Bulgaria’s Cabinet was expected to approve, at a meeting on September 5 2012, changes to the Investment Promotion Act aimed at creating opportunities for increased investment in products and services with high added-value and that stimulate job creation.
The proposed amendments envisage partial reimbursements to investors for social security payments for new employees.
The bill, if approved by Parliament, would allow municipal mayors to issue certificates for B class investments and to come up with other incentives. This measure is in line with the policy of Bulgaria’s current centre-right government to decentralise the country’s administration, including by increasing the powers of municipalities.
Currently, investment in the acquisition of assets to the value of at least 20 million leva means a Class A investment certificate and 10 million leva means a Class B certificate. These thresholds are lowered in cases where investments are made in areas where unemployment is high.
A new criterion for certification of an investment is created by the proposed bill, in the services sector – especially in regard to outsourcing – where the amount of the investment is not particularly high but the number of jobs created is significant.
The amendments also are to mean fast-tracking of applications by foreigners from non-EU countries for permanent residence or citizenship in cases where the foreigners are making large-scale investments in Bulgaria. The criteria that such foreigners must meet will be set out in regulations by the Economy Ministry after the Investment Promotion Act amendments are approved.
At its meeting, the Cabinet was also to discuss amendments to the Commerce Act, introducing requirements under an EU directive for combating delays in payments in commercial transactions.
(Photo: Nenko Lazarov)