The European Commission approved Bulgaria's Operational Programme (OP) Innovations and Competitiveness for 2014-2020. About 1,390 million euro will be invested in the development of the Bulgarian economy, of which 1,180 million euro come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), BTA learned from the EC.
The programme aims to boost economic growth and increase productivity, above all of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Special attention is paid to cooperation between business and research networks, and to enhancing entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. Financial instruments including bank loans, guarantees and equity investments will play a key role in achieving these objectives.
The programme will also support measures for more efficient use of resources in the enterprises and for improving their energy efficiency.
EC Vice President Kristalina Georgieva, who is responsible for Budget and Human Resources, said SMEs are the largest employer in Bulgaria and a key engine of the economy. The new programme invests in their development and in job creation. She wished the programme success and good results in the economy and the Bulgarians' living conditions.