Strategy for the Poorest Region in the EU
- New Europe Investor
- February 18, 2015
According to Bulgaria’s, Vesti.bg, Economic Minister, Bozidar Lukarski is to lay out a strategy for development in the North West of the country, the poorest region in the EU.
He made the announcement in Montana, the capital city of 70,000 people, in the north western province of the same name.
Wages in the industrial region are said to be €250-€300 a month.
Stoyan Naydenov, 62, a retired bus driver told EUBusiness.com that “Everyone has either left or died.” He added that, “The only events are funerals.”
The website also reported that unemployment in 2014 where the regional centres are; Vidin, Montana and Vratsa exceeds 20%.
Auto Companies Interest
Audi are said to be among a number of auto companies interested in the region according to Lukarski. They are looking to build factories for components and spare parts.
In addition to auto companies, the minister said they will try and attract industries such as meat processing, agriculture, bakeries and even technology.
The minister added, that measures will be put in place to reduce administrative barriers to investors in order to stimulate investment. Tax incentives will also be introduced.
North West Bulgaria
Standard and Poor’s recently cut Bulgaria to junk status and many parts of the country remain in serious decline, with mass emigration and a low fertility rate fueling the ageing of the population.
Montana, where the economic minister met with businessmen, has seen an 11% decline in the population in the last decade as of 2012. The wider municipality, an incredible 18.7% according to The Economist.
Countries where Bulgarians tend to migrate to include; Italy, Germany, Greece and Spain.
A lot of work is on hand to bring the region up to step. A pun in Bulgarian meaning “north-western region”, can also mean, “northern falling down region”