Bulgaria’s Govt to Prioritize Economic Development of Northwestern Region

Business | February 16, 2015, Monday // 17:56|  views

Bulgaria's Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski presented measures aimed at overcoming the economic backwardness of the northwestern region, the poorest region in the EU.

Lukarski and Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva visited Montana on Monday to meet with business representatives from Vidin, Vratsa and Montana at the invitation of MPs from the districts.

Speaking Monday in the northwestern town of Montana, Lukarski said that investors had expressed interest in setting foot in industrial zones in the area, including a German meat processing company, which wanted to invest in the Vidin Free Zone.

Bulgaria’s Economy Minister, as cited by Darik radio, made clear that talks were underway with a number of carmakers, including Audi, on the establishment of production facilities for components and spare parts for cars and freight vehicles.

Lukarski claimed that the current version of both the Investment Promotion Act and the Public Private Partnership Act did not match the interests of the investment process in northwestern Bulgaria, stressing that the Economy Ministry was preparing a project to amend these laws.

He suggested that the proposal for reducing the corporate tax rate for companies in northwestern Bulgaria could also be backed by the parties represented in Parliament.

Kuneva informed that the EU provided EUR 258 M for the development of border regions between Bulgaria and Romania under Interreg, adding that the scheme was available to 15 border areas and Bulgaria’s northwestern region could take advantage of the opportunity.

Lukarski cited the “Innovations and Competitiveness” 2014-2020 operational program as a major instrument of support for the region.

He said that the government was considering allocating a special quota of funding for projects in northwestern Bulgaria, adding that the percentage could be set at 10%.

He noted that investors in the region could be granted preferential tax treatment.

Lukarski also pointed out that the launch of free economic zones in the region was a good opportunity for development.

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Tags: bozhidar lukarski, Economy Minister, Northwestern Bulgaria, Severozapaden, operational program, Meglena Kuneva, EU funding, Interreg


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