New economic zones: strong interest from investors

Emil Karanikolov
Photo: BGNES

Last week Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov presented the economic priorities laid out in the government program endorsed on Wednesday and pointed out that the government would focus on measures to cut bureaucracy for both businesses and citizens. In this regard he told the press that 113 administrative services had been optimized.

In measures mapped out in the government program for the period 2018-2021, immediately after cutting red tape, the Ministry of Economy emphasizes its support for the development of industrial economic zones as a viable opportunity to bridge big economic differences between the country’s regions.

“There is strong interest of investors”, Minister Karanikolov said and announced that together with local governments the potential was being explored for building three new industrial zones – in Stara Zagora and Kurdzhali (Southern Bulgaria) and in Lovech (Central Northern Bulgaria).

The minister remarked that for the time being most efforts were concentrated on Bozhurishte Industrial Zone to the west of Sofia. There are plans to build a railway station to service this zone.

Another important zone will be Vidin, a city on the River Danube in Northwestern Bulgaria. With a resolution of the Council of Ministers issued earlier this month, a decree wasrepealed that for twenty years banned sale of land plots in the zone. This has hampered the development of the Vidin industrial area so far, according to Mr Karanikolov.

The minister of economy said there was interest in the industrial zone in Kurdzhali. He plans to meet with the district governor of the Lovech Region later this month with the purpose of identifying suitable land plots with well- developed infrastructure.

Other priorities of the Ministry of Economy include raising the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy and encouraging small and medium enterprises. Emil Karanikolovsaid this could take place via the Bulgarian Development Bank including various kinds of assistance and privileged schemes for both SMEs and big investors.

A meeting is also due of officials from the Ministry with the Stock Exchange management. The sides are going to discuss a mechanism under which companies will be able to offer their stocks publicly. Toi do this companies will be supported with vouchers worth up to 100,000 leva (50,000 euro) financed by Competitiveness Operational Program, Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov told the BNR reporter.

Source: Horizont Channel, BNR
English: Daniela Konstantinova

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