At BCCI a presentation of the “Opportunities and challenges for doing business in Bulgaria” was held. The event was dedicated to a survey among Swedish companies – investors in Bulgaria conducted by Business Sweden in cooperation with the Embassy of Sweden.
The President of BCCI Tsvetan Simeonov opened the event and said that BCCI provides support and assistance to all investors – whether Bulgarian or foreign. He pointed out that the innovative example, which is typical for the development of the Swedish business, is very useful for the Bulgarian companies.
“Bulgaria is an attractive country for the Swedish business”, said H.E. Mrs. Louise Bergholm, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to Bulgaria. “Swedish companies have a positive attitude towards Bulgaria”, she added. The Ambassador presented the results of the survey, which was conducted for the second time among Swedish companies from various sectors of industry, operating in Bulgaria. The first survey was held in 2017.
Ambassador Bergholm pointed out that in general Swedish companies plan to expand their business in Bulgaria in the next 3 years. This is due to favourable factors such as Bulgaria’s EU membership, the low taxes, the highly qualified workforce, etc.
The survey also looks into the challenges faced by Swedish companies in the country. The main challenge, cited by 47% of respondents, is the shortage of labour. The strong competition comes second, followed by bureaucracy which is also an obstacle for many companies, and the need of more in-depth measures on the part of the state.
According to Ambassador Bergholm, bilateral trade has grown significantly and Bulgarian exports have doubled in the last few years. The Ambassador thanked BCCI for the fruitful cooperation and the support it provides to the business of both countries.
The Chairperson of the newly-established Swedish – Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce Mr. Stefan Bengtsson confirmed that the shortage of labour is one of the biggest challenges. According to him, the Swedish experience in innovation paired with the capacity of the Bulgarian economy can be very successful.
Mrs. Zoya Paunova, CEO of Astra Zeneca and Mr. Marcel van der Hoek, representative of ABB for Bulgaria, shared their experience on the Bulgarian market.
Zoya Paunova said that the biopharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca faces difficulties with the legislation and the strong competition. The company fears that the former may slow down the implementation of innovations in their activity.
Marcel van der Hoek said that ABB is adapting to the changing environment on a local and international scale by automating its production, introducing innovations, and increasing the qualification of its staff.
The participants in the event – more than 60 representatives of the Bulgarian and Swedish business in the country, discussed with the presenters specific issues related to their work – both in terms of difficulties encountered and a number of good practices.