ManpowerGroup Bulgaria: The Country’s Business Climate Is Good but More State Support Is Needed According to Investors

A new ManpowerGroup Bulgaria survey shows that 52% of the top managers of companies which made significant investments and opened new jobs in the past four years report that the investment climate in Bulgaria is good, and one-third of them say it is excellent.

Bulgaria and the neighbouring countries

Their positive assessment is based on key factors such as high-quality workforce (70%), relatively low labour costs (66%) and easy access to other markets (64%), as well as favourable tax regime, excellent internet coverage and competitive prices for doing business. Only 6% of the respondents point out the country’s political and economic stability as an advantage. Meanwhile, almost half of the companies which operated in neighbouring countries in the past five years share that Bulgaria’s business environment is better than the one in Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Montenegro.

‘The results of our latest survey clearly show that Bulgaria continues to be an attractive regional destination to companies which plan to invest in the country or expand their activities. Our strategic location, EU-membership and developing infrastructure create favourable conditions for the progress of a number of sectors such as production and logistics. In addition, the easy access to neighbouring countries allows businesses to attract workforce and tackle hard-to-fill positions, e.g. in Information Technologies,’ commented Maria Stoeva, Business Development manager, ManpowerGroup Bulgaria.

Labor market – current state and future development

According to the survey results two-thirds of the companies manage to find employees for their vacant positions while 12% have serious difficulties in attracting and retaining talent, mainly in the Tourism&Restaurants and Construction&Engineering sectors. In addition, almost one-third of the respondents are partially satisfied and every tenth – dissatisfied with the quality of education in the country, exception being the traditionally strong maths, foreign languages, physics and chemistry.

Regarding next-quarter employment plans, slightly over half of the respondents do not expect significant changes in the total number of employees in their companies until the end of June 2021, 26% plan to open new jobs, and 16% forecast workforce reduction. ‘Our observations show that business organizations are increasingly robotizing and automating work processes, using outsourcing services and creating new roles for people with wider skillsets. In the current situation, new job openings follow very careful consideration and detailed planning of all business operations and related costs,’ Maria Stoeva added.

Business recommendations

ManpowerGroup Bulgaria survey results also show that only 16% of the investors in the country find the state support for business development strong, 8% share that it is satisfactory and for 38% it is weak or altogether missing.

In order to stimulate the country’s future economic development, investors’ recommendations are addressed mainly at increasing the state support, such as planning the education system in accordance with the business needs, improving the procedures for import of employees from third countries, implementing more measures related to the pandemic, and providing an e-government. Other recommendations for the improvement of the country’s investment environment include long-term government efforts to motivate young emigrants to return, simplified administrative procedures and fast communication with state institutions.

ManpowerGroup Bulgaria ‘Assessment of the Investment Business Climate in Bulgaria’ was conducted in the February-March 2021 period in the form of a 17-questions survey which includes the answers of top managers from 51 national and international small, medium and large-size companies from 13 industrial sectors across the country.

About ManpowerGroupBulgaria

ManpowerGroup Bulgaria is part of ManpowerGroup South-East Europe Cluster and one of the leaders on the Bulgarian market in contingent and permanent recruitment solutions, staff assessment, RPO and career consulting. With branches in Sofia, Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna, ManpowerGroup Bulgaria has been providing organisations in the country with a continuum of staffing solutions for 12 years now, working with businesses from all industry sectors and giving them access to the people they need. In 2019 ManpowerGroup Bulgaria received special award “Recruitment Company with the Biggest Contribution to the Industry” from Automotive Cluster Bulgaria. Please find more information about ManpowerGroup Bulgaria at www.manpower.bg.

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