Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

WHAT AWAITS THE BRANCH AFTER BULGARIA'S ADMISSION TO THE EU

With the very accession of Bulgaria to the European Union (EU) farmers' proceeds will increase by 32-61%. This will be mainly due to the introduction of direct payments to them in accordance with the common agricultural policies in the community. Live-stock production in the country is expected to go up from BGN2.8BN in 2003 to BGN2.9-3.1BN in 2007.Forecasts about meat production in particular are not so optimistic. Various kinds of meat will be influenced to a different extent from the introduction of European requirements, but the negative impact will be the greatest on pork and chicken meat, which are of the greatest importance to Bulgaria. Due to the differences of prices in Bulgaria and the EU pig-breeders are expected to lose about BGN218MN and poultry farmers' losses are pre-estimated at some BGN17MN. Producers of veal and lamb meat, however, will certainly profit from the EU integration.Quality is another serious problem. It is not a secret that Bulgarian meat products are currently far behind European quality. Improvement will swallow huge amounts of money, but it will be very advantageous for those who take the burden as they will have a much better access to foreign markets. Therefore, the introduction of the HASEP system for guaranteeing the quality, technical re-equipment of enterprises and use of first-quality materials is so important. The government, on its part, should solve by 2007 the exiting problems in the field of standards by pushing adequate legislation and establishment of a control system in the branch.

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