Minister Pulev in the Parliament: We provided BGN 360 million financial injection for Bulgarian entrepreneurs through equity instruments

The Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation in the Parliament approved the bill for the ratification of the Financing Agreement in the first reading

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We managed to agree on something extremely important for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country - BGN 360 million for Bulgarian business in the form of equity financial instruments. We work for entrepreneurs, for small and medium-sized businesses in the country. This was stated by the Minister of Innovation and Growth, Alexander Pulev, before the deputies in the Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation in the National Assembly, where he presented for discussion the draft law for the ratification of the Financing Agreement under the Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism between the Republic of Bulgaria and the European Investment Fund (EIF). The fund is part of the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) and will be entrusted with the implementation of financial instruments from the National Recovery and Sustainability Plan (NRSP). The agreement has the force of an international treaty and is subject to ratification by law by the National Assembly.

Minister Pulev pointed out that the NPVU has financial instruments (equity investments) under three priority axes - innovation, growth and climate neutrality. "The total resource pledged by the Plan is BGN 360 million (EUR 180 million), and there is a requirement that this resource be channeled to financial intermediaries, respectively at the next stage - to small and medium-sized enterprises with the help of one of the key European partners - the European Investment Fund", he announced during the presentation of the Agreement. “EIF best practices and internal selection procedures will be used. I expect their presence to bring peace and contribute to clean and transparent processes," announced the Minister of Innovation and Growth. Pulev also pointed out that the official office completed its work very quickly. I signed the Agreement on December 5, which also fulfills a key operational requirement under the second payment of the Recovery Plan," he stressed.

According to him, this type of equity instruments is becoming more and more important and BGN 360 million will be a rather serious financial injection for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bulgaria. "We will support entrepreneurs in times of crisis," he said, adding that the main sectors to be financed are related to digital connectivity, optical infrastructure, ICT, technological modernization in production, more efficient use of resources, etc. These are also priorities at the level of structural funds," Pulev told the deputies.

He was adamant that a strong control mechanism was in place. "We did not just give this resource to the EIF. We have investment committees in place, we will closely monitor the implementation of the Strategy of all goals. We will be in control throughout this process," he announced.

Regarding the application process, Kalin Marinov, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of European Competitiveness Funds (DG EFC) at the MIR explained that after the Agreement is ratified, the EIF will announce on its website the procedure in which it will carry out selection of mediators. "It has an expected deadline of mid-June 2026. This means that financial intermediaries who wish to be fund managers can apply with a proposal and after it has been evaluated by the EIF, it will select the best ones with whom it will hold talks to conclude the agreements, as they are by agreement - there is no fixed amount of funds in them. Investment intermediaries can apply for different amounts to manage," said Marinov. He added that after that the selected investment intermediaries will be presented to the Investment Committee and it will give its sanction as to whether a contract will be signed or not. After that, each investment intermediary will have the freedom to organize in its own way the selection of the enterprises in which it will invest. Usually, he does not choose the passive approach and wait for the candidates to approach him on their own, but becomes the active party and seeks contact with the companies with investment potential," said Marinov.

According to him, every investment intermediary has a commitment to invest private resources in the companies it will support. Thus, in addition to the interest they protect from the public finances, they also protect their own interest, the private investments they make from their capital.

Marinov also announced that after the conclusion of the Agreement, the financial intermediaries are selected, which represent investment funds investing in Bulgarian enterprises. Any enterprise that falls into the focus of innovation, growth, competitiveness and export can be supported with these financial instruments, Marinov pointed out. He added that there is a projected resource of climate neutrality instruments, where the projected projects are mostly infrastructural. Municipalities and non-governmental organizations related to the construction of installations for renewable energy sources, digitization, digitization and in general to improve the lifestyle of citizens can participate in them.

With 14 votes "for" and 2 votes "against", the Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation in the Parliament approved the draft law in the first reading.

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