The Ministry of Innovation and Growth will support the development of industrial zones in Bulgaria with BGN 212 million. Currently, in the most efficient way, we are programming this measure under the Recovery and Sustainability Plan, which will be available to all operators of industrial zones in the country. This was announced by the Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev in Istanbul during a visit to the only specialized industrial zone in the world where only companies from the automotive sector work - "TOSB".
Minister Pulev pointed out that the maximum amount of free funding for an individual project under the measure for the development of industrial zones will be up to BGN 40 million. According to him, many good practices can be taken from Turkish industrial zones.
During the visit to "TOSB", Minister Pulev met with Albert Saydam, Chairman of the Board of Directors of TAYSAD - the Association of Automotive Parts and Components Manufacturers in Turkey. The association was established in 1978 and is the sole representative of the Turkish automotive industry. With its more than 490 members, the organization represents 65% of the automotive supply industry's production and 70% of its exports to our southern neighbor. About 40 companies from the Association are creators of the "TOSB" industrial zone specialized for the automotive industry.
Pulev emphasized that the automotive sector is one of the priority sectors for our country. "It is developing extremely dynamically and representatives of leading automobile companies from all over the world, including from Turkey, are investing in Bulgaria. Currently, the sector provides more than 10% of the country's GDP. Turkish investors are one of the most active foreign investors. We have the potential to attract more Turkish companies to the automotive industry in our country," he pointed out.
At the meeting, it became clear that over 75,000 people are employed in the automotive industry in Bulgaria, and over 350 companies work in it.
During the visit to the Zone, the executive director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency Bogdan Bogdanov and Mehmet Dudaroglu, chairman of the board of directors of "TOSB" signed a memorandum of cooperation. The memorandum aims to contribute to the deepening of economic relations between the countries, by facilitating the stable development of foreign direct investments, through activities such as research and analysis of information useful for Bulgarian and foreign investors and the creation of a more favorable business environment for them.
The Minister of Innovation and Growth examined the production facilities in the industrial zone of the Turkish company Odelo Farba, which already has two factories for car headlights in our country in Kuklen, near Plovdiv. In 2019 the company has also opened a call center in Sofia. It is one of the European leaders in the production of cars for giants in the automotive industry such as Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW and Audi.
Minister Pulev visited the industrial zone together with a delegation that included representatives of Bulgarian municipalities and businessmen. Among them were Lubomir Stanislavov - executive director and member of the Management Board of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, the mayors of Vidin Tsvetan Tsenkov and Svishtov Gencho Genchev, the deputy mayor of Plovdiv Stefan Stoyanov and others.
We remind you that Minister Pulev leads a Bulgarian government and business delegation that took part in the International Business and Investment Forum organized by the Bulgarian Investment Agency in Istanbul.