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Bulgarian Minister Demands Free Land for Foreign Investors

Date: 11.06.2010

Bulgaria has millions of hectares of weed-grown land that it must donate to large investors for free in order to attract them, according to Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev.

“This is the only way to bring more investors who would create high-quality jobs here,” Plevneliev said explaining that the Bulgarian state must be selling 30 hectares for BGN 1 to the foreign companies which would be doing “serious business” in the country by building plants.

He has further insisted on a new law for foreign investors. In his words, until recently Bulgaria had 75 “Class A” foreign investors, i.e. companies investing BGN 100-300 M, and supported them with a combined budget of BGN 15 M.

“Each company got BGN 200 000 on average in state aid. This is just ridiculous,” the Regional Development Minister declared while also explaining that the foreign companies did not want state money but proactive government policies to solve their problems with the bureaucracy, permits, and land.

“The state is sitting on millions of hectares of weedy land. The best we can do is to sell them for USD 1 to somebody who would build a factory making the Bulgarians richer,” said Plevneliev.

Speaking in an interview for Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) over the week, the new head of the InvestBulgaria Agency, Borislav Stefanov, said that the major benefits for foreign investors in Bulgaria had to do with providing land, and that Bulgaria needed proactive marketing in all economic spheres because not all investors wanted to build factories.

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