VAT ACT CRITICIZED BY GERMANS
The members of the Business Club of German Economy in Bulgaria, 244 German enterprises, and several Bulgarian firms, will set up a bilateral foreign trade chamber in Sofia. It will provide for the establishments of commercial relations between Bulgarian and German enterprises. This became known at the general meeting of the Business Club of German Economy in Bulgaria, held on May 27, where various problems troubling German businessmen were tabled. The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Radoslav Bozadjiev, who was invited to the meeting, had to reply to questions far from his competency. The German entrepreneurs voiced their discontent with the long, 4-month term, stipulated for refunding the VAT to firms entitled to a tax credit. The German businessmen protested also against the long holidays (from May 1 to 6) around St. George's Day, but were not supported by their colleagues. The Deputy Minister Bozadjiev preferred to focus on the bilateral agreements between the two countries, closed since 1997, stipulating relieved conditions for German citizens to work in Bulgaria and vise versa. He said that the new legislative regulations provide more advantageous terms for exchange of personnel between Bulgarian and German companies. The new amendments to the Labour Code will be directed to increasing the flexibility of the mechanism for hiring and dismissing the workers and employees, Mr. Bozadjiev promised, suggesting to the Business Club of German Economy in Bulgaria to send its representative to the Minsitry's expert panel, that will be drafting the amendments to the Labour Code.In 2002 the German-Bulgarian economic relations registered a climax for the last decade. Bilateral commercial exchange amounted to EUR1.9MN last year, and German firms accounted for 12.8% of all investments in Bulgaria in 2002.