BULGARIA LACKS A CLEAR ECONOMIC STRATEGY
Money is not everything, but without it nothing has sense. This is one of the messages that Wulf Broeke, Head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Bureau for Bulgaria, sent to the participants in the Ideas for Economic Development conference. The forum was held in the Sofia Hilton Hotel on February 1, 2003. According to Mr. Broeke, there is a market economy in Bulgaria, but it has to evolve until it becomes a social market one. That's why he recommended that entrepreneurs in Bulgaria share with their employees the profit of their companies, if they want to make them work more efficiently.Wulf Broeke also noted that Bulgaria has achieved significant results while trying to establish a market economy, but has potential to grow further. Bulgaria can do more was the slogan of Mr. Broeke's statement. The current policy of the Government does not reveal which branches of the economy it wants to develop first, the guest underlined.I cannot see which branches of the economy the Government wants to encourage right now. Bulgaria has no strategy for marketing and building its image abroad. Until you solve this problem, your country will hardly attract foreign investors, Mr. Broeke said.He added that there are three key strategies for developing the economy - encouragement of small and medium-sized companies, stimulation of the production innovations, and encouragement of young people to start their own business in the country.The premises for Bulgaria's economic growth were discussed on the forum, as well as the methods for its stimulation. The problems that Bulgaria has failed to solve in the past six years were reviewed in Hilton, too. Nadezhda Mihailova, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces, drew the attention to the slow pace of privatization in Bulgaria and the insufficient foreign investments. She also noted the undetermined tax policy of the government, the poverty and the unemployment rate. The economy could be made more active by restricting the state participation in it, by encouraging the loyal competition and improving the education and the qualification of the personnel, Nadezhda Mihailova said. Piritta Sorsa, resident representative of the International Monetary Fund to Bulgaria, highlighted that the successful implementation of the structural economic and social reforms remains the country's major challenge.