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Italian firms invest euro 223 million in Bulgaria

Date: 27.02.2006

Italian companies plan to invest 223 million euro in Bulgaria over the next few years. The funds will be allotted under an investment agreement, provided for in the contract for delivery of five transport airplanes C-27 J Spartan for the needs of the the Bulgarian Air Forces, signed between the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense and the Italy-based Alenia Aeronautica Company. The contract was signed yesterday by Bulgaria's Defense Minister Veselin Bliznakov and Mr. Giovanni Bertolone CEO of Alenia Aeronautica.

The deal is worth 91.5 million euro and the offset agreement is 243 percent of it; the direct offset program is worth 152.3 million euro and it includes the construction of a new airplane hangar and administration buildings at the Vrazhdebna airbase, as well as the supply of technical equipment for maintenance of the airplanes and some spare parts.

The indirect offset program totals 70.7 million euro. The money will be invested in the production of goods for export, IT, infrastructure and energy products.

The exact direction of the investments is still to be negotiated between the Frontier firm, run by Eduard Manukyan, which was commissioned as a party in the contract by the Defense Ministry, and the Italian company. The negotiations are expected to be over in six months with the signing of contracts. Most probably, funds will be invested in the Plovdiv-based Aviotehnika aviation plant, which will produce unmanned aircraft targets, used in the military exercises of NATO.


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