Bulgarian Companies to Save BGN 113 M through Anti-Red Tape Measures in 2015-2017

Business | January 1, 2015, Thursday // 15:34|  views

Bulgaria's Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski, photo by BGNES

Companies in Bulgaria may save BGN 113 M through the adoption of the third plan for cutting the administrative burden on business (2015-2017), according to Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski.

In a Thursday interview for the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, he explained that businesses would be able to rely on EU funding of EUR 150 M under the first procedure under operational program “Innovations and Competitiveness”, which would be announced in the spring of 2015.

He pointed out that the Economy Ministry planned to submit the third anti-red tape plan for approval by the government by end-March 2015.

“If all proposals envisaged in it are approved and implemented, the potential for cutting red tape by amending 16 laws amounts to BGN 113 M,” he added, as cited by dnevnik.bg.

Lukarski made clear that the first procedure under the abovementioned operational program would be aimed at improving production processes and increasing the production capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises in order to enhance the export potential.

He informed that there would be three application deadlines and that the total budget of the program would be EUR 1.39 B.
Lukarski went on to say that the crisis with Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB , Corbnak) had had a negative impact on defense industry companies which had been working with it.

Lukarski assured, however, that local defense companies had not lost markets as they had guaranteed orders.
“Export permits for defense-related products worth nearly EUR 900 M were issued in 2014, which can be considered a positive trend,” he noted.

He said that the efforts of the Economy Ministry of Economy on the companies included in the military-industrial complex, Sopot-based VMZ and Kintex, would be focused on securing orders.
Bulgaria’s Economy Minister emphasized that the authorities sought to keep VMZ viable so that it would remain a significant employer in the region.

Asked to comment on the possible privatization of VMZ and Kintex, he claimed that the move would only be discussed on the basis of a detailed analysis.

He said that no restructuring or privatization was envisaged for the companies on the no-privatizaion list which were implementing concrete policies, adding that the remaining part of small companies which were not implementing specific policies would face privatization.

Lukarski announced that Stara Zagora Airport EAD would be restructured, with the Economy Ministry contributing terrains of around 2 thousand decares, after which the authorities would seek to attract investments into the areas around Stara Zagora.

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Tags: bozhidar lukarski, Economy Minister, red tape, administrative burden, operational program, EU funds, defense industry, VMZ, VMZ Sopot, Kintex, Corporate Commercial Bank, KTB, Corpbank, Stara Zagora Airport, privatizaiton, small and medium-sized enterprises


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