The EC approved for financing a project for the development of a National Industrial Strategy

Industry / Bulgaria
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The European Commission officially approved the project of the Ministry of Economy and Industry to develop a National Industrial Strategy. The strategy will be developed entirely with the financial support of the EC, through the Technical Assistance Instrument to DG Reforms, according to Regulation (EU) 2021/240 of the European Parliament and of the Council, within the 2024 cycle. This was explained today by the Ministry of the economy and industry.

The development of the industry is a key priority of the country, which requires an independent strategy for its development. The strategy will include several important topics in the field of industrial policy – reducing the carbon footprint of industry, increasing the digitization of production, improving resource and energy efficiency, introducing circular production models and promoting investor interest in industrial parks in the country. The Strategy is expected to include two sectors of our economy - processing and mining industry.

The project also foresees a technical assignment for the creation of a National Investment Portal, analyzes of "Industry with zero net emissions", critical raw materials in Bulgaria, as well as an analysis of industrial parks in the country.

In this regard, the Ministry of Economy and Industry has developed a Concept for the Development of Industrial Parks and Zones 2024-2028. The strategic goal of the document is to contribute to the implementation of a comprehensive new development policy, based on the regional principle and tied to specific sectors, with a view to creating conditions for attracting strategic investors to the country. The document specifies target regions and sectors, highlights and analyzes business opportunities and real demand from investors and takes into account the potential related to the specificity and degree of infrastructure development of individual industrial locations.

The concept aims to present the vision for the development of industrial parks and zones as a prerequisite for attracting strategic investors in sectors with high added value. The focus is on the development and construction of industrial parks and zones through the National Company Industrial Zones EAD (NCIZ EAD) in Northern Bulgaria - Industrial Park Vidin, Industrial Park Pleven - Telish and Free Zone Ruse. The completion of the well-developed industrial parks with state participation in the form of Industrial Park Sofia - Bozhurishte and Industrial and Logistics Park Burgas will be continued, investing funds for urgent infrastructure improvements and attracting projects with a high-tech profile, tailored to the specifics and possibilities of the locations.

The document also includes a concept for the construction of new zones - Dobroslavtsi Industrial Zone, Stara Zagora Industrial and Logistics Hub and Aksakovo Industrial Park, located in key regions for the country. Specific actions for the development of industrial parks and zones will be identified in accordance with priority sectors and incentives to attract, retain and expand investments in these locations.

A key aspect is considering the possibility of accelerating the development of part of the industrial parks through a public-private partnership (PPP) between the state in the person of NCIZ EAD on the one hand and international or local investors who have the interest and know-how to build them, from another. An opportunity to implement successful market-oriented projects based on PPP also exists through the creation of joint ventures with state (or municipal) and private partners.

In addition, the possibilities for financing through instruments of the World Bank and the European Bank for reconstruction and development in two directions have been highlighted - for the purposes of the infrastructure development of existing projects of NCIZ EAD and for the purposes of developing future projects for new industrial parks and zones.

The concept is in line with the priorities and goals laid down in the Management Program of the Republic of Bulgaria for the period June 2023 - December 2024, adopted by Decision No. 506 of the Council of Ministers of 2023.

The concept will be included in the National Industrial Strategy. With Protocol No. 7 of December 5, 2023, the Development Council under the Council of Ministers approved the proposal to develop a National Industrial Strategy until 2030.

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