Bulgaria is a gateway to Europe, PM tells US business delegation

Bulgaria is a gateway to Europe thanks to its geographical position and the border with Turkey, and together with good education, which ensures the training of talents and experts, offers numerous opportunities for investment, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov told a visiting US business delegation on November 2.

Denkov addressed the delegation, which includes representatives of 15 of the largest US companies, at a meeting also attended by US ambassador Kenneth Merten and the head of of the American-Central European Business Association, Eric Stewart.

“The region will develop and we want Bulgaria to be a central part of this process,” Denkov said, according to the government information service.

“Our country is strong in many fields, among which are electronics, information technology, robotics, medicine, the automotive industry, the defence industry. We want to develop modern European high-tech industry.

“We have all the conditions to do something bigger. That is why we are looking for bigger investors like you,” Denkov said.

He noted the economic growth of Bulgaria, in spite of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The gross domestic product (GDP) of Bulgaria marked growth of 3.9 per cent in 2022.

At a meeting earlier on November 2, Finance Minister Assen Vassilev told the US delegation that the Bulgarian government had set as its main goals the acceptance of Bulgaria into Schengen, entry into the euro zone and and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“Our entry into Schengen would automatically lead to an economic growth of three per cent, as it would remove the currently existing obstacles to the development of trade due to logistical difficulties at the border,” Vassilev said.

He said that Bulgaria would participate in the construction of the North-South infrastructure corridor, which will connect the Mediterranean with Northern Europe, Moldova and Ukraine from Greece through Bulgaria and Romania.

According to Vassilev, tthis project is key to connectivity in South-Eastern Europe and more than six billion euro will be invested in it.

“Our full membership in the euro zone and the OECD will contribute to the economic development and well-being of our country,” Vassilev said, and gave an assurance that the Bulgarian institutions are doing everything possible to make this happen.

The Finance Ministry statement said that Vassilev briefed the delegation on the competitive advantages of Bulgaria as an investment destination and expressed his hope that very soon their representative offices will open offices in Bulgaria.

He emphasised that Bulgaria maintains a low public debt of 22 per cent of GDP – the second lowest in the EU and a deficit within three per cent.

He said that the 10 per cent flat tax and the stable tax outlook make Bulgaria competitive for investments.

In addition, Bulgaria has its own energy infrastructure, which ensures low values ​​of energy carriers.

Bulgaria ranks among the leaders in the EU in terms of export growth and industrial production, he said.

The development of a number of industrial sectors is a significant advantage for developing business here, Vassilev said.

He said that salaries in Bulgaria are growing rapidly and warned that Bulgaria is an attractive and predictable place for investments, which offers many advantages, but cheap labour is not among them.

(Photo: government.bg)

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