German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce: Ineffective fight against corruption and crime is main issue

Written by on April 27, 2017 in Business - Comments Off on German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce: Ineffective fight against corruption and crime is main issue

In spite of several severe problems in Bulgaria, the country is constantly becoming more attractive as an industrial location, according to the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) in Sofia. Trade between Bulgaria and Germany has reached a new record in 2016, with a volume of 6.66 billion (U.K. English: milliard) Euro.

Since 2005, the AHK polls its member companies about the economic situation. The survey identifies the advantages of Bulgaria as a business location. But it also lists existing problems. In spite of the fact that there are many of the latter, the growth is impressive.

A total of 102 companies took part in the 2017 poll, 67 percent of which have less than 250 employees, while 33 percent are large scale enterprises. Most of the companies are either Bulgarian, or they are owned by German investors in Bulgaria. 90 percent of the companies polled said they would invest in Bulgaria again, if they had not done so already. Last year, only 84 percent had given a positive answer. More than half the companies polled expect an increase in export revenues.

At the same time, many AHK member companies complained about the situation in Bulgaria. These are the main problems mentioned:

>> An ineffective public administration

>> Legal incertainty

>> An ineffective fight against corruption and crime

>> A lack of transparency regarding public procurement

>> A lack of political and social stability

On the other hand, the tax burden and labour costs are low in Bulgaria, which are aspects the companies obviously cheer.

But, there is yet another issue: According to the AHK member companies, the quality of education in Bulgaria, regarding both job training and academic training, is at the low end of the scale.

The entire survey by the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK) can be found here (in German).

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.