The Ministers of Economy, Energy and Tourism took up their posts

The Ministers of Economy, Energy and Tourism took up their posts

Minister Bozhidar Lukarski: Development of small and medium business is the major priority of the economy. The team of the Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova will commence an audit the sector. The Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova counts on a considerable dialogue linked to the industry

The main priority of our work will be the development of small and medium business, which in leading European countries such as Germany and the Great Britain is the backbone of the economy. We will make strong efforts to reduce the administrative burden on SMEs. That was stated by the new Minister of Economy Bozhidar Lukarski upon taking up the post during a ceremony at the Ministry of Economy and Energy, which is divided into three separate departments in charge for Economy, Energy and Tourism. He stressed that the companies will be supported throughout stimulation of innovative technologies as their products to be able to reach more markets, and people to increase their income.

This ambitious aim will be implemented through the mechanisms of OP “Competitiveness and Innovation”, which was early commended by Brussels. The comments will be clarified in a very short term in order to quickly and fully launch the programme, Lukarski highlighted. He announced that a detailed programme regarding the management of the sector will be prepared within a month.

The new Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova emphasized the crucial importance of the sector to the national economy. According to her, it should be managed in a way to stop the accumulated negatives. The good European practices and standards should be established, said Minister Petkova. She said the sector should be so stabilized that a long-term vision to be achieved, which will be fulfilled through reforms and urgent actions. The Energy Minister said further that her team will rely on the analysis of the caretaker government made for the sector, to identify the main risks in it and to take prompt and adequate measures to get out of the critical situation. For the beginning, she referred to launching an energy audit that will find out its actual condition.

A great challenge and responsibility is taking over the Minister of Tourism, it became clear from the words of his new holder Nikolina Angelkova. She recalled that the set-up of a separate ministry in the sector was a key election commitment to the industry. The tourism sector accounts for about 15% of the GDP of the country. Bulgaria has a huge tourism potential to be deployed with the joint efforts of the state, business, academia, local authorities and all stakeholders, said Angelkova. She stressed that it would rely on dialogue with them, which will help to implement the Strategy for sustainable development of Bulgarian tourism, including by attracting more funds from EU programmes and projects to turn Bulgaria into a year-round tourist destination. The Strategy and regulations in the sector will be re-discussed with all stakeholders.

The Interim Minister Vassil Shtonov wished a success to his colleagues despite then excessive challenges they are going to face with. In his words, the main problems in the energy are the current deficit of the public supplier, the preparation for winter preparation and the potential gas crisis. He expressed continuity with the new team at the cource of the activities regarding the diversification of gas supplies, the acceleration of the gas interconnectors with neighboring countries, the operation extension of units 5 &6 of the NPP, and etc. Regarding the economic field, Shtonov drew an attention to the rapid recovery of EU funds and the approval of the OP “Competitiveness and Innovation” to stimulate the sector quickly and efficiently.