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Plovdiv turns into industrial capital

Plovdiv turns into industrial capital

Trakia economic zone” (TEZ) will be the first area in Bulgaria with focused support from the state. The decision will be taken at the Regional Development Council, which is convened on February 27th by the Governor of Plovdiv Mr. Rozalin Petkov.

The territorial scope of the area will include nine municipalities,which signed the memorandum for cooperation and support on 20/03/2014, in which are located the industrial zones in TEZ. These are Plovdiv, Asenovgrad, Kaloyanovo, Kuklen, Maritza, Parvomai, Rakovski, Rodopi and Stamboliyski.

The governing structure of TEZ will be permanent sectoral committee that will be part of the Regional Development Council. It will include representatives of the municipalities and representatives of organizations that are directly related to the project, including NGOs, which can provide methodological and technical support.

“Trakia economic zone” offers complete development of projects to foreign investors, not just terrains for factories, commercial and logistic centers. Specialized teams will assist when applying for various European projects, explained in an interview with Darik the major “engine” of this economic project and managing director of TEZ eng. Plamen Panchev. This project is also at the center for qualified labor force, which will be established in the zone and will have a constant connection with the nine universities in Plovdiv, he defined.

TEZ already emerged as a business destination for high-tech industries, said the Mayor of Plovdiv eng. Ivan Totev. He predicts that employment in this sector will increase two times in the next few years, and human resources in this industry to reach 17 000 people. According to Mr. Ivan Totev creation of new jobs with high added value for the young and talented graduates is among the top priorities of the management team. The investments in the sector allow educated and qualified students to stay and work in the city, said the Mayor.

It is expected by the end of the year that the sectoral committee will request  3 000 000 BGN from the state for construction of two main intersections in the area of ​​”Maritza” municipality, which are important for improving the infrastructure in the industrial zone, told for Darik Regional Governor of Plovdiv Mr. Rozalin Petkov. The construction of the railway ring remains as a possible project for the next programming period, but the intermodal terminal near the station Kableshkov is scheduled to be ready by the end of the year, added Eng. Panchev.

It is not impossible that in the coming years Plovdiv to become a major base of  the “transcontinental corridor” of Chinese goods to Europe. There is great interest about it also from Poland, but our idea is that TEZ will provide better conditions, said  eng. Panchev. In his words, the interest of investors about TEZ is growing, including from Asian companies. In proof of this a Japanese company that is world famous for the production of pneumatic and electrical systems and is among the top 50 most innovative companies in the world, a few days ago bought 180 000 sq.m. terrain in the industrial zone “Maritza”.

The good news concerning the future development of “Trakia economic zone” are mainly in two directions – first thing is there will be created thousands of new jobs for highly skilled and nonqualified workers from Plovdiv and the region. And second – the presence of large scale investors means that gradually in the city and surrounding municipalities will develop small- and medium-sized businesses as subcontractors and suppliers at local level, which is clear for business representatives and the state institutions. After the entry of large companies in the zone, they include their partners and concomitant productions, thereby creating the backbone of small and medium business.

According to preliminary estimates, within 10 years in “Trakia economic zone” are expected investments above € 1.1 billion, which will open new 30 000 new jobs.

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