The Bulgarian business community presented its priorities for 2021. The first national priority for business is the country’s admission to the OECD, announced at a press conference Vasil Velev, Chairman of the Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria. Our priority remains the Schengen area and our membership in the Euro zone.

The business does not want to receive aid, we want to work, Velev said commenting on loosening the anti-epidemic measures. Employers’ impatience over the facte that the restrictive measures are not laxed is well founded.

According to the Chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce Radosvet Radev, there was neither business nor business environment. Tsvetan Simeonov commented that the business community supports the loosening of the measures and pointed out that on the eve of the New Year holidays there was a slight relaxation, and no drastic jump in the infection rate occurred. It’s been a monstrous year, he said. Every month the situation was different, in his words. About 89% of companies see a deterioration in the business climate due to the coronavirus, as 70% have reported worse economic performance. The deterioration of the business climate is also due to the sluggish work of the institutions. The problems, in Radev’s words, also come from inept legislation. About 56% of companies refuse making any investment, he said. Business wants to preserve the current tax system. Radosvet Radev is worried about an avalanche of bankruptcies.

Social spending is more than it should be, he says. The situation caught us unawares because the e-management program was not completed. Fighting cartels and monopolies remains a priority for business.

Kiril Domuschiev, Chairman of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIB), pointed out that this year energy issues are still the focus in the work of the business. Last year, no progress was made in energy reform. A National Agreement to provide liquidity to the market needs to be drawn up and signed urgently, he believes.

It is very important to adopt a balanced national energy strategy, Domuschiev said. Another important step is to ensure connectivity, set up market associations in order to achieve optimal balancing of electricity prices, according to the Chairman of CEIB. In addition, a mechanism for holding power facilities auctions must be developed and notified before EC.

A national program for reconstruction of the Maritsa-Iztok complex should also be prepared, said Kiril Domuschiev. The authority of theState Energy and Water Regulatory Commission should be expanded, it should have the right to investigate and sanction market abuses and monitor market concentration.

Tsvetan Simeonov from the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry insists on the development of a national program for the resettlement in Bulgaria of citizens of Bulgarian origin from third countries. In addition, the business community insists on the keeping at home the Bulgarians who returned because of the pandemic. However, necessary conditions should be created to make them stay in Bulgaria.