Underreported US and Canadian Investments Surpass Official Figures in Bulgaria

Business | December 11, 2023, Monday // 12:34|  views

Investments from the USA and Canada in Bulgaria surpass the country's official balance of payments report findings, as per a recent Institute for Market Economy (IME) study spanning five years. The IME's Chief Economist, Lachezar Bogdanov, highlighted that global companies from these regions often centralize their European operations in countries like the Netherlands or Switzerland, leading statistics to attribute these investments to those countries.

IME's extensive research involved manually gathering data, analyzing financial statements, and contacting company owners. This effort revealed that the impact and scale of investments from the US and Canada are more substantial than reported in the balance of payments statistics, which record foreign investments.

Accounting for this scenario could elevate US and Canadian investments to 6th place, a significant climb from their previous rankings of 16th in 2021 and 13th in 2016. However, Bogdanov noted that this assessment would necessitate a comprehensive reevaluation of investments by country.

Officially, the IME's calculations peg US investments at BGN 1.680 billion as of 2021, constituting a 1.7% share. Conversely, IME's research, based on direct communication with company owners, reveals a strikingly different scenario: over BGN 5.5 billion in US investments by 2021, more than three times the reported figures from BNB.

Similarly, Canadian investments are estimated at BGN 1.063 billion, contrasting significantly with the reported BGN 90 million.

Since IME's 2016 analysis, American businesses in Bulgaria have surged by 31%, witnessing a 52% revenue increase and a 43% rise in employment. These direct foreign investments from the US have grown by over 23%, exceeding BGN 1 billion.

American companies employ nearly 41,000 individuals in Bulgaria, enjoying an average salary more than double the national average.

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Tags: Bulgaria, US, investments


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