ENTREPRENEURS EXPECT IMPROVEMENT OF BUSINESS CLIMATE IN BULGARIA NEXT YEAR
Bulgarian companies are optimistic about the results they expect to achieve in 2002, despite the general downward trend in world economy, a large-scale study of the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry shows. The research, called Economic review of Eurochambers 2002, was on the business climate in the 14 European Union (EU) member countries and in the 10 candidates for EU membership from Central and Eastern Europe. The economic review includes the performance of each country and its regions separately, as well as their general performance considering the results in 2001 compared to the previous year and the expectations of the companies for the coming 2002 regarding revenues from sales, exports, investments and employment.The data for Bulgaria were announced on Tuesday (December 11) by the Deputy Chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tsvetan Simeonov. The opinion of about 600 firms, most of them working mainly for export, was surveyed.The prevailing assessment of 55.8% of them for the devlopment of economic activity in 2001 is that there have been no significant positive changes as compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, 56% of the entrepreneurs believe that the business climate in Bulgaria will change over the next twelve months. The experts see the reason for this high degree of enthusiasm for Europe in the lower start of the Bulgarian economy and in the reduced rates of the corporate income tax. For comparison - expectations in Austria, Denmark and Finland, for example - are for worsening of the conditions for business.50.4% of the polled Bulgarian companies reported an increase of sales proceeds in 2001 from the previous year, and 20.9% reported a decline. The study, however, did not specify the indicators, which had not changed. 60.1% of the Bulgarian companies expect an increase in revenues from sales in 2002, and 7.8% have negative expectations.