considering such a move. “Now is the time for Bulgaria to be proactive, to look for new opportunities and to completely change the way we work on attracting foreign investment,” Minister Stojanov underscored. According to him, this includes starting work on a new Investment Act to be developed in close coordination with business.
“Speaking of investment, however, we are very concerned about what we see because about 1/3 of our Offices for Trade and Economic Affairs are left empty,” Minister Stojanov said. As examples, he cited key countries for Bulgaria’s foreign economy such as France, Italy and Denmark. “We talk about investments, but in reality we are left without trade attachés in the US, China and India,” Minister Stojanov explained. According to him, this situation is very worrying and Bulgaria is left without its real instrument to attract investments and support Bulgarian business on site.
Minister Stojanov pointed out that the participation of Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev in the meeting is a sign that the two ministries will work in full coordination to improve the business environment and investment climate.
For the first time, trade unions were among the participants in the meeting. Minister Stojanov commented that business in Bulgaria includes both trade unions and employers and representatives of both organisations should have the opportunity to give their comments about our representatives abroad.
Representatives of the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria are also attending the Annual Meeting for the first time. “The role of municipalities is particularly important in presenting investment opportunities in Bulgarian regions and we need to deepen the partnership,” Minister Nikola Stojanov further said.
The annual meeting of Bulgaria’s Commercial Attachés is traditionally organized in August. Some of them were present in the country – others participated online. Institutions relevant to their work also took part in the discussions.