In spite of the fact that statistics suggest a low amount of FDI in Bulgaria in 2011, the InvestBulgaria Agency has seen a growing number of investment delegations and inquiries, its Executive Director Borislav Stefanov told Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency).
Commenting on statistical data of the Bulgarian National Bank indicating that Bulgaria saw an outflow of FDI in the first half of 2011, Stefanov said the situation with foreign investments in the country is hardly different from that in 2010 or 2009.
He explained that the "negative FDI" in the first months of 2011 was due to Bulgarian subsidiaries of foreign companies repaying loans to their parent firms, and that these developments, if anything, demonstrated the stability of the Bulgarian economy because the Bulgarian subsidiaries in question could afford to pay back the funds they got for investments in Bulgaria a few years ago. Only three major foreign companies accounted for loan repayments to parent firms worth almost EUR 700 M in the first half of 2011.
"What we see is that there is definitely growing interest among international investors towards Bulgaria," Stefanov told Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) in an interview.
"In 2010, we had probably two or three foreign companies send in high-ranking management delegations to enquire about large-scale investment projects, and 20-30 information requests.
Only in the first seven months of 2011, we had visits by 15-20 senior management delegations, and over 100 enquiries. Things are looking brighter from this point of view. It will take 2-3 years before we see new jobs from these projects but investor interest in Bulgaria is definitely growing," he explained.
He noted the FDI statistics methodology of the Bulgarian National Bank, which divides FDI into two large groups. The first group includes investments in finance, trade, and real estate, which in 2005-2008 formed the overwhelming amount of foreign investment in Bulgaria.
The second group includes all other sectors - manufacturing/industry, energy, and telecommunications. (Source: Sofia News Agency)