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site.btaExpert: Trade Turnover between Bulgaria, Austria Will Exceed BGN 3 Bln in 2023

Expert: Trade Turnover between Bulgaria, Austria Will Exceed BGN 3 Bln in 2023
Expert: Trade Turnover between Bulgaria, Austria Will Exceed BGN 3 Bln in 2023
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In an exclusive interview for BTA, Desislava Stoyanova, head of the Commercial and Economic Section of the Bulgaria Embassy in Vienna, said that Austria is the second largest foreign investor in Bulgaria, with an investment volume of some BGN 9.78 billion. The total trade turnover in 2023 is expected to exceed BGN 3 billion.

About 350 Austrian companies operate in Bulgaria, employing roughly 300,000 people. According to the latest annual survey conducted by Advantage Austria in Sofia, more than 60% of Austrian companies in Bulgaria rate as good the quality of local suppliers, access to credit and capital, labour costs, as well as customs duties and taxes. However, a serious problem that investors face in Bulgaria is the lack of skilled labour force.

Stoyanova pointed out that the tourism sector has a great potential. "A lot can be done in the field of balneology and specialized forms of tourism - wine, cultural and historical," she said.

She shared her belief that more and more efforts will be made on Bulgarian side under the Dual Education project, which is based on an Austrian model. The project involves 15 Austrian and German companies that offer apprenticeships in mechatronics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, retail, logistics, and pharmaceuticals.

As strengths that Bulgaria has to offer, Stoyanova listed the country's strategic location, being an EU Member State, and the access to certain funds, which companies have as a result. "Austrian entrepreneurs understand this very well, which is why Austria is a leading investor in Bulgaria," she said.

There are Austrian companies currently exploring Bulgaria as an investment location for in the energy, metalworking, and construction sectors.

Stoyanova noted that the coronavirus pandemic had no impact on the Bulgarian-Austrian trade relations. They were even strengthened.

As far as high energy prices are concerned, the expectation is that they will boost the interactions between the two countries. Austria is a leader in energy conservation technologies in all sectors, but also in the development of renewable energy sources. "Huge investments are being made in research and development in these areas and this is a very promising area of cooperation between Bulgarian and Austrian companies, research institutions and development centres," Stoyanova said.

Trade with Austria has increased steadily in recent years. Bulgaria's exports in 2021 increased by 28.2% compared to 2020. In 2022 it increased by 35.8% compared to 2021.

Some of the sectors that account for the largest revenues in trade relations are non-ferrous metals, machinery and components, electrical appliances, construction, pharmaceutical and medical products, agricultural products.

According to Stoyanova, tourism has a lot of potential: "We can do a lot here in the field of balneology, but also in specialized forms of tourism: wine tourism, cultural and historical tourism".

For Bulgarian companies that aim to expand on the Austrian market, Stoyanova shared that this market has very high standards. It is very important to maintain the quality level at a constant level. For technical products in particular, providing maintenance and spare parts is of great importance.

The assistance of the Commercial and Economic Section of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Vienna can also be essential for the success of Bulgarian manufacturers targeting Austria.

"But the most important thing is quality products with a competitive price and persistence, persistence, persistence," Stoyanova concluded.




By 06:38 on 06.06.2023 Today`s news

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