Банкеръ Weekly


Bulgaria To Change Investment Law

Ministry of Economy is preparing a new Law on Investment Promotion, said last week the Minister of Economy and Energy Dragomir Stoynev who is involved in a procedure of parliamentary control of the respective parliamentary committee. The main objective of the regulatory changes will reduce the administrative burden for companies applying for an investment class certificate or priority project and requirements for applicants will be eased, as regards their projects and applications.

"This will significantly speed up the timetable of proposals. Moreover, the government seeks to ensure the predictability of the business environment, it will not change tax rates. But for us it is very important investors to observe the Bulgarian legislation," said Stoynev.

Asked what his ministry is doing to attract foreign direct investment, he said that 2013 he registered a positive trend in this direction as compared to 2012. Last year, 15 investment projects were certified totalling 106.3 million levs, which are expected to open 894 new jobs. Certified investment projects in the first four months of this year, were eight and amounted to 76.7 million levs, but their purpose is to create more than 3,000 jobs. A procedure for certification of other 11 projects is opened in transport, information technology, outsourcing, engineering, wood processing, and tourism, which jointly will pour 465.4 million levs into local economy.

Dragomir Stoynev said that in addition to investments from abroad, one needs to think how to stir the investment climate in the country, the ambition for 2014 is for an economic growth of 2 percent. To have such growth, however, the state must start building the pipeline "South Stream". "We need to make the most of this project, which is important for Bulgaria and Europe, and that is also one that our country will not pay even a single lev for - but will create jobs, bring profit and return the loan for its construction only from the dividends from the project," underlined once again the Minister of Economy and Energy. He added that the production of pipes for the pipeline has already begun and in June construction activities will be launched on the marine part of the "South Stream".

Before Bulgaria's MPs Stoynev guaranteed that the country was doing everything possible to no negative effect on tourism from the crisis in Ukraine. He categorically denied reports of an outflow of tourists during the winter season, saying that the country even registered a growth of 4.5 percent of holidaymakers during the winter period. At this stage, there are no canceled flights from Ukraine or Russia. Bulgaria was represented at the Tourism Forum in Kiev, where from it came back with an award for best booth, and Bulgarian tour operators thanked the ministry for the opportunity. Currently Bulgaria takes part in the biggest Arab Tourism Forum in Dubai, said the Minister of Economy.

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