Improving the business climate, comprehensive energy reform and accelerated human resource management are the three major priorities of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA) for 2020. They were formally presented today at a meeting with the ninety branch employers’ organizations, members of BICA and representatives of the executive branch.

To improve the business climate, the employer focuses on accelerating the introduction of eGovernment, limiting state intervention in the economy and reducing regulatory burdens. BICA will continue to lead its 20-year battle with the gray economy, monopolization, cartelization and corruption.

An amendment to the Energy Act to introduce complete market liberalization and the adoption of a balanced energy strategy are two of the proposals for comprehensive sector reform. Other measures include ending state aid to US power plants, conducting a capacity auction, increasing the efficiency of state-owned companies, including through listing them on the BSE, and making the Bulgarian electricity market more connected to the European one.21

In order to address human resources problems more quickly, the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association proposes to support education reforms, with a major focus on vocational and higher education and on facilitating the labor immigration regime of third-country workers. BICA believes that by reforming the budget-financed systems, additional human resources can be freed up and immediately attracted to the workforce of Bulgarian enterprises. The employer organization also wants to resolve the problematic issues in the social security system and to develop and adopt amendments to the Labor Code in line with the new realities of the labor market.

“We can say that in 2019 BICA has strengthened its role as an established spokesperson for our business in Bulgaria. We have succeeded in initiating numerous positions and campaigns in defense of the Bulgarian companies, which have led to the improvement of specific elements of the business environment. Among the successes we can undoubtedly report is the adoption of our methodology for determining admission plans in vocational high schools, the principled general agreement of the social partners to replace the administrative fixing of the minimum wage by negotiation, the progress on the elimination of minimum social security incomes, introduction of the ‘polluter pays’ principle in calculating the amount of the fee in the Local Taxes and Fees Act, launching the preparation of an SME Strategy, etc. “, said the Chairman of the Governing Board of BICA Vassil Velev.

The other participants were: Zhelyaz Enev, Director of the Economic Policy Directorate at the Ministry of Economy; Kremena Kalcheva, Chief Executive Officer, DG Employment Services; Liliana Georgieva, Director of the International Labor Migration and Mediation Directorate at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Science and Education, IA “General Labor Inspectorate”, IA “Operational Program” Science and Education for Intelligent Growth “, Operational Program” Innovation and Competitiveness “, etc.