Category Archives: News

IMPORTANT! COVID-19: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE COMPANIES

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World Health Organization has declared the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) a worldwide problem and a state of emergency has been declared. There are currently no known methods for the prevention and treatment of the disease. Projections for overcoming the pandemic crisis range from 1 to 4 months or more. The spread of the virus can cause serious difficulties in the work of enterprises of all economic activities and worsen the economic performance of the country as a whole. Surely every employer will take measures to prevent the spread of the virus in his enterprise.

In this regard, we make the following recommendations to you:

1. Designate a crisis team (task force, headquarters) or officials (in small and medium-sized enterprises) to plan, organize and control coronavirus measures. Include employees’ representatives (eg from KUT).

2. Assess the risks to the business of the enterprise. Identify potential sources and possible outbreaks for the spread of the virus. Sources of risk may be: sick workers and employees, persons traveled to countries and regions with the spread of the virus, persons in contact with the sick, incl. family members and hearths are places for gathering large groups of people.

3. Identify the vulnerable groups of staff – persons with ECLS and proven respiratory diseases, cardiovascular and oncological diseases, pregnant women and persons over 60 years of age.

4. Distribute information materials and guidance on safe personnel behavior. Provide extraordinary coaching to employees, familiarizing them with the risks and measures to prevent infection (without gathering large groups of people).

5. Conduct online and conference activities such as general meetings, conferences, seminars, training, operatives, and the like.

6. Provide the necessary means of protection for workers (masks, gloves, spare workwear to wash used), separate storage of workwear and protective equipment, etc.

7. Identify activities that can be performed remotely, distribute work, and send home workers home. Introduce flexible working hours, shift modes and other forms, where possible, to reduce the number of people working in one room.

Use the power of labor law to create a work organization that does not allow the gathering of many people in one place in the enterprise, with a view to reducing direct contact between employees and between them and the clients of the employer.

Consider introducing homework and / or remote work where possible. If possible, regulate telework (from home).

8. Create the appropriate organization of work, including the introduction of variable working hours, the use of vacant workplaces, etc. When variable hours are introduced, designate fixed periods of time for employees to be in their workplaces. In this case it is possible to combine variable hours with remote and / or home work. This will, on the one hand, avoid the simultaneous presence of all workers in the work premises and, on the other hand, will not interrupt the daily connection with the employer in order to carry out the work effectively.

9. Join the work of labor in order to be used to comply with rigorous products, as a justification for issuing an order from the management of retention of employees, which must be respected by employees and employees for the purpose of prevention:

– Provision of adequate personal protective equipment to all employees and employees, regular disinfection of workplaces, regular disinfection of hands, wonderful use of the entire amount of reusable vessels;

– daily rigorous control of the establishment of a production plant and monitoring of the health status of employees;

– Enclosure of business trips and meetings, both within the company and with clients and suppliers. Use of scanning, use of other methods of checking the conference connection on the Internet.

10. Identify critical activities (must, procurement) that are organized and technological that cannot be splendid, or that should be relevant to an entity’s existing operations. Also, determine the minimum necessary personnel to serve the company in extreme conditions. Develop work options in reduced and much reduced composition.

11. If the premises are vacant, create new workplaces for employees in such a way as to limit the large number of employees to work in one room and to provide sufficient space to reduce contact between them. It is possible to limit direct contact between workers in one room by placing internal barriers.

12. Determine and ensure that the necessary organizational contacts (meetings, meetings, shift shifts, eating places, etc.) are limited. Define your meal plan if you maintain canteens and dining areas, with contact restriction measures and measures targeted at attendants, additional hygiene measures.

13. Determine special measures and requirements for outsiders (drivers, suppliers) along the entire route and for the duration of their stay at the company to limit and secure contacts. Identify appropriate measures for companies / outsiders working on a long-term basis throughout the enterprise and rules for secure communications between workers and outsiders.

14. Establish a procedure, define and furnish a separate room, in case of established cases of infected persons – a worker with symptoms (temperature above 37.3 C, dry cough and difficulty breathing), until the appearance of the health services, patients or with suspected disease. working time persons. Maintain a list of sick persons.

Make a plan for a positive test of such a worker, to have a common regime for informing the heads of the persons concerned, incl. in order to establish the circle of contact persons in the respective company promptly.

15. Determine the frequency of the Crisis team to assess the situation and verify the implementation of the action plan.

16. Monitor statements and materials and comply with the instructions and recommendations of the National Crisis Staff.

17. Prepare an action plan with specific measures, familiarize it with all workers and monitor its implementation. Use the services of occupational health doctors.

18. If it is not possible to organize the work in the above ways, consider allowing employees to take paid or unpaid leave, depending on the situation.

BICA and CITUB support minister Sacheva for solving problems, relating to the personal assistance law

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria support the efforts of the Minister of Labor and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva to solve the problems arising from the implementation of the Personal Assistance Act, adopted at the end of 2018, under unprecedented pressure.

The current situation shows that hasty and thoughtless legislation not only does not work for the benefit of the people, but it also gives rise to completely new problems. Already in the course of the discussion of the bill, incl. In the National Assembly, its initiators – the then Ombudsman and individual representatives of people with disabilities – were warned about the damages that can come from the adoption of a normative act that does not address and sufficiently thoroughly and comprehensively address the problems of Bulgarian citizens in need from long-term social services. Unfortunately, the legislators at that time preferred to comply with the street pressure rather than the mind and arguments of the specialists and did not make the right assessment of the consequences of complying with all kinds of and maximalist demands.

The facts show that while last September the beneficiaries of the personal assistance mechanism were about 5,000 people, by the beginning of this month 287,000 applications for individual assessment had been submitted, 30,000 had indicated that they needed to be included in the personal assistance mechanism , and 28,708 were found to comply with the law.

It should be remembered that, in its current version, the Personal Assistance Act excludes, on the one hand, assistance to people with less disabilities and, on the other hand, it provides significant resources for the entitled, to the extent that in many cases it turns out that caring as a personal assistant is more lucrative than the assistant’s previous work experience (if he had one). It is not important to know that there are cases where assistants are referred to persons with permanent disabilities with a certain right to foreign assistance, persons under 18 years of age in full-time education, persons over 85 years of age, persons with various diseases, etc., which is inadmissible under regulation.

Obviously, the law contributes to the abuse, to the detriment of the people who really need a personal assistant. It is also evident that without change this serious human and social problem cannot be solved. It would at least be resolved by the resignation of a minister who was in no way committed to adopting a non-working law, requested by the exact same people who have the primary merit of enacting the law as they wish.

BICA and CITUB believe that, in the current situation, the provision of the necessary and adequate support for people with disabilities can be implemented through a National Home Care Program and the experts and leaderships of both organizations will strongly support the efforts of the Minister of Labor and social policy in this regard.

BAD ENERGY MANAGEMENT AND LACK OF HUMAN RESOURCES ARE THE TWO MAIN PROBLEMS OF BULGARIAN BUSINESS

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The reduction ratio of the first pension is unfair, damages people, it should be reduced three times

“Energy is one of the two serious problems for the Bulgarian industry and Bulgarian business. We pay the most expensive price for electricity in the EU, even without including the “Debt to the public” supplement, which for the most part is the “Debt to the so-called” liability. US headquarters. ” And this, given that we have huge standby capacities that could operate and sell electricity at the price of BGN 100 per megawatt hour, as well as export such electricity. Instead, the capacities stay, they accumulate losses, and we import electricity at 110 leva. A mismanagement of our narrow market leads to an absolutely abnormal situation facing the Bulgarian industry. This translates immediately to competitiveness and the ability to increase people’s pay. The second problem is related to 25the lack of human resources. Over the next 20 years, Bulgaria will lose from the labor market nearly 50,000 people annually. Our country must start taking adequate measures very quickly. For us, the main priority for recruiting human resources is the Bulgarian diasporas abroad, but these alone will not be enough. We need to start using good European models like Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. The Employment Agency should no longer be an agency that exports Bulgarian workers abroad, but an agency that imports foreigners to Bulgaria at the request of Bulgarian companies. “

This was announced by BICA Chairman Vassil Velev during the official presentation of the priorities of the Association of the Organizations of  the Bulgarian Employers (AOBE) for 2020. resources and overall energy reform. These include accelerated construction of e-government, combating the informal economy, Bulgaria’s accession to ERM II, Schengen and the OECD, the abolition of the temporary measure for employers to pay the first three days of sick leave, changes in labor and social security legislation, easing the import of foreign workers, negotiations to settle relations with the so-called. US headquarters, etc.

According to Vassil Velev, several actions should be carried out in synchronization in the energy sector in the first half of the year. These are the protection in Brussels of a capacity mechanism based on an analysis of the current situation in the country and the region, termination of contracts with the so-called. US power plants, capacity auctions, phased liberalization of the home market and protection of vulnerable consumers. The capacity and efficiency of state and regulatory bodies need to be further enhanced, as well as the future construction of new capacities only on a market basis. To increase the energy connectivity of Bulgaria in order to benefit from the large European market, where the prices of energy resources are much lower.

Other extremely important topics included the request to change the calculation of the First Pensions Reduction Ratio. According to the president of BICA, because of our legislation at the moment, those born after 1959 will be unfairly reduced their first pillar pensions – by the NSSI. This is because the coefficient now reduces the first pension for the whole period of 40 years of service, although in the first 20 years there were no additional pension funds in our country and all insurance contributions were paid to the National Social Security Institute. In addition, during all these years the NSSI deficit was also financed through the taxes of the same people, which the reduction factor did not take into account.

The proposal of the employers’ organizations is to reduce the reduction factor three times. This will achieve justice and strengthen and develop the second pillar, which is crucial given the aging population of Bulgaria and the trend that fewer and fewer working people will have to pay pensions to more and more retirees through the NSSI.

Vassil Velev also stated that Bulgaria should advertise with its products and with the success of its companies both abroad and in our country. To subtract success from anonymity. Show inspiring examples of success. “This is very important for investors as well as for attracting and returning Bulgarians back to the country,” he concluded.

Vice Prime Minister Marianna Nikolova, Diplomats, MPs and Businessmen Attended BICA’s 23rd Birthday

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Deputy Prime Minister Marianna Nikolova and more than 400 representatives of diplomatic missions, the executive and legislative branches, business, trade unions and non-governmental organizations were part of the official celebration of the 23rd birthday of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA).

“I would like to thank all of you who are here, as well as those who were not able to come but took the time to congratulate BICA on its 23rd birthday. For us, this is a recognition of the constructive and objective position of the Association. We send a successful year for both BICA and Bulgaria. GDP growth will exceed 3.5%, unemployment is below the sanitary minimum, we have income growth over 10% and productivity growth of about 3-3.5%. This places us 5th in the EU in GDP growth. Such are the forecasts for the next 2 years, during which we expect Bulgaria to be in the top five again. But things can get better and BICA will do its best to carry out all the necessary reforms”, said BICA’s Chairman Vassil Velev.

The employers’ organization will continue to work in order to boost the economic growth of the country, whose main “hindrances” remain the increasing shortage of labor resources and insufficient liberalization of labor immigration. Fighting the gray economy that BICA has been committed to over the past 10 years will once again be a key priority. In 2020, BICA will continue to work on a number of reforms in sectors such as energy, education, labor law.

The Association calls for more consistency and sustainability in defining state policies for the development of the electricity sector, while respecting the principles of competitiveness, transparency and equal treatment. BICA expects that good cooperation with the Ministry of Education will lead to the finalization of the reform of vocational and higher education, which will in the coming years prepare the necessary business personnel for key sectors of the economy. In addition, the expectations of the Bulgarian business are to work for the elimination of the minimum social security thresholds, the administrative determination of the minimum wage and the improvement and development of the second and third pension pillars through the introduction of multifunds, the determination of a fair rate of reduction of the first pension, and better regulations.


The event was sponsored by:

BULGARIA HAS ITS REPRESENTATIVE IN THE HIGH LEVEL FORUM OF THE CAPITAL MARKETS UNION

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On 18 November 2019, the European Commission (EC) announced the composition of the High Level Forum of the Capital Markets Union (CMU). 28 experts from the business and finance sector, non-governmental organizations and other institutions will contribute, share their ideas and experiences for the next stage of the development and finalization of the Capital Markets Union project. The Forum is made up of three subgroups focused on:

  • Creating an ecosystem that allows for easy capital raising, with particular attention to innovative SMEs;
  • developing the structure of the European capital market, paying particular attention to how new financial technologies can support this process;
  • choice of investments and accessibility to services in the capital markets to encourage greater participation of individual and small investors.

The Chairwoman of the Association of Investor Relations Directors in Bulgaria and a member of the Capital Markets Council of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, who is also (as of October 2019) presiding the National Corporate Governance Committee, Ms. Daniela Peeva, was elected to represent the interests of the small markets in the first subgroup: creating an ecosystem that allows for easy capital raising, with particular attention to innovative SMEs.

The Forum started its work on November 26, 2019 and aims to present a set of recommendations on Union capital market policy by the end of May 2020.

“I hope that with my professional expertise I will contribute to discussing the future of the European Capital Markets Union, but the most important task I set for myself is to be the voice in small markets that have specific needs and which mostly suffer from over-regulation, lack of investor interest and liquidity”, said Daniela Peeva.

BICA’s NATIONAL COUNCIL DISCUSSED ACTION PLAN FOR FINANCING SUSTAINABLE EU GROWTH

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The decision of the employers to leave the Tripartite Council was also supported due to the lack of an adequate solution to the problem of hospitalization.


The Action Plan for Financing EU Sustainable Growth was presented and discussed during the meeting of the National Council of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) on Friday. Its aim is to refocus capital flows towards sustainable investment, improve the management of financial risks arising from climate change and aggravate social problems. The European Commission has already submitted a package of three legislative proposals – a disclosure regulation, a benchmarking regulation and a taxonomy regulation, with the first two already adopted. The taxonomy regulation is expected to be adopted by the end of 2019.

“We work with BICA very actively in Expert Group 26 and we seek to consult all regulations concerning business. This is also the reason why I urge you to look at the report of the technical expert group on taxonomy and the real sector. It includes 67 economic activities to reduce climate change in 7 sectors, including energy, transport, agriculture, manufacturing and buildings. I expect you to point out other sustainable activities that have not been included, but you think it is important for us to submit them for consideration”, said Christina Pendicheva – a representative of the Ministry of Finance, Financial Markets Regulation Directorate.

According to her, the new regulations will promote sustainable activities carried out by asset managers and institutional investors, at this stage mainly environmental activities. Subsequently, social and management activities will be included.

Members of BICA’s National Council also endorsed the decision of the Association of the Organizations of Bulgarian Employers (AOBE) to suspend participation in the National Tripartite Cooperation Council pending the submission of adequate proposals to curb hospital abuse. BICA strongly rejects the continuation of the corporate crisis-imposed measure in 2010 to pay the first three days of sick leave. By virtue of this lucrative additional commitment, they are actually taxed three times – through the insurance contributions they pay, through the benefits for the first three days of temporary disability, which they pay, and by the payment of additional wages for replacement workers.

This was also the next meeting of the National Council, where the employers’ organization accepted new members and further increased its representativeness in the country. The large BICA family was joined by the Elevator Manufacturers Association, the Free Energy Market Association, the Chamber of Professional Appraisers and more.

BICA and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Continue and Expand Their Partnership

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The Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have renewed their cooperation agreement and extended it. The document was signed by UNIDO Director General Li Yong and BICA’s Secretary General Dr. Milena Angelova at the headquarters of the international organization in Vienna. The agreement enables the most representative employer organization in Bulgaria to receive and exchange knowledge, experience, information and technologies that will contribute to improving the productivity of the Bulgarian economy.

At the end of 2016, BICA became the first employer organization in Bulgaria to start a partnership with UNIDO. Co-operation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization is an important element in achieving BICA’s Sustainable Development Goals and in assisting members of the Organization in accessing information and good practices in this area.

The Partnership Memorandum empowers both organizations to develop projects and policies to increase the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises to tackle key global challenges such as digitalization and cybersecurity, to balance knowledge and skills of the future workforce and the use of new technologies.

“It is an honor for BICA to extend its cooperation with UNIDO. We are also determined to explore further opportunities to deepen our partnership, including by supporting UNIDO’s technical cooperation activities, launching joint capacity building initiatives, and sharing experience and good practices with other Member States of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization”, said BICA’s Secretary General Dr. Milena Angelova at the signing.

Dr. Angelova welcomed the idea of ​​BICA’s involvement in capacity building for UNIDO Member States that were candidates for EU membership, with regard to the preparation of project applications for Union Structural Funds. She expressed confidence that the Bulgarian government would be interested in supporting such actions.

UNIDO was established in 1966 with the primary objective of promoting industrial development and productivity gains, leading to poverty reduction in developing countries. In 1985, UNIDO was transformed and is now a specialized agency of the United Nations with the mandate to promote and assist in accelerating sustainable industrial development in developing countries and transition economies. Bulgaria has been a full member of UNIDO since 1985.

GENERAL LABOUR INSPECTORATE EXECUTIVE AGENCY, EDITOR “DEUTSCHE WELLE” AND MP CHRISTIAN MITEV WON “THE BUSINESS TO THE RULES” AWARDS

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) presented the “Business to the Rules” awards for the sixth consecutive year. The awards were presented at an official ceremony in Sofia Hotel Balkan, and guests of the event were Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Tomislav Donchev, Mayor of Sofia Municipality Yordanka Fandakova, Chairmen of the Committees to the 44th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria – Committee on European Affairs and control of European funds Christian Vigenin and Legal Affairs Committee Anna Alexandrova, Minister of Labor and Social Policy Biser Petkov, Minister of Tourism Nikolina Angelkova, ambassadors and more than 100 presentations and the government Sofia municipality, businesses, NGOs and social partners.

General Labor Inspectorate Executive Agency took the prize in the category “For a person or organization that contributed to the restriction and prevention of the informal economy through an active position”. The distinction was awarded for efforts to update the system for online submission, registration and reporting of templates for short-term seasonal farm work in a timely manner. The Director of the Risk Management Directorate at the NRA Nikolai Petkov, the Director of the Copyright and Related Rights Directorate at the Ministry of Culture Mehti Melikov and the Institute for Market Economics also received certificates in the category.

The Member of Parliament Hristian Mitev won the award for “For a legislative act or administrative practice that results in limiting the informal economy and improving the business environment”. The bill submitted by him for amendment of Art. 37, para. 2 of the Accounting Act, which reduced administrative and financial burdens for small businesses in the light, beat the competition of the National Revenue Agency, the Ministry of Tourism and the Legal Affairs Committee of the 44th National Assembly, which were honored with diplomas.

Deutsche Welle’s Bulgarian edition is this year’s winner in the category “Journalist or media contributing to changing public attitudes towards intolerance to the informal economy”. The other nominees and recipients of the award were Nova TV journalist Georgi Georgiev, presenters of Bloomberg TV Bulgaria’s Business Start on Zivka Popatanasova and Hristo Nikolov, and bTV reporter Nelly Todorova.

The nominations for the awards were made through a broad public consultation among the members of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association, all social partners, members of the Public Council for Restriction and Prevention of the Informal Economy, comprising representatives of a number of state institutions, and the media. The winners were cast by secret ballot from a large expert jury consisting of over 100 distinguished personalities: prominent economists, public figures, media representatives, members of the BICA’s National and Control Councils, the Public Council for the Restriction and Prevention of the Informal Economy, etc.

The competition aims to highlight and reward leading institutions and individuals with an active position and contribution to limiting gray practices. Thus, for a consecutive year, the BICA encourages active action in the fight against the informal economy and promotes the constructive role of business in society for improving the socio-economic environment.

For the past year, the Composite Index on Light Economy, by which BICA measures the bright part of the Bulgarian economy, rose by a record 4.55 points to 79.10. The Association has seen a clear trend of accelerating the shrinking dynamics of the “gray” economy over the past four years, falling to 21% in 2018.

THE FRENCH FEDERATION OF LOCAL PUBLIC ENTERPRISES DELAYED WITH THE GOOD PRACTICES OF THE MUNICIPAL COMPANIES IN SOFIA AND PLOVDIV

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French Federation of Local Public Enterprises (FedEpl) got acquainted with the best practices of municipal companies in the two largest Bulgarian municipalities – the Metropolitan Municipality and the Municipality of Plovdiv. The visit of the French delegation for the exchange of experience was organized with the assistance of Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA).

The Bulgarian Employers’ Organization is a member of the European Center for Employers and Enterprises with Public Participation and Enterprises providing Services of General Interest (CEEP). Through its membership, BICA draws experience and brings to the Bulgarian socio-economic environment the best models and practices of the European economic model.

“The development of services of general interest play an extremely important role in ensuring the social, economic and territorial cohesion of EU countries. They are vital for sustainable development in terms of employment, economic growth, social integration and the environment, both individually and in Europe as a whole. I am delighted that we have the opportunity to create partnerships between Bulgarian and French companies providing services of general interest, “said Assoc. Prof. Borislav Velikov, Member of the BICA’s National Council and Vice Chairman of the SEER Water Working Group.

During the meeting in Sofia, public enterprises such as Sofia Municipal Investment Agency, Sofia Real Estate, and the Center for Urban Mobility were presented. The French delegation also visited the third ray of the subway, as well as bio-waste treatment facilities.

Mayor Yordanka Fandakova, Honorary President of the FedEPl European Committee Jean-Leons DuPont, Secretary-General of BICA and Vice-President of the European Economic and Social Committee in charge of Budget Dr. Milena Angelova, members of the National Council participated in the meeting of BICA, as well as over 20 representatives of public companies in France.

The French Federation of Local Public Enterprises (FedEpl) was established in 1956. It has a membership of 1 300 local public enterprises employing 65,300 people. The total annual turnover of the companies is nearly EUR 14 billion.

Each year, the French Federation organizes exploratory visits for its members to different European countries in order to obtain more information on the work of local authorities there and how they develop services of general interest. In the last five years, the French Federation of Local Public Enterprises has become familiar with the experience in Hamburg, Seville, Bologna, Vienna and Stockholm.

BICA and Guatemala’s Ambassador Mario Bukaro discuss Opportunities for Business Cooperation

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Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and the Ambassador of Guatemala in Israel Mario Bukaro discussed possibilities for enhancing business cooperation between the two countries. It is expected that by the end of July the most representative employer organization in Guatemala and the Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce will sign a cooperation agreement. This was made clear after a meeting between representatives of BICA’s Board of Directors and the Guatemalan ambassador, who is in Bulgaria to hand over his credentials.

photo_1The purpose of the agreement is to contribute to better interaction between companies from both countries. During the meeting, the Chairman of BICA Vasil Velev and Ambassador Mario Bucaro stated their readiness to organize a special video seminar, during which Bulgarian and Guatemalan companies will get acquainted with the conditions for doing business and investment opportunities in the countries. A special business delegation from the Central American country is also expected to visit the second half of 2019.

“I believe that together we can contribute to increasing trade relations between Bulgaria and Guatemala. I believe that we can work to increase trade, and we see enormous potential in areas such as the chemical and food industries, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, as well as in tourism”, said Vasil Velev.

During the meeting, the Chairman of BICA presented the activities of an employer organization in Bulgaria and the branch chambers that are members of it.

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