“Bulgaria offers good conditions for business and investments, and in the last years it has become an attraction centre for German enterprises “. The Minister of Economy Bojidar Loukarsky said during a meeting with the official delegation of German Foundation for family business which is visiting Bulgaria on invitation of the Minister. The delegation includes about 30 representatives of leading German family companies in different sectors as the textile industry, agriculture, real estate property development, corporate investments, production of industrial minerals, electric engineering, food industry, shipping industry, chemical industry. The Foundation unites more than 400 large associations in scope of the family business in Germany with an average turnover is Euro 1.4 billion, and each of these companies has about 6000 employees in average.
Minister Loukarsky outlined the advantages of Bulgaria as an investment destination which irrespective of the geopolitical situation in the region is successful in keeping its macroeconomical and financial stability. “This enabled us in the first year and half of our government to achieve 23% increase in the direct foreign investments as well as growth of 3% GDP which exceeds not only the initial forecasts but also the average levels for Europe“, he added. The minister also pointed out as advantages of Bulgaria the lowest corporate taxes in EU, the low operational costs and the availability of qualified human resources.
“We have never a visit in which there is such interest. Very solid companies are included in the delegation. Some are interested in investments in Bulgaria; others have been already successfully operating here. “, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Stefan Heidbreder pointed. As he explained the representation level in the delegation is exceptionally high, and their visit in Bulgaria is a good opportunity to get acquainted in place with the conditions for business and investments as well as with the experience of the Bulgarian family companies. We see that there is positive development and the country is making progress in the proper direction. Many companies which until recently have not been interested in Bulgaria, now are turning their look here“, Burkhard Schewen added, managing partner in real estate property and engineering company that set foot on the Bulgarian market in 2003. Representatives of leading family high tech company were particularly interested in implementing investments in Bulgaria. The company has about 1700 employees and more than Euro 260 million of turnovers, and now it is thinking on opening of service centre in Bulgaria for which it is seeking 100 software developers.
“Bulgaria is at first place in Europe and at third place in the world for its attractiveness for investments in outsourcing services. The engineering education here, especially in the field if information technologies is at a very high level” Minister Loukarsky underlined. He added that big part of such specialists are hired directly from the universities by leading outsourcing companies which operate not only in Bulgaria, but also in Europe and worldwide. This is also the reason that in this sector in Bulgaria there is a shortage of 10 000 jobs but this problem is also tangible in European scale where 100 000 specialists are lacking, minister Loukarsky pointed out. He explained that I order to manage this, the government has initiated making easier the procedure for issue of blue card for specialists from countries like Ukraine, Moldova and other former Soviet republics where the engineering education is also of high level. Moreover he pointed that salaries in the IT sector in Bulgaria are approximately equal to the European ones but the living standard is lower which urges more and more specialists to remain working in Bulgaria. He pointed as advantages also the education in German language in the Technical University and the graduated persons prefer to work for companies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In this regard Minister Loukarsky asked the Foundation for collaboration and exchange of experience in the field of dual education.
At the meeting, concrete joint initiatives have been discussed between the Ministry of Economy and the Foundation for family business that may create prospects for attracting new investments and for exchange of experience between Bulgarian family enterprise and their analogues in Germany. For this purpose Minister Loukarsky and Mr. Heidberger discussed the idea for conducting an international forum where the leading countries in the field of family business as Germany and Austria to present their experience in applying policies in support of such companies and the potential for applying them in Bulgaria. Another idea is the joint development and implementation of programme for exchange between the businesses in both countries.