The International Coordinating Council of Employers’ Unions (ICCEU) discussed the business implications of the Covid-19 pandemic. Representatives of employers’ organizations from Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Georgia, Latvia, Armenia and Kazakhstan were unanimous that small and medium-sized enterprises suffered the most. They agreed that sustainable investment is needed to speed up economic recovery to support accelerating growth.

Among the main priorities of the members of the International Coordinating Council of Employers’ Organizations for the period 2021-2022 are working with local governments to continue supporting compensation for losses, as well as encouraging their members to invest more in supporting the transition to digital and green transformation.

During the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of BICA Vasil Velev presented the situation in Bulgaria. “In Bulgaria, we had several measures to support businesses and people – credit holidays for companies and individuals, state guarantees for loans to SMEs, state aid to maintain employment under the model 60/40. However, the measure that the business really needed was related to support for fixed costs of enterprises with more than 30% drop in sales, which the Bulgarian government never recognized. We are already seeing signs of overcoming the crisis, but the Bulgarian economy is recovering unevenly. While the industry began to report growth in the last 2 months, even compared to the pre-crisis period, sectors such as tourism and passenger air transport are likely to return to pre-crisis levels only after 2 years, “said Vasil Velev.

During the meeting, the rotating chairman of the organization for 2022 was elected. This is the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Russia, represented by Alexander Shokhin.

For the ICSD

The International Coordinating Council of Employers ‘Organizations was established in 2010 and unites 18 employers’ organizations from 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. Its main mission is to promote the establishment of sustainable links between them, exchange of experience in the field of regulation of social and labor and related economic relations.