The Association of the Organizations of Bulgarian Employers (AOBE) presented at a press conference held on 22 January 2018 its priorities for 2018. The Presidents of the nationally representative employers’ organizations – members of AOBE took part in the press conference: Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA), Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Bulgarian Industrial Association – Union of the Bulgarian Business (BIA), and Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIB).
The priorities of AOBE for 2018 are divided into three major groups: Business Climate, Human Resources Development, and Energy Reforms.
1. Improving the business climate:
· Accelerated e-Government development;
· Battle with the grey economy, corruption, monopolisation and cartels;
· Continuing the efforts to curb state interference in the economy and reduce the regulatory burden, drafting a common presumption on tacit consent;
· Restoring the balance between economic development and environmental protection;
· Simplifying the procedures for company connectivity to network structures (water, electricity, gas, etc.)
· Accession of Bulgaria to ERM II, Schengen Area and OECD.
2. Accelerated solution of the problems related to human resources:
· Accelerating reforms in education, with an emphasis on vocational training;
· Accelerating the healthcare reforms. Ensuring public control and management of the National Health Insurance Fund;
· Facilitating labour migration, including import of foreign workers;
· Reforming budget-funded, high-employment systems in order to relieve human resources for the economy (security, administration, healthcare, etc.);
· Developing and discussing a new Labour Code which reflects the new realities of the labour market;
· Solving problematic issues in the social security system.
3. Full energy reform:
· Termination of state aid for the “US power plants” and increased control of CHP and RES;
· A new Energy Act introducing full liberalisation of the market and adoption of a balanced national energy strategy by 2030;
· Increasing the efficiency of state-owned companies, including by listing them on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange;
· Increasing the energy connectivity of the country.