Nikola Stoyanov: We achieved a reduction in fuel prices by nearly 20 percent
The caretaker government has cut fuel prices by nearly 20% and reversed the pace of inflation for the first time in 18 months. This was announced by the Minister of Economy and Industry, Nikola Stoyanov, during a press conference to report on the work done, which was held today at the ministry. He pointed out that in August 2022, the situation with energy supplies in the country raised the question not of whether production enterprises will be closed, but when. This was announced by the Ministry of Economy and Industry during its report on the work done.
"One of our first tasks was to start negotiations with Lukoil and as a result we reached an agreement that the company would move its economic activity and pay its taxes to Bulgaria," said Nikola Stoyanov.
He added that the next logical step was to provide measures to support consumers with the funds received from the company's excess profits, and work is already underway in this direction. "I hope that next week the Council of Ministers will consider additional measures to support those traveling by public transport," commented the Minister of Economy. These will include 40% cheaper public transport cards for pensioners, 70% discount for students and free travel for children under 10, it was revealed at the event.
Nikola Stoyanov presented graphs on the movement of fuel prices in Bulgaria compared with six other countries in Europe. They show a decrease of 15% for diesel and 20% for A95 gasoline in Bulgaria during this period, and no other studied country has seen a similar decrease. "The claims that international factors are the reason for the drop in prices in our country are categorically contradicted by the data presented," he emphasized.
The Minister of Economy emphasized the work in recent months regarding the industrial parks in our country. "We have changed the way of planning the industrial zones, which are a real tool for the balanced development of the regions. We work in constant contact with the municipalities, as our main goal is to reverse the approach and instead of large industrial zones, to start investing in smaller ones, but in regions with employment problems," explained Nikola Stoyanov. A link has also been established between extractive industry data, transport connectivity and the industrial sector so that future sectoral specialization of industrial parks can be planned.
"When I took over the management of the ministry, more than 1/3 of the Trade and Economic Affairs Offices were empty and Bulgaria did not have trade attachés in key countries such as Italy, France, the USA, China, India, etc.," explained Minister Stoyanov and added that until soon there were no criteria by which to evaluate the work of sales representatives abroad. According to him, rules have already been developed to regulate their activities and their dialogue with Bulgarian municipalities and businesses has been significantly improved.
"Investments can and should be a tool for raising people's incomes," emphasized Nikola Stoyanov. He added that in recent months the focus has been on attracting foreign investors who are ready to offer attractive salaries for their employees. "Bulgaria should stop promoting itself as a destination with cheap labor. On the contrary, we have highly qualified experts and we need to look for investors who will add value to our economy," said the economy minister. According to him, it is equally important to present the opportunities of Bulgarian companies and support them in starting more joint projects with partners from other countries.
"We started a series of meetings with foreign companies in our country, because they are also one of our most important ambassadors abroad," commented Minister Stoyanov. This is an initiative that is received very positively by foreign companies in our country and contributes to the improvement of the business environment.
Investment protection agreements with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have also been prepared for these few months. "For years there has been a lot of talk about investments from these countries, but our country has not even met the formal criterion for this to happen, by signing these important bilateral documents. I am glad that in only 6 months we managed to prepare the texts and I hope that this will give a real boost to the investments from these countries", commented Nikola Stoyanov.
The press conference was attended by the Deputy Ministers of Economy and Industry Irina Shtonova, Dimitar Danchev and Yanko Topalov, as well as the head of the political cabinet Stanislava Yalamova.