Bulgarian Economy Minister Nominee to Pour BGN 1B into SMEs

Finance | March 19, 2012, Monday // 13:47|  views

Delyan Dobrev, the nominee for Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, has said that he will put an emphasis on SME development. Photo by BGNES

Delyan Dobrev, the nominee for Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, has vowed to channel investments of BGN 850 M – 1 B in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by end-2012.

In a Monday interview for the morning broadcast of private TV station bTV, Dobrev explained that the "issue of the day" was the state of Bulgaria's economy, rather than energy projects.

"The truth is that there is economic growth but it is very insufficient and SMEs are literally on mechanical respiration," Dobrev argued, adding that SMEs were the main tool for ensuring an emergence from the crisis on a global scale.

He explained that he was hoping to take some BGN 1 B "out of the state budget and into small and medium-sized businesses" through mechanisms like the Competitive Power Operational Program and the JEREMIE initiative.

"This will not remain an empty promise, we have the most powerful weapon, the money of the European taxpayer," Dobrev stated.

He said that the first tasks on his agenda would be to find a solution to the crisis at the Gorubso-Madan mines and to negotiate a discount in the gas supply contracts with Russia.

The nominee for Energy and Economy Minister made it clear that the talks with the Russian side were underway and that the results would be clear next week.

He specified that Bulgaria was hoping to achieve a 15% reduction in prices of Russian natural gas.

Commenting on the implementation of the Belene NPP, Dobrev was rather evasive, reminding of the recent remarks of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov that "there will be no Bulgarian-Russian project."

"If the Belene NPP project is interpreted as an exclusively Russian project, it will not happen," Dobrev declared.

He drew attention to the proposals to use the Belene reactor at the Kozloduy NPP or to sell it to a third party specializing in the development of nuclear power stations.

Dobrev explained that he did not see the post of Economy and Energy Minister as the biggest success in his career and admitted that he if he had to make a decision anew, he would not go one into politics.

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Tags: Delyan Dobrev, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Energy and Economy Minister, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, Belene NPP, Kozloduy NPP, Boyko Borisov, natural gas, JEREMIE


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