On December 16th , 2019, BIA presented the results of the traditional, fifteenth in-line online survey with members of the Association on the state of the business environment during the current year, as well as their expectations for the next calendar year.
The survey was conducted between November 10th and December 10th, 2019 and brings together the responses of 792 business managers.
81% of the surveyed enterprises are micro and small (with up to 50 employees), 11% are medium (with 50 to 250 employees), and 8% are large (with over 250 employees).
51.5% of the survey respondents represent enterprises in the services sector, 12.9% - in the manufacturing industry, 27.7% - in the trade sector, 6.1% in the construction sector, 1.5 % - agriculture, and 0.4% - mining.
29% of the surveyed enterprises operate in the Southwestern region, 37% in the North-East, 14% in the North-Central, 10% - in the South-Central, 6% - in the North-West, 4% - in the South-East.
Compared to last year's survey, the business climate, according to the respondents is slightly improving, while the self-assessment of the state of the enterprises is characterized by a "weak growth, and stagnation".
The study reports some pessimism for 2020, largely due to the dissatisfaction with the work of the institutions, concerns about price increases, tax and regulatory burdens, and a lack of quality workforce. The slowing down in the global growth, the emerging of a new economic crisis, as well as the "greening" of the European Parliament, suggesting a new dose of environmental regulation, are also among the serious concerns.
For a consecutive year, one of the key priorities of companies is the workforce, which is a problem both quantitatively and qualitatively. The highest demand is for narrow specialists and executive staff, and less so for administrative and support staff.The filling of managerial positions is also a problem. The overwhelming majority of employers are willing to invest in staff training and salary increases, but on the basis of satisfactory levels of skills and achieved competencies.
In an open-ended question at the end of the survey, we left the comments section free. Most of them are related to the dissatisfaction with the work of the administration and the lack of an e-government. Other leading issues are the changes to Regulation H-18 (for cash registers) and the ambiguities regarding their implementation, especially in view of the approaching deadline for the changes to be executed (31 January 2020). One of the problem areas are the lack of quality vocational education, as well as the need for a closer link between education and business.
The results of the survey were presented by BIA Chairman Radosvet Radev and Vice-Presidents Dimitar Brankov and Stanislav Popdonchev.