Job Creation in Bulgaria is Sluggish - Economy Minister

Job Creation in Bulgaria is Sluggish - Economy Minister

Job creation in Bulgaria proceeds at a slow pace, despite the positive economic developments and the investments, according to Traicho Traikov, Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism.

Speaking at the opening of the second annual meeting of the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism and the trade representatives of Bulgaria abroad, Traikov said creating new jobs was the main challenge the country's economy and the government.

"Together with capital-intensive sectors, we would like to see investments which contribute to the opening of new workplaces", Traikov said, stressing that the number of unemployed had dropped by around 10 000 to a total of 360 000 people over the past few months.

Export is one of the best performing sectors in times of crisis.

In the first five months of 2011, export rates grew by 47.2%, while import went up by 25.6%, Traikov explained.

Bulgaria's main export partners are Germany, Italy, Greece, Belgium, France and Romania, which account for 2/3 of the country's total export to EU countries.

Bulgaria's export to Turkey, Serbia, Russia, Fyrom and China, which accounts for 48.5% of the country's total export to third countries, has also improved considerably.

Bulgaria's export to China has doubled.

"Positive growth figures are pleasing but should not create a false sense of security because a large portion of them are generated by sectors with cheap labor force relying on the easy availability of resources", Traikov admitted.

"We want to develop sectors with high added value on the basis of hi technology and the creation of quality job openings", the Economy Minister added.

Traikov further informed that a total of 23 companies had been certified under Bulgaria's Investment Promotion Act and were expected to invest over BGN 3.6 M and create 670 new job places.

He also noted that Bulgaria had welcomed 8 million foreign tourists in 2010 (2.5% increase on the year) who brought EUR 3 B in revenues for the country.

In this line of thought, Traykov specified that the Bulgarian government expected a more active intervention of trade representatives in this sector.

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