Commenting on investment expectations for 2019, Stamen Yanev, Executive Director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency said, for the Bulgarian National Radio, that based on the results achieved in 2018, the forecasts of this government authority are “pretty bold”.
Compared to 2017, last year saw a doubling of investments. The Agency has certified 28 projects worth a total of 430 million euro /840 million Leva/, with the potential of creating over 2,500 jobs. The fact that key projects are in the northwestern part of Bulgaria, the most backward part of the country, and of Europe, merits particular attention. Stamen Yanev says that this has helped shift government policy in the direction of developing the heavily imbalanced regions.
The tendency is towards investments in logistics, transport, the food industry and tourism, sectors that have a major contribution to the development of the GDP. Another factor that raises high hopes in 2019 is the heightened investor interest in the automobile industry. Stamen Yanev says that the efforts of the government to do away with red tape have also contributed to favourable developments in the sphere of investments last year.
Some observations by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also give grounds for optimism for 2019. In its annual review of Bulgaria’s positions in international rankings and classifications, the chamber writes that Bulgaria retains its position in the “Economic Freedom Index” of the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal and goes up two places to 46th in the “Economic Freedom of the World” report of the Canadian Fraser Institute.
Positive trends are observed in the “E-Government Readiness Index” and the United Nations “Human Development Index”, in which the country climbs up 5 places - from 52nd in 2016 to 47thin 2018 and from 56th to 51st place in 2018, respectively. In the Forbes magazine’s “Best Countries for Business” list, the country drops 12 positions to 46th place.
The main indicators in the ranking are knowledge, technology and future readiness. These precisely are the areas in which the business and the state have to focus their efforts to make greater progress, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry review reads.
Editor: Stoimen Pavlov
English version: Milena Daynova
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