New investments in Trakia Economic Zone in 2018.
Thanks to the successful and sustainable development of Trakia Economic Zone (TEZ), Plovdiv has become the top three in the “Strategy of attraction in foreign investment” (FDI strategy) in top 10 European cities of the future 2018/2019 (Top 10 Small European cities of the Future 2018/2019). The region Plovdiv occupies 4th place in the same category in the prestigious British edition of the “Financial Times”.
“Trakia Economic Zone” is the largest and most sustainable industrial zone not only in Bulgaria but also in Southeastern Europe. The project unites 6th industrial zone – “Maritsa”, “Rakovski”, “Kuklen”, “Industrial park “Plovdiv”, Park “Innovation” and agrocenter “Kaloyanovo”, in the region of Plovdiv in order to optimize the services provided to investors. The area of TEZ is 10 700 000 sq. m./ 1/3 of her is already occupied/, the investments made- for 22 years since the establishment of the first zone in 1996 so far over 2 billion euro have been invested by more than 180 companies, half of which are foreign, more than 30 000 work places have been discovered.
For the development in Trakia Economic Zone are uniting 9 municipality- Plovdiv, Asenovgrad, Kaloyanovo, Kuklen, Maritsa, Puromay, Rakovski, Rodopi, Stambolyski, 2 associations- “Cluster Trakia Ecnonomic Zone” and “Cluster information and communication technologies Plovdiv”, “Sienit Holding” AD- develop in industrial zones and one of the biggest Bulgarian workers “KCM 2000” AD. This unification- public-private partnership entirely of the kind in Bulgaria, provides a good example of how business and municipalities can be successful together. “Cluster Trakia economic zone” which manages and supports the development of Trakia Economic Zone signed a cooperation agreement with the Bulgarian investment Agency in 2018. Through the government agency the role of the public- private partnership in the project is further enhanced.
Thanks to create the symbiosis not only a favorable business climate has been built, it’s working together to attract and retain investors but together solves the problems relates to the vocational education and the qualification of the labor. In 2017 and 2018 the municipality of Haskovo, Burgas and Kostinbrod joined in Trakia Economic Zone. Now is exploring the possibility of working with Gabrovo, Vidin and Ruse.
This is the successful place to invest, as proved by the fact that in the area in 2018 the first aircraft factory in France was launched by the French company “Latecoere” a leading supplier in the aircraft industry. Prove it in 21’s new projects which they are realizing through 2018- in Bulgarian companies- “Bio-mechanic”, “TVT”, “Elko Mes”, “ENKO Plastic”, “Interlink Group”, “Sting”, “EURO MIX”, “Cima– 99”, “Kukov&Ko”, “Online properties”, “Real M”, the German companies “Humanita”, “Kaufland”, “Willi Elbe Gelenkwellen”, “Mecalit”, “VEM”, “Moto PFOHE”, the Italian “Zobele”, the Swedish “Volvo Group Trucks” and the English “William Hughes”. The first sod of a high- tech factory for the rear lights of “Mercedes” was made on 28 June 2018 by the Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov and Ahmet Bayeraktar, president of “odelo Farba Lighting Group”. The Turkish company has built in industrial zone of “Kuklen”, part of Trakia economic zone. By the registered in Bulgaria “odelo Farba Bulgaria” will invest by 2023 in stages 40.6 million in 3 factories and subcontractor park. In 2018 the Turkish-German company SPINNER started a new plant for machines with digital program management. Two of the companies- “odelo Farba Bulgaria” and Interlink Group received a Class A Investors certificate, another 2 companies are in the process of certification.
For 2018 the investments in TEZ are over 150 million euro. In this plan are not including the extensions of production. Big part of the companies which they are in Trakia economic zone continuously invested in equipment, staff increase, in assimilation of new production and products. The best sign is that Trakia Economic Zone is the place for a successful business, the fact is that the investors who have already invested here continue to invest 2nd, 3rd, 4th time.
In the TEZ area with different economic specifics which makes the project unique- there are areas in the light and heavy industry including the machine building, high technology and agro– industries. That’s way the investors have a opportunity to choose. TEZ offers terrains for investment projects: suitable for production, commercial, logistics and office sites with modern infrastructure- road infrastructure, electricity, gasification, water supply, sewerage, telecommunications, as well as construction of sites at the request of the investor in short terms. The potential investors are also able to buy or rent already finished production, logistics, commercial and office premises. Some of the companies are doing their business in the area.
In addition there is an increase in investor services- work also is being done to provide the workface and training and qualification of staff.
One of the main priorities for the team in charge of the area is namely education and qualification enhancement. Because this is the way to raise the standard of living- skilled workers, specialists receive higher wages based on higher labor productivity and work in high-tech manufacturing.
Pavilion and logistic hub 16+1
On November 24, 2017 in Trakia Economic Zone was opened the first of the kind in Europe “16+1 Logistic Center and Pavilion for Electronic Commerce with Agricultural and Other Products” with China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The initiative is a result of the joint efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Forestry of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Center for Promotion of Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture Cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European Countries and Trakia Economic Zone- Plovdiv.
On May 28, 2018, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Rumen Porozhanov together with his Chinese counterpart, Han Changfu, opened the Shenzhen Cross- Border E- Commerce Association’s Contact Office at 16+1 Logistics Center and Pavilion for E- Commerce in Agricultural and Other Products”. The platform enables e-commerce between China and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. “The platform ensures a fast, secure and convenient way for connectivity between legal entities and governments. Manufacturers can upload their products and make real b2b and b2c trade”, said Vasil Gelev, Director of the Center for the Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern Europe Countries. Thanks to the “16+1 Logistics Center and Pavilion”, the first samples of Bulgarian Products were sent to the partner “16+1 Logistics Center and Pavilion” in the Yentyen port in Shenzhen, China.
“16+1 Logistics hub and Pavilion” is one of the few real projects that are taking place in Bulgaria with emphasis on China at the state level in cooperation with municipalities and private businesses.
Educational project on the European program of “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone”
“Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” won the European project “Target development and updating of Trakia cluster information assets “under the Operation Program “Innovation and Competitiveness” 2014-2020, “Cluster Development in Bulgaria”
On the project was established a vocational training center targeted at the companies in TEZ. Purchase and commissioning of specialized software products and equipment for theoretical training room as well as equipment for training center for training practice are envisaged. TEZ’s professional education center is twining with a similar center in Shanghai China. Particular attention was paid to the concept of both partner countries towards synergies on sustainable application and flexible adaption of education in the field of innovation and the digitization of society.
Project of “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” and Regional Education Management- Plovdiv for Development of Vocational Education and Training
With the growing need for skilled workers on the labor market, especially in the field of mechanical engineering, the need for real support for vocational education and training the synchronization of curricula with current trends, the improvement of training condition was increasing. For the realization of these goals “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” has the idea to “recognize” and “specialize” several schools on the territory of the Plovdiv District, the first being the Vocational School of Mechanical Engineering in Plovdiv. The suggestions are that the school’s administrative corps should be designated as a dormitory to be used by all traveling students most of whom are from vulnerable groups and socially disadvantaged families. Will create an opportunity to attract students from more remote settlements and regions. After the establishment to the dormitory the GSP in mechanical engineering, together with the business to launch real productions on the territory of the educational- production corps, for example the production of PVC and aluminum joinery. That’s how students are living in the dormitory at the age of 17 will be able to work in the student process after which they will be paid. By staying in the dormitory students will break away from the environment in which they live now and this will pay a major role in their integration and acquisition of working habits and hence the opportunity for realization for the benefit of the business and society as a whole. On the other side this will contribute to the full use and improvement of the available facilities of the school and will become a center for executives in the field of machine building, welding, road building and lifting equipment.
The proposal was supported by Mr. Zdravko Dimitrov, Regional Governor of Plovdiv Region.
“Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” was an associated partner for a European project.
BG05M20P001-1.002-0023 – Competence Center “Intelligent Mechatronics, Eco and Energy Saving Systems and Technologies”, funded by the “Science and Education for Smart Growth” Operational Program 2014-2020, co-funded by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund development.
The main objective of the project is building a sustainable national competence center in which the three sides of the knowledge triangle – education, research and business are in effective and dynamic interaction based on shared strategies, strong and concrete engagements and joint scientific projects and partnerships.
Beneficiary (project partners): Technical University of Gabrovo, Technical University of Sofia, Technical University of Varna, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski “Institute of Robotics – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Electronics – BAS, Central Laboratory of Applied Physics – BAS.
“Trakia Economic Zone” works with the largest community in Europe for science and business- the German Fraunhofer Institute. The Institute is the most significant scientific research association for applied research on the Old Continent.
- In 2018, TEZ together with TU Gabrovo and “Fraunhofer” joined an international consortium on the development of a platform for sustainable industrial development in the EU. The project is expected to start in the middle of 2019 and has a total budget of € 1.6 billion with 25% of them being awarded free of charge by the EIT European Institute of Technology. The aim is to optimize the interaction in the field of industry and innovation, starting from the three main elements of sustainable development: science, education and industry. The actions under the project for Bulgaria are coordinated by arch. Georgi Georgiev, Business Coordinator for Bulgaria of Fraunhofer IBP.
- • In the period 2015 – 2017, Sienit Holding AD, founder of TIZ, together with Fraunhofer and VFU “Lyuben Karavelov“, successfully works over a project for checking the possibility of transferring the TYPHABOARD technology in Bulgaria, covering the production of a stockpile as a raw material for the subsequent production of 100% recyclable construction material and its application as a durable internal insulation for multifamily buildings. The project is funded by the German Federal Foundation for the Protection of the Environment and is coordinating by Georgi Georgiev.
- In the period 2017 – 2019, TIZ and Fraunhofer collaborated on an international project for the development of the cyclical economy in the CEE region and the entire Balkans. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Science. The project aims to better understand the needs and potential of companies and municipalities, as well as all other relevant partners in the geographical area of the CEE, and then develop a platform for a circular economy. The project is coordinated by Georgi Georgiev.
- Since July 2018, TEZ, as a representative of the Municipality of Plovdiv, is part of the dynamic international group for development of the Urban Air Mobility of EIP-SCC. Georgi Georgiev is the official ambassador of the Initiative for Bulgaria. At present, in the collaboration with TEZ and BAS, project proposals for applications under competitions under the Horizon 2020 program. The participation of Plovdiv Region as a partner in the context of sustainable regional economic and transport development will be necessary.
- From the end of 2018, TEZ, represented by Georgi Georgiev, became part of the 16 + 1 Initiative of the International Association for Trade and Industry Cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European Countries.
Companies from Trakia Economic Zone – Partners at the Professional High School of Electrical Engineering and Electronics – Plovdiv
On 20 November 2018, EVN Classroom and ABB Training Lab were officially opened at the Vocational School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. The new study rooms were created by the EVN and ABB partners for dual training of students in the specialty “Electrical Equipment of Production”.
Educational-industrial board in Plovdiv
In the autumn of 2016 the Plovdiv Municipality, the Ministry of Education and Science, “Cluster Trakia Economic Zone” and “Industry Watch” signed a Memorandum of Partnership for the creation of the first of its kind in Bulgaria Educational and Industrial Board. The agreement provides for close cooperation to create the conditions for meeting the increased demand for human resources with different professional qualifications and competencies by linking the plans of employers and vocational schools.
The Educational and Industrial Board in Plovdiv sends a successful year with a new program for early career orientation and motivation of students in grades VI and VII. Five high-tech enterprises from the Plovdiv and Trakia economic zones participate in the pilot program of the program. Under the program, pupils, parents and teachers will be able to orientate how jobs will change, what will be the profession of the future, and what role will be played by man in highly automated and modern enterprises. OIB has already drawn up guidelines for action between 2019 and 2022, including promoting the professions of the future and raising interest in high technology. The annual labor market report of the EIB indicates that Plovdiv is becoming a technological industrial center, where companies offer increasingly attractive conditions for career development in sectors with high added value.
Businesses are already openly willing to support the education process by showing an interest in offering internships, organizing career guidance, teaching lessons in enterprises, developing curricula and modernizing the learning process, and providing teacher training to enhancing the qualification.
The Early Career Orientation and Motivation Program for students in grades VI and VII includes the following activities:
- preparing a labor market report on a NSI database and conducting in-depth interviews with company representatives;
- selection of 5 primary schools based on results of Bulgarian language and mathematics exams after the 7th grade. The program includes: “Vasil Petleshkov” Primary School, “Vasil Levski” Primary School, “Yane Sandanski” Primary School, Dimitar Talev Primary School from Plovdiv and “St. St. Cyril and Methodius “, Trud. In 2019 6 are the vocational high schools that want to join the program.
- – selecting 5 manufacturing companies with a high degree of automation or producing high-tech products – Liebherr, Biomachine, Andy, BTL, Prolift;
- preparation of a presentation on the pedagogical staff of the selected schools, and introduction of class managers with the conclusions of the prepared labor market report and methods of career guidance for pupils
- holding meetings with parents of 6th and 7th grade students from the selected schools to explain the program’s objectives and career development opportunities in the industry and the region, the trends in the development of professions in the future;
- – conducting student study visits to selected companies and explaining the product manufacturing process as well as the necessary technical competencies to work at given positions. Until November 30, 2018, the students who visited the companies were 168, of whom 135 were from the 6th grade / at the age at which the professional guidance was decided. They were a total of 12 classes, 35 pedagogues, with 9 on-site visits to the enterprises;
- conducting in-depth interviews with representatives of vocational high schools from Plovdiv in order to establish their methods of attracting students and to what extent they are partnered with the business.
Insufficient financing of the infrastructure in the area
One of the main problems of Trakia Economic Zone is insufficient funding for the construction of the infrastructure in the area.
The business area in Trakia Economic Zone is extremely pleased with the rapid construction of the road II 86 Plovdiv – Asenovgrad, which is regularly inspected by the District Governor Mr. Zdravko Dimitrov.