CASH INVESTOR IN THE PLOVDIV FAIR SOUGHT
The joy of the owners of compensation notes by listing International Fair-Plovdiv EAD among the companies, slated for privatisation against non-cash instruments of payment, was short. On February 13 the Council of Ministers approved the revised list of shares in 1,150 companies, to be offered against compensation instruments and the International Plovdiv Fair was on it. But only five days later the parliamentary Economic Commission decided that 49% of the fair would not be divested in that way. The company is also on another list - that of the firms, whose privatisation is prohibited. International Fair-Plovdiv EAD was included in it in September 2002. The strategy for its development is in its initial stage, according to insiders. Only one research has been conducted so far, which shows that the big European Fairs - members of the Union of International Fairs, are predominantly state and municipal property. Therefore, most local MPs from various political forces support the requirement of the Plovdiv Municipality for share participation in the company. Moreover, the Union for Economic Initiative has even proposed the International Plovdiv Fair trade mark to be conceded to the municipality, which will acquire a share participation in that way. According to the head of the business organisation Assoc. Prof. Borislav Borissov, who is a deputy from Coalition for Bulgaria and Dean of the Intellectual Property Faculty at the University of National and World Economy, such a decision is logical as the municipality owns the entire infrastruture, which attends the visitors of each exhibition. Debates on the divestment of the Plovdiv Fair began in the summer of 2002, when the Council of Ministers approved the initial list of companies to be divested against non-cash instruments of payment. The list included 1,070 firms and International Fair-Plovdiv EAD was among them. The decision caused strong indignation among Plovdiv's public, MPs and many civil organisations in the town.