Bulgarian Business One of Europe’s Biggest Optimists

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100 days after Bulgaria’s EU accession local business sentiment continues to be optimistic and begins to show in reality. Expectations are high in almost all fields of Bulgarian economy - investment, employment, exports - thus ranking our country among EU’s 5 most optimistic economies, the deputy chairman of the Bulgairan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) Tzvetan Simeonov said at a pressconference.

Bulgaria falls in the same group as Sweden, Denmark, Latvia and Cyprus with optimism levels above the average (almost 60 percentage points). 66.1% of the surveyed companies in Bulgaria think local business environment will improve this year, while only 6.3% expect worse conditions.

Business optimism in the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and Spain is lower than the EU average. Corporations in France, Finland, Romania, Poland and Litva expect aggravation of the business climate in 2007, while Hungary and Slovakia posted negative results (the number of corporations with negative expectations exceeded the number of positive forecasts).

One of the reasons for the positive trend in Bulgaria are tax reforms, as well as improved administrative service, lower corruption levels and high investor optimism after Bulgaria’s EU accession, Simeonov said.

A problem local business still faces is the shortage of skilled workers. Other challenges are slow reforms in the legal system, internal order and administration.

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