For more than a century Bulgaria and Austria have an intensive political , economical and cultural cooperation. Especially Austrian companies benefit from a good knowledge of the Bulgarian market. Not only for that reason Austria is the second largest investor of the country. The November issue of the Bulgarian Wirtschaftsblatt focuses on Austria. We have summarized and supplemented some interesting information.
Ambassador Hauser about Bulgaria as an investment country
A steady economical growth, an attractive tax environment as well as decreasing unemployment figures convince investors. Bulgaria has a strong amicable relationship with the German-speaking countries Germany, Switzerland and Austria, ambassador Mr. Mag. Roland Hauser towards Wirtschaftsblatt.
According to him, Bulgaria is at the moment in a phase of relative political stability which strengthens the confidence of Bulgaria as a business location.
Trade expert Straka: Bulgaria is stable!
The Austria trade commissioner in Sofia, Ms. Mag. Ulrike Straka agrees. According to her, Bulgaria has again politically more stable circumstances and there is an EU-friendly government – these are good preconditions. This leads to the fact that already located Austria commercial enterprises continue investing which attracts foreign investors.
But also negative trends on behalf of the government are noticeable, like the rejection of the Anti-corruption Law. Nevertheless in 2014 there has been direct foreign investment in Bulgaria from Austria in the amount of 290,7 mil €. Nearly 10% of the biggest foreign investors are companies from Austria like TelekomAustria, EVN, UniCredit/BankAustria, Knauf, Raiffeisen, OMV, REWE/Billa, WienerStädtischeVersicherung, UNIQA, Strabag and VAE. The popularity can also be seen in tourism. In 2014 174,899 Austrian nationals have visited Bulgaria, an 39.4% increase in comparison to 2013.
Bulgarians at the business location Austria
Conversely there is also interest. The Austrian market is highly coveted among Bulgarian businessmen. The good business climate, the qualified personnel and modern infrastructure, the strategic location between east and west, excellent living conditions as well as a high level of personal, political and legal safety and stability are deciding factors.
According to Straka Bulgarian businessmen are known to be friendly, appreciate Austria and Austrian companies and are highly interested in a cooperation.
In comparison to the Austrians the Bulgarians prefer to import a finished product. The reasons are high labour costs and taxes. Because of that mainly small offices are opened in Austria and simultaneously the favourable-priced Bulgarian resources are used. Also the worldwide known Bulgarian company Walltopia, which is famous for the production of climbing walls, is now doing active business in Austria for more that three years.
According to Hauser the future aim is to maintain the excellent relationship between these two countries through as many concrete projects as possible. He exemplary names the joint preparation for the presidency of the European Union which will be exercised by Bulgaria and Austria successively in 2018/19 as well as the 20th jubilee of the Austrian Music Weeks in Bulgaria 2016.
Mag. Roland Hauser finished historical studies, Romance philology studies, philosophy studies as well as his degree study program at the diplomatic academy Vienna. After being Austrian ambassador in Qatar, Kenya and Kuwait he is now ambassador of the Republic Austria in Bulgaria since September 2014. He describes his indeed positive Bulgarian impressions in the latest issue of the Wirtschaftsblatt.