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Bulgaria Refreshes Business Climate in Europe

Date: 06.12.2006

European companies, including from their newly acceding colleagues from Bulgaria, have shown greater confidence for the year ahead, and expect growth for all major economic indicators.

Following an overall positive business climate in 2006 and confidence boosted by stronger-than-expected economic growth, the coming 2007 is looking brighter for the vast majority of European businesses, according to an annual survery of Eurochambers.

The report of the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (EUROCHAMBRES), released this week, shows that businesses across Europe believe that both export and domestic sales will improve in 2007, raising overall turnover and fostering optimism about investment and employment.

Bulgaria lines up front-line optimistic states, such as Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Slovenia, in terms of optimism shared by their businesses. Denmark whose "flexicurity model" has created a large number of jobs in recent years, has the most optimistic companies, data showed.

Expectations regarding job creation are more than double what they were in 2006.

Nevertheless, a number of countries remain gloomy about business prospects in the year ahead. Hungarian businessmen paint a particularly bleak picture of the country, with negative expectations for employment and turnover. Slovakia, Poland and Greece also remain pessimistic.

"Optimistic entrepreneurs should not be let down!" said Pierre Simon, President of EUROCHAMBRES. He urged EU ministers to "address key issues that can sustain the positive trend in Europe", including cutting red tape, investing in research, education and training, employability and innovation, especially in SMEs.

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