site.btaUPDATED Economy Minister: US Companies Show Increased Interest in Investing in Bulgaria
At a meeting with representatives of over 20 leading US businesses here on Tuesday, caretaker Economy and Industry Minister Nikola Stoyanov said that US investments in Bulgaria amount to nearly EUR 850 million and that US companies currently show increased interest in investing in Bulgaria. "We are working on 18 projects that would possibly create some 2,400 jobs in Bulgaria and are worth some BGN 1 billion," he stressed, as quoted by his Ministry.
The meeting was held within the Breakfast with Investors initiative of Minister Stoyanov and was organized with the support of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria.
Stoyanov told reporters that these are investment intentions that are currently in the process of certification. Answering a question, the Economy Minister said that these are projects in high added value sectors – the ITC sector, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.
In the last decade, three of the five largest ITC projects in Bulgaria are US projects, Stoyanov noted, adding that currently there are some 100 US companies operating in Bulgaria and their investments are mainly in high added value sectors.
In his words, trade between Bulgaria and the US is growing at a record pace, reaching USD 1.3 billion in 2021, of which Bulgarian export was worth some USD 1 billion. In the first half of 2022, bilateral trade was growing even more, Stoyanov stressed and voiced hope that 2022 will set a new trade record between the two countries.
The Breakfast with Investors initiative, launched by Stoyanov in early October, is intended to improve the business climate and promote investment by foreign companies in this country. Its aim is for foreign businesses in Bulgaria to have direct and regular contact with the economy minister. Meetings have already been held with Austrian, German and French business representatives in Bulgaria.
Answering another question, Stoyanov said that the funds allocated for development of industrial zones in Bulgaria under the Recovery and Resilience Plan are of particular importance to the Economy Ministry. On Monday, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU funds management Atanas Pekanov told an extraordinary briefing that the European Commission has just approved the first payment of BGN 2.7 billion under Bulgaria's Recovery and Resilience Plan.
Stoyanov recalled his ministry’s intentions to open new industrial zones in smaller towns and villages in partnership between municipalities and National Company Industrial Zones. The idea is for Bulgaria to offer investors industrial zones where infrastructure is available, the Minister added.