Bulgaria’s cabinet said on August 5 that it had adopted a report identifying 10 “problem areas” facing investors in Bulgaria and set a deadline of January 2016 for coming up with measures to overcome these obstacles.
The cabinet adopted a report analysing the obstacles to increased investment and a list of the main areas of concern to the investors in Bulgaria, a government media statement said.
The analysis was prepared in the context of the European Commission’s “Investment Plan for Europe”, which is a key element of the overall EU strategy to promote jobs, economic growth and investments.
In response to the need for action in Bulgaria concerning the purpose of the third pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, an agenda to remove regulatory obstacles to investment in the EU, an interdepartmental working group was formed.
The analysis defines 10 problem areas, covering regulatory barriers directly related to the investment process in Bulgaria, as well as the broader issues of business environment.
These problem areas, according to the statement, included accession to technical infrastructure networks (electricity, gas, water), including time, number of procedures and costs.
Also identified as a problem area was building permits, in terms of the number of procedures and time taken to implement them.
A third problem area was inconsistency of administrative procedures related to the implementation of investment intentions and delay in the delivery of services of central and local administration.
The fourth was frequently changing legislation.
Another was the absence of a developed road infrastructure or poor condition of the existing road infrastructure.
There was a lack of specialists in areas sought by business, while vocational education was of poor quality.
The seventh problem area was regarding independence of the judiciary and corruption.
The legal framework for dispute resolution lacked efficiency.
The ninth problem area was administrative procedures relating to international trade and related costs for imports and exports.
The 10th, in the words of the government statement, was “time for payment of taxes”.
The government statement said that to effectively address these problems, working groups would be established, decided on by the cabinet from leading institutions.
By the end of January 2016, the working groups should propose specific measures (legislative, administrative, and so on) to overcome the problems facing the growth of investments in the country, the statement said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)