The economic presence of Greek companies in the neighboring county of Bulgaria is estimated so far at about 3 bn. Euros and the creation of 100,000 new jobs.
Greek companies are abandoning their country’s ‘sinking ship’ and move their businesses to Bulgaria where labor costs are 4 times lower than in Greece. Nearly 800 Greek owned businesses are expected to move their businesses to Bulgaria by the end of 2011.
Mrs. Ioanna Giannarou, head of the Commercial Section of the Greek Embassy in Bulgaria stressed out that Bulgaria has been for the past 10 year the number one destination for Greek businesses moving their premises outside Greece. “The motive behind this choice is basically the low tax income of 10% as well as the quick and easy proceedings to open a new business in Bulgarian ground”.
Rumors want Greek businessmen to choose Bulgaria in order to avoid paying taxes to the Greek state. But Mrs. Giannarou claims that only 5% of the total Greek investments abroad are placed in the currently developing Balkan country.
On the other hand, the question of Bulgaria being able to respond to the financial needs of Greek investments is surfacing, since the neighboring country lacks the necessary trained staff for the Greek businesses to properly expand their workings.In order for this problem to be solved, investors must spend more money in educating and training new workers.
Moreover, 1/3 of the total number of Bulgarian banks is actually branch offices of Greek banks, which is the result of lower salaries.