Although new industrial projects are being implemented in Bulgaria, foreign investors do not miss out on their concerns and inconveniences. These are observations over the years that hinder their activity. Such as labor market imbalances and infrastructure problems.

Austrian companies – foreign investor #2

Austrian companies are among the most active in our country. Their country ranks second in terms of presence among foreign investors in Bulgaria with a total volume of participation of 5.7 billion euros. Several of these companies have expanded their investments in Bulgaria, apparently satisfied with the business conditions.

Other Austrian companies are looking for partners in Bulgaria to manufacture machine parts. They are also interested in the IT sector. This is a good sign for our country. The smaller interest from new companies is problematic. This was also noted by Ulrike Strak, a sales advisor to the Austrian Embassy in Bulgaria. We may not be able to “show” Bulgaria as a good place for business. Marketing and advertising have always been our weak point – this is a fact. The neighboring countries of Bulgaria are still able to advertise better than us. And some of them also offer better government preferences (Reference: the deal to build a Volkswagen plant in Bulgaria, which is about to be taken away from us in favor of  Turkey).

Recommendations of foreign investors

The representatives of the Austrian business emphasized in their recommendations and the need for a more serious practical orientation of education in our country. They also expressed fears that in the short term there will be an acute shortage of labor in Bulgaria. The companies are among those who have supported dual training in Bulgaria with various projects in the last three years. They are attended by 19 Austrian investors who support the training process by working in several professions – mechatronics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, trade, logistics and others. The Austrian embassy notes that there are already students who have graduated and work at the respective companies. And the result of these programs is visible – better qualified, and able to find a job.

Dual training

Businesses complain that dual education covers less than 3% of vocational students. For the time being, it does not create preconditions for permanent employment. Only 170 companies have created learning conditions for students through work, participate in curriculum development, but rarely recruit graduates. The model is wrong – we need incentives such as tax breaks. As it is around the world, for companies that invest in staff training for their business and then hire them.

Swedish companies

A total of 74% of the Swedish companies operating in Bulgaria plan to expand their business here in the next three years. 60% of those who have production bases here intend to invest more in them. This is clear from the results of a survey of Swedish business presented earlier this year on the establishment of a Swedish-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. Swedish investments in Bulgaria are around EUR 200 million, with the help of which 8,500 new jobs have been created.

Sweden is one of the countries with high investment potential that has made significant investments in the world. The volume of this money in Bulgaria has grown significantly in the last two years. But it still does not meet the real possibilities, according to Deputy Minister of Economy Lilia Ivanova. She stressed that the Ministry of Economy is working for an even wider representation of Bulgaria as an attractive investment destination for Swedish capital. Our country is still little known in Sweden and other northern countries and needs even more serious advertise. “We are ready to support new business ventures that will expand the presence of Swedish businesses in Bulgaria,” Deputy Minister Ivanova concluded.

German investments

Many German companies that have come and invested in Bulgaria produce here and when they export to the largest European economy, it is already Bulgarian export. “Germany remains a strategically important investor for Bulgaria,” said Mitko Vasilev, the manager of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Last year there were a lot of German investment in the field of automotive. As a disadvantage, German investors in Bulgaria point to a shortage of skilled labor, as well as “inefficient state administration and bureaucracy”. And also corruption. However, the advantages are much greater, according to Mitko Vassilev.

This article uses materials from “Банкерь” newspaper.

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