Posted on 08/10/2013 · Posted in Conference News


Advantages and disadvantages of investing in Bulgaria were presented in the International Automotive Conference in a panel moderated by Svetoslav Mladenov, Executive Director of the Investment Agency. “Bulgaria has many advantages as a strategic location, very low wages; flat income tax 10% and 0% for regions with low unemployment. Investors receive shorten administrative procedure by one-third, also financial assistance for training employees to acquire vocational training and infrastructure development. By the end of the year we will have 50 working factories in the automotive industry.”, said Mladenov.

His statement was confirmed by Mr. Alexander Uzunov, Head Key Projects at Behr-Hella Thermocontrol. The company invests in construction of a new plant for auto parts in Bozhurishte, close to Sofia for 42.5 million lev. “We have looked at more than 50 locations in Europe and we took into account several factors such as quantity, quality, logistics, payroll, stability, legislation. We have received support by the Bulgarian government. We were thinking also of Macedonia, but chose not to take it because of our specific needs. For example proximity to international airport, as it is in Sofia.”, said Uzunov. According to the professional, Bulgaria must do more to improve the image of the country for foreigners on their first arrival.

Dr. Mitko Vassilev, CEO of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, presented analysis, according to which 75% of the 78 German companies in the country would invest again and are satisfied with its operations in the country. “The result is good and positive, but still low when compared to other countries. SMEs have a huge potential for development. In Germany there are more than 400 supporting programs; in Bulgaria we still don’t have such amount. Yes, there is corruption, as well as in Germany, but last year there was no change in the right direction.” said Vassilev.

Mr. Marcel Schwab from Ernst & Young promised assistance to all companies that are preparing to invest in Bulgaria. “We can help the companies with information about the legislation system. Bulgaria is much better country as what pictures are showing abroad. Companies feel these advantages and we support them. Here are coming investors who need low-cost productivity and highly qualified staff. I am telling them to invest the difference of lower taxes, compared with other places, in training. This will have a very quick return on investment. People are very well educated in the schools, but not in the technical sense. I think many still do not prefer Bulgaria as a destination because of ignorance.”

During the discussion was presented the investment of Kemmler Electronics. The company has a plant in the Czech Republic for 17 years, but in long term position, the operations will become too expensive. “Therefore, we decided to find another place to invest. Looked at opportunities in Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine, and finally decided to come to Bulgaria. According to us here the situation is stable as for the political environment and currency, which is one of the most important factors. The Czech Crown changed with 30-40% in the recent years and this has had a huge impact for us as a producer. Bulgaria is also in the heart of Europe, and there is a sea connection with Turkey. In contrast to our center in the Czech Republic, here the people can do much more things besides production.” said Stefan Reiber of Kemmler Electronics.

Speed-Press Agency