INDUSTRIAL ZONES COME INTO FASHION
William Hughes, the British machine items producer is going to be the first inhabitant of the only industrial zone available in Bulgaria at present. The zone is located on 10,000 sq m in the municipality of Rakovsky, one of the village systems with the highest unemployment rate in the country.The initiative for building the industrial zone came from the Sienit and Socotab companies. The Concrete Elements Plant linked to Sienit bought the land last July. According to the manager of the Rakovsky industrial zone Nikolay Brankov, part of the investments needed for construction of the infrastructure will be made by the municipal and state budget. Besides, the municipality established a special employee qualification centre for the needs of the companies operating in the zone.The works on the first building began in August and according to the plans, there will be at least 35 of its kind there. Mr. Brankov explained that most of the construction will be left unfinished and it is the buyers who will have the final say for its internal design. Companies that choose the industrial zone will have their own bus station and other facilities at their disposal.Negotiations with several foreign companies and a Bulgarian one operating in the food industry have been already initiated. According to the plans, the zone should be completed in 5 to 6 years. As to its financing, it will profit by all possible schemes - resources from the construction company, the future buyer, or a credit institution. According to Valentina Alexandrova, head of the legal and information department in the Bulgarian Investments Agency, a few banks have already declared interest in the initiative.There will be other industrial zones like Rakovsky in the country in the future. Valentina Alexandrova confirmed to the BANKER weekly that the municipalities of Rousse and Samokov are currently being examined for the purposes of similar projects. A possibility is also discussed that municipalities establish joint ventures and contribute land to their capital.