Bulgarian Firms Upbeat on Exports but Write Off EUBusiness | December 5, 2011, Monday // 14:17| views
BCCI Chair Tsvetan Simeonov says Bulgarian firms are now looking beyond the EU for export opportunities. Photo by BGNES
Some 60% of the companies in Bulgaria expect an upswing in their exports, according to a survey of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
At the same time, however, the increase in export demand for Bulgarian goods is expected to come from non-European destinations such as foreign markets described as "traditional" (prior to 1990 – editor's note), pointed out BCCI Chair Tsvetan Simeonov, who presented the results of the survey.
"There is no doubt that we cannot expect a growth of the sales of Bulgarian goods in Europe. That is why Bulgarian enterprises are turning towards their traditional markets where there is a potential for recovery. The opportunities for increasing Bulgarian exports to Asia as well as the Arab world are enormous," Simeonov noted, as cited by DarikFinance.
According to the BCCI head, Bulgarian companies can find large market niches in Libya, especially when it comes to construction.
What is more, Libyans feel "remorseful" towards Bulgaria for the notorious Libyan HIV trial of the six Bulgarian medics in 1999-2007, and would like to compensate Bulgaria, Simeonov believes.
"Arab countries are solvent – regardless of the temporary difficulties that they have because of the revolutions there. They will be seeking foreign assistance for reconstruction and construction – and these are precisely the sectors in Bulgaria that are seeing a downturn," he stressed.
At the same time, however, Simeonov noted that the interest of Bulgarian companies towards doing business with Brazil has cooled down in spite of the initial enthusiasm.
"We cooled off about Brazil. There was great enthusiasm at the beginning but now there is no motion. Brazil as well as Argentina are enormous markets, and we will outline specific measures for boosting the Bulgarian exports in that direction," he explained.
Regardless of their optimism for exports, Bulgarian employers are relatively pessimistic about the labor market, the BCCI study shows.
Only 36% of the firms in Bulgaria expect greater new investment regardless of whether it is foreign or made by local enterprises.