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Bulgaria - Economy - May'2003

Bulgaria - Economy - May'2003

5/26/2003 12:00:00 AM

"20,000-Leva Credits for New Business," Troud" writes and explains that the credits will be floated under the JOBS
programme of the Social Ministry to new businesses provided that they create jobs. The project will be implemented in 11 municipalities. Unemployed too can apply for credits if they have interesting ideas in the sphere of manufacturing or the services, the daily reports.

People who come to Bulgaria to invest attach great
importance to the efficiency and transparency of the judiciary, British Ambassador Ian Soutar says in an interview for "Dnevnik". In his opinion, the reform in the judiciary is not making progress. The British Ambassador says he knows that the government is trying hard to fight red tape and to open up the market for investment. Britain does not want to be given any preferential treatment but wants to be sure that its companies will be allowed to compete equally with the others. Some British companies feel they are placed in an unequal position, the British ambassador comments.

Two Bulgarian wines returned with medals from the world's biggest wine and liquor fair in London, "24 Chassa" reports. According to the rules of the fair, the winners will have to
keep their prizes secret till September.

"24 Chassa" writes about a bill sponsored by Ralitsa Again
and Valeri Dimitrov MPs of the SNM, which envisages the
establishment of special risk investment companies to assist
small business.

The Southwestern planning region generates 40 per cent of
the country's GDP, "Dnevnik" reports quoting National
Statistical Institute data. Bulgaria is divided into six
planning regions. Services account for the biggest share of the economy, 57.9 per cent, "Dnevnik" writes.

"We Are Expecting 150,000 Britons at the Seaside," reads a leading headline in "Standart News". The paper quotes an item in English paper "Sunday Mirror", according to which Bulgaria is the cheapest holiday destination in Europe. Some 70,000 Swedes and 50,000 Ukrainians, too, are expected to spend their holidays in Bulgaria, the daily reports, citing tour operators' projections.

"Troud" comments on its front page on the possibility of
introducing a flat rate on incomes. Currently, Bulgarians pay 15 per cent if their incomes are low and up to 29 per cent if they are high. The idea for a 15-per cent flat rate for Incomes Tax, Profit Tax and Value Added Tax was voiced by President of the World Taxpayers Association, Bjorn Tarras-Wahlberg, the paper recalls. "I back low taxes but I am not sure to what extent the millions of Bulgarian pensioners will like this idea," Finance Minister Milen Velchev tells "Troud". It would be hard to reduce
the VAT rates as this could turn out to be a hurdle before the implementation of the revenues side of the budget, Employers Union President Vassil Vassilev comments.

Two thirds of Bulgarians' deposits are in foreign currency,
"Dnevnik" writes, specifying that by the end of 2002 deposits in domestic and foreign currency added up to 5,680 million leva, up by 8.5 per cent in June-December 2002. The paper quotes National Bank of Bulgaria data.

A Turkish company is holding talks with Bulgarski Hlyab to buy Hlebna Maya of Rousse, the only local maker of bread yeast, "Sega" writes. The paper adds that the Turkish company, which owns plants in Turkey, Romania and Ukraine and exports its produce to 78 countries, has already supplied 3.5 t of raw materials to the Rousse plant.

As many as 6,000 Bulgarian university students, twice as
many as in 2002, will leave this summer for the U.S. under
various culture exchange programmes, according to data of the consular service with the US Embassy quoted by "Dnevnik". The
daily offers information about job opportunities in the U.S.

Courtesy: BTA

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