Article by: Money.bg
Name: Alisa Ivanova
Trakia Economic Zone is one of the largest industrial zones in Bulgaria with around 180 operating companies in it, and the investments in the last 20 years are over 2 billion euros. More than 35,000 people work in the zone, which turns it into a key employer of national importance. That is why the team of Money.bg on Bulgaria ON AIR TV contacted the CEO of the zone Eng. Plamen Panchev to find out how much she affected from the already ended state of emergency.
Most of the companies in the Trakia Economic Zone continue to operate with reduced working hours. In the middle of the crisis, some have laid off some of their employees. There are also companies whose orders have increased due to the fact that there are many similar companies that are closed in Europe. That was announced by the CEO of the industrial zone Plamen Panchev:
In which sectors are the companies whose work is increasing and where is it decreasing?
According to the expert, the production of spare parts in the automotive sector has increased. Textile companies also continue to operate actively. “The companies most affected, which are tied to sales in Europe, to the automotive industry, mechanical engineering and a large part of their customers are now experiencing difficulties”, he said.
According to the expert, many companies cannot take advantage of measures proposed by the government, such as the 60/40, because they do not meet the criteria. One is to have a drop in revenue last year, but because the investment was higher then, they cannot qualify.
“In addition, there are some new companies that started working at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, and because of that they do not have a basis for comparison and cannot use the measure. We hope that the conditions will be supplemented and the criteria will change greater access”, Panchev said.
What other measures would help to keep you busy at work?
According to the expert, it is not easy, especially for smaller companies, to navigate the whole situation. “We assumed that there would be a common portal where there would be informed about all the measures that are offered through the Bulgarian Development Bank and the Fund of Funds, so when needed the company can get all the information from one place”, said Panchev.
Can Bulgaria win the crisis and how?
According to the expert, we can try to turn the problem into an advantage. “We are witnessing that the big companies in the automotive sector will try to shorten the supply routes, will redirect part of the production of spare parts, we can turn things around in our favor”, he said.
According to him, at least in this industry, it is expected that there will be interest in the countries of Eastern Europe. “Currently, we are trying to invest more in infrastructure as part of the idea to assume even more attractive conditions”, Panchev said.
Will it free the working staff from other factors, which could be attracted by the industry?
According to the expert, if the appropriate qualification is obtained, this could happen. All investments in the area for this year remain for now. “We hope to start the construction of some enterprises in the summer. These are the companies in the field of textiles, medical equipment, two enterprises in the field of agricultural production”, he said.