President of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) Dobri Mitrev presented here on Monday the results of the "2022 through the eyes of business" survey that was conducted among 796 BIA members between November 5 and December 1. According to Mitrev, Bulgaria may be facing a crisis, depending on what will happen in Europe and, more specifically, in the biggest European economy – Germany. "If there is a recession there, in a month or two it will be felt here. If things are not so bad there, I am sure that things will be even better in Bulgaria," said the expert.

Commenting on the survey results, Mitrev pointed out that businesses' expectations about 2023 against the backdrop of the ongoing problems in Europe are mostly pessimistic. He shared his hope that relations between countries and trading partners will be restored, which will lead to lower prices for raw materials and energy.

Survey participants gave overwhelmingly negative assessments of both the state of the business climate and the state of their companies. Compared to the previous year, there is barely noticeable improvement in assessments, but the effects of the crisis are clear.

The majority of the respondents see the risks to the development of the Bulgarian economy in the expected price spikes, the fiscal and regulatory burden as well as inflation.

The main hurdles for businesses are the lack of manpower, the changing regulatory framework, bureaucracy and the lack of e-government.

Over the past three years, interest in participating in public procurement has been declining compared to previous periods, with only 14% of respondents participating in such tenders in 2021, according to BIA Vice President Maria Mincheva.

The results of the survey show an increase in the share of respondents who approve of Bulgaria joining the Eurozone, said BIA Vice President and CFO Stanislav Popdonchev.

Municipal administrations were the most trusted among the surveyed with 46%, followed by the President's administration with 44%, and the government headed by caretaker Prime Minister Galab Donev with 43%. There is a distinct disapproval of the National Assembly and the judiciary. Parliament is the leader in disapproval with 95% of the respondents' votes. The judiciary disapproval rate is 67%, and former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov's cabinet is third with 63%.

Date: 12.12.2022

Source: Bulgarian Industrial Association

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