Over 60 000 Greek Firms Have Relocated to Bulgaria Since SummerBusiness | December 22, 2015, Tuesday // 13:09| views
Since the summer of this year more than 60 000 Greek firms have relocated their business to Bulgaria.
This is visible from the figures of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE), daily Sega informs.
Part of the firms have relocated their business, while others have obtained tax registration or opened bank accounts in Bulgarian banks.
This is not a brand new development, but it has intensified in the last months after the temporary bank closure and the introduction of capital controls and other restrictions in Greece in the summer, which hampered considerably the business.
In the last several months, thousands of Greek entrepreneurs have requested to obtain tax registration in Bulgaria.
In this way, many of the firms try to avoid heavy bureaucracy and the continuing economic uncertainty in Greece.
The Greek tax legislation is being amended continuously, which hampers the ease of doing business.
Entrepreneurs state that although Bulgaria is not the ideal place for doing business, it is a preferred destination in view of the continuing problems in Greece.
According to figures of the Bulgarian commercial register, the Greek-owned firms in Bulgaria increased by nearly 30 % to 11 500 between 2013 and 2014.
A total of 2500 new Greek-owned firms were created in 2014, as Bulgaria has more favourable tax regime than Greece.
The chief of the Greek business council in Bulgaria, Mincho Gerdzhikov, noted that there have not been any large-scale Greek investments in Bulgaria recently, while companies that have registered previously are mainly expanding their production capacity.
According to economist Krasen Stanchev, prior to the crisis there were only around 1500 Greek firms in Bulgaria, while at present their number is much higher.
Greek firms mainly operate in the sectors of tourism, commerce, real estate, financial services.
Greece ranks as the third largest investor in Bulgaria with EUR 3.6 B in investments.
Greek firms have considerable presence in metal-processing and metallurgy, followed by the glass industry with three large glass factories in Sofia, Plovdiv and Novi pazar.
A total of 40 000 Bulgarians are employed in enterprises realised by direct Greek investments, while the same number are employed in Bulgarian firms exporting to Greece.
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