VMZ [Vazovski Machine-Building Plants] prepares an investment program for modernization of production and expansion of production according to NATO standards
We are at a key moment when the Bulgarian military industry needs targeted assistance for transformation and increased production according to NATO standards. This was emphasized by the Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry Irina Shtonova to the EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. They visited the production bases of Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi [Vazovski Machine-Building Plants] EAD in Iganovo and Sopot, and the Minister of Defence Dimitar Stoyanov took part in the meetings.
‘The challenges facing today’s security environment make it necessary to adapt to increased demands and a dynamic international environment. That is why the Ministry of Economy and Industry is working purposefully to strengthen and modernize the Bulgarian defence industry and in particular the capacity of VMZ,’ Deputy Minister Shtonova said.
In her words, Bulgarian companies are now actively participating and performing successfully in both the highly competitive international NATO tenders and the current European programmes with a focus on defence. Deputy Minister Shtonova stressed the importance of the sector for the economy and commented that ‘investments in the development of specific and industrial technologies are the way to increase the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the Bulgarian military-industrial complex’.
Such investments could be made through state funding or through the comprehensive ‘Defence Innovation Scheme’ established at EU level. It will incentivise Member States to invest in jointly building defence capabilities, joint procurement and reducing the Union’s technological dependence.
VMZ is also preparing an investment programme to help the company expand its production to NATO standards, it became clear during the meeting. The production of 155 mm projectiles, which are fully according to the NATO standard, was also presented. ‘Talking about the strategic need for the EU to be able to guarantee its defence and the exploration of the capabilities of the member states, it is very important to emphasize the key place of Bulgaria. Not only do we have a well-developed military-industrial complex, but also competitive state-owned enterprises in the sector, which are key and I hope will be able to benefit from targeted European funding,’ Irina Shtonova said. She expressed hope that with this visit a clear signal is given by the Commission that it sees Bulgarian enterprises as strategic for European security and specific schemes will be developed to support them and encourage their growth.