Bulgaria's Finance Minister Foresees Income Growth of 10-15% in 2024 BudgetFinance | November 4, 2023, Saturday // 11:18| views
Bulgaria's Finance Minister, Asen Vassilev, unveiled the government's growth-oriented approach to the 2024 budget. This forward-looking strategy focuses on making substantial investments in the social system, healthcare, and education, signaling an intent to fortify the nation's core infrastructure.
The budget allocates over BGN 11 billion for capital investments, underlining the government's commitment to enhancing various sectors crucial to Bulgaria's development. This financial injection is expected to fuel economic growth and stimulate progress in areas that have faced challenges in recent years.
One of the central pillars of the 2024 budget, according to Minister Vassilev, is the anticipation of income growth ranging from 10% to 15% on an annual basis. This projection speaks to the government's vision of fostering well-paid employment opportunities in Bulgaria. The aim is to attract investments that will bolster labor quality, thereby moving away from the notion of Bulgaria as a source of cheap labor.
Minister Vassilev's clear message to foreign business delegations is that Bulgaria's vision encompasses well-compensated positions that enhance living standards and drive economic growth. The emphasis is on creating a robust and productive labor market while extending support to businesses that contribute to this overarching goal.
Notably, in response to ongoing concerns in the cultural sector, Vassilev revealed that the cultural budget would see a remarkable 50% increase. This move follows weeks of protests by numerous actors advocating for improved salaries within the industry. This substantial boost reflects the government's commitment to the arts, culture, and the welfare of those involved.
Looking ahead, Vassilev addressed Bulgaria's potential adoption of the euro from 2025 onwards. In this context, he mentioned that the transition would likely lead to decreased interest rates, benefiting both businesses and the public. This move signifies Bulgaria's ongoing integration with the European Union and the broader European economic framework.
Furthermore, Vassilev provided insights into the reasoning behind accruing a new external debt. He clarified that when a budget shows a deficit, financing becomes essential to meet financial obligations. It's noteworthy that the maximum debt the state can incur stands at 7.5 billion BGN, with three billion BGN allocated for servicing old debts. However, Vassilev emphasized that this does not compromise Bulgaria's financial stability, as the debt-to-GDP ratio is on a declining trajectory and is expected to continue its descent.
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