The Executive President of BIA Radosvet Radev visited the towns of Vidin and Vratsa today (29 August 2018), where he met with the mayors – Eng. Ognian Tsenkov (Vidin) and Kalin Kamenov (Vratsa), as well as with the heads of BIA’s local structures in both towns.
The visit is part of the program of the new Executive President of BIA, aimed at acquainting with the state and problems of the regional structures of BIA and the business in different regions, focusing on the partnership with local authorities.
Vidin still has untapped potential to be a logistics center for intermodal transportation, located at approximately equal distance from Sofia, Belgrade and Bucharest. Prospects are also in the development of tourism and agriculture - this became clear during the meeting with the mayor of Vidin. Eng. Tsenkov said that in the last year the revenues from cruise tourism have doubled. The collection of local taxes and fees has increased by 20% and the absorption of EU funds is above the national average. The mayor of Vidin has determined his partnership with the Investment Promotion Agency as very good but, according to him, there are still untapped opportunities to attract investors in the region and this is vital for its economic revival. A key project in this regard is the Northern Industrial Zone, where there are still many free parcels. Eng. Tsenkov pointed out that, at his proposal, the Municipal Council of Vidin adopted an Investment Promotion Ordinance, issuing a certificate, which facilitates the potential investors in the city.
The attraction of investors is also a key goal of local government in Vratsa, which became clear during the meeting of Radosvet Radev with Mayor Kalin Kamenov. In order to achieve this goal, the building of good infrastructure, especially in the industrial zone of the city, is of paramount importance, which is why the efforts of the local authorities are targeted in this direction, Kalin Kamenov said. In the course of the conversation the beneficial cooperation between the local government and BIA was noted. One of the good examples in this regard is the currently implemented project “EDU-LAB New Danube Governance for Correspondence between Higher Education and the Labor Market”, within which a Center for Mechatronics is to be built on the territory of Vratsa. The Center will work to achieve closer interaction between business and education by implementing models for hands-on training of staff to improve the professional chances of young people in the region.
At the end of his visit to the region, Radosvet Radev commented for local media that work should be done to promote the entrepreneurial spirit in Northwest Bulgaria and to gradually increase wages in order to attract manpower. “The region has untapped potential for development, which can bring it out of the negative European ranking, which, unfortunately, is often associated with,” Radosvet Radev said. He added that he had the ambition, as a newly elected Executive President of BIA, to revive and activate the structures of BIA in Vidin and Vratsa, and will rely on the partnership with the local authorities.