The crisis in Ukraine has led to a decrease in orders and sales for most Bulgarian companies doing business with that country, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) said on Thursday, quoting the results of a recent survey.
Some 70% of the companies polled by the BCCI said their orders and sales dropped due to the political instability in Ukraine, and 29% incurred indirect losses, the organisation said in a press release. Some 17% of the poll respondents reported delayed payments from their Ukrainian partners.
The survey, which was conducted last week, included companies operating in tourism, transport, machine engineering, services, and the pharmaceutical and food industries.
The crisis in Ukraine began in February when wide-spread protests toppled the country's Moscow-backed president. A month later Russia announced the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region after its ethnic Russian majority backed the move in a referendum.
As many as 94% of the poll respondents said they expect that if instability in Ukraine persists, this would have an adverse effect on Bulgaria's economic recovery.
A total of 42% of the respondents which have business in Crimea and Sevastopol said they have experienced visa and customs-related problems.