Weak lawmaking, lack of dialogue between the state and the private sector, contradictory implementation of laws and slow administration of justice are among the main obstacles to the business environment in Bulgaria, according to a survey by the Association of Modern Trade done in June and July 2021.
Members of the association include Billa, Deichmann, dm, Kaufland, Lidl, M Bricolage, ProMarket, T Market, Fantastico and Hippoland.
The association’s poll results rated Bulgaria’s business climate as 3.2 on a scale of six, where one is very unfavourable and six is excellent.
Those polled said that one of the main problems was the unpredictable environment, for example administrative changes being imposed randomly and hastily, with no long-term perspective and without assessing the consequences for the private sector.
This resulted in managers being faced with unplanned and unjustified costs.
Respondents rated the legislative process regarding business in Bulgaria as 2.7 out of six, citing the main shortcomings as a lack of dialogue and of preliminary impact assessment when important regulations are adopted.
They rated the work of the administration as 1.7, for a number of reasons, including the differing and contradictory interpretations of laws by regional units of various regulations, such as the Bulgaria Food Safety Agency, Labour Inspectorate and Competition Protection Commission.
The judicial system got a rating of 3.2, including because of the main weaknesses – a lack of specialisation in cases, the workload of key courts and the lack of uniform case law. These resulted in contradictory rulings on similar cases, creating uncertainty and unpredictability.
According to the companies, the legislative process in Bulgaria would become much better if, before the adoption of laws concerning business, an in-depth assessment of their impact is prepared and they are subject to public discussion with the participation of representatives of the real economy.
Those polled said the introduction of e-government and the development of a single portal with access to various administrative services would reduce administrative burdens and significantly facilitate business.
Another important factor for economic growth is the elimination of corruption.
They said that it is important to provide conditions for improving the quality of education and bringing and secondary and higher education in line with the needs of business.