45 000 Guest Workers Employed in Bulgarian Economy

Business | April 15, 2011, Friday // 17:57|  views

A total of 45 000 foreign laborers are estimated to be employed in Bulgaria, according to a survey of various statistical date.

More than 800 work permits have been issued to foreigners by the present Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the press center of the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria announced.

According to the estimates of the International Organization for Migration, the number of immigrant workers in Bulgaria may soon exceed 100 000.

"Even though they have not posed such severe problems as in France or Germany, for example, the integration of immigrants in the Bulgarian economy is not free of conflicts. The governance mechanisms can be adjusted more precisely to account for Bulgaria's interests, the situation of the labor market, human rights, and labor legislation," Dobrin Ivanov from the Labor Ministry said at the opening of a two-hour discussion on immigrant labor in Sofia.

The discussion focused on the results of a "Pilot Project for Improved Data Gathering on the Integration of Immigrants in the Bulgarian Society."

Prof. Emiliya Chengelova, heading a team of sociologists working on the project, provided several examples of foreign laborers in Bulgaria.

A large but encapsulated groups of Pakistanis and Filipinos work in the energy sector in the southern town of Galabovo, which is the site of Bulgaira's Maritsa East TPP complex.

About 15 doctors from Central Asia work in the northern city of Pleven, while IT specialists from India are employed at the First Investment Bank in Sofia.

The variety of experts who took part in the discussion have recommended that Bulgaria's immigration policies should account for the various levels of qualification of the immigrants and the public attitudes with which they are accepted by the Bulgarian society.

They believe that even though the economic crisis in Bulgaria has not been fully overcome, and the unemployment rate is still high, Bulgaria remains a labor destination for various groups of immigrants, which means that the government should adapt its criteria for admitting them to the Bulgarian economy.

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Tags: guest workers, immigrants, Labor Ministry, Central Asia, Pakistan, Philippines, India, Pleven, Galabovo, Maritsa East, First Investment Bank


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