site.btaDeputy Economy Minister Shtonova Meets with EU Commissioner Breton

Deputy Economy Minister Shtonova Meets with EU Commissioner Breton
Deputy Economy Minister Shtonova Meets with EU Commissioner Breton
VMZ Sopot (BTA Photo)

 “We are at a key time, when the Bulgarian defence industry needs targeted assistance to transform and increase production in compliance with NATO standards,” said Deputy Economy Minister Irina Shtonova, meeting with EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. They visited  production facilities of ordinance maker VMZ in Iganovo and Sopot, said the Economy Ministry on Wednesday. Defence Minister Dimiter Stoyanov took part in the meetings.

“The challenges facing the modern security environment require adaptation to the increased demands and dynamic international environment. The Economy Ministry is working purposefully to strengthen and modernize the Bulgarian defence industry and in particular the capacity of the VMZ," Deputy Minister Shtonova said.

According to her, Bulgarian companies are now actively participating and performing well in both highly competitive international NATO tenders and current European programmes with a defence focus. Deputy Minister Shtonova underlined the importance of the sector for the economy and commented that "investments in the development of specific and industrial technologies are the way to increase the competitiveness and innovation capacity of the Bulgarian military-industrial complex".

Such investments could be made through state funding or through the comprehensive EU Defence Innovation Scheme. It would incentivize Member States to invest in jointly building defence capabilities, joint procurement and reducing the Union's technological dependence.

The VMZ is also preparing an investment programme to help the company expand its production to NATO standard, it emerged at the meeting. The production of 155 mm shells, which are fully NATO standard, was also presented. "Talking about the strategic need for the EU to be able to guarantee its defence and exploring the capabilities of the member states, it is very important to underline the key place of Bulgaria. We have not only a well-developed defence industry, but also competitive state-owned enterprises in the sector, which are key and I hope will be able to benefit from targeted EU funding," Shtonova added. She expressed the hope that this visit also gives a clear signal from the Commission that it sees Bulgarian enterprises as strategic to European security and will develop concrete schemes to support them and promote their growth.







By 06:40 on 05.10.2023 Today`s news

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