“The past year is emerging as a peak in terms of the number of inquiries from investors who are proactively looking for Plovdiv as a place to estabslish outsourcing and industrial companies. This gives me reason to expect a strong 2022, in which we will open dozens of new businesses and report sustainable wage growth.” commented Deputy Mayor for Education and Business Development Stefan Stoyanov during the Annual Forum Industry 4.0: The Future of Bulgarian Industry and New Bulgarian Investments, organized by Capital and Plovdiv Municipality.
According to him, in recent years Plovdiv has changed its destiny, becoming an attractive place for hundreds of international companies that attract active working people from all over the world. The expat community has grown to 20,000 foreigners in 2021. “At the same time, hundreds of Bulgarian entrepreneurs are investing here and building the new Bulgarian industry,” said Stefan Stoyanov.
According to him, the dynamics of the last two crises (2008 and 2020) showed that the labor market has not changed dramatically. “In the second quarter of last year, the business recovered as the unemployment rate indicates – which was below 3% for the city and about 4% for the district,” said the deputy mayor.
According to Georgi Stoev, co-founder of Trakia Tech, Plovdiv is creating investment gravity for a large geographical region. The latest research of his company shows that the people involved in the economy are 800 000, and 70% of the added value for the city is produced by the business sectors, which is not typical for other cities in the country.
The speakers at the forum united around the leading role of digitalization and innovation for the successful future of business not only in Bulgaria but also in Europe. Teodor Radonov , representative of the European Investment Bank in Bulgaria presented data showing that Europe is still lagging behind in the introduction of digital technologies and digital transformation. So far, Europe has invested 1,800 billion euros in digitalization, compared to 25 billion euros in the United States and China.
The forum also toiched on the partnership between business and education in the training of specialists. The good example was shared with dual training, cloud technologies and the introduction of basic digital skills for young people. The business still needs specialists in maintenance, production management, inventory planning, ERP systems, etc. The panel also discussed the liberalization of the labor market and flexible business solutions – Georgi Petkov – General Manager at BTL Industries, Eng. Anton Petrov, EMBA, CEO of PPS Manufacturing, Borislav Minkov – Founder of Novarto.