Measures have been proposed to improve the promotion of domestic and foreign investments in line with EU law.

The proposals include:

  • Optimizing the procedure for issuing investment certificates, introducing a new investment certificate class “C” at regional level and allowing each municipality to define its own issuing rules and procedures;
  • Improving municipal authorities’ local investment strategies by introducing shorter administrative periods, providing personal administrative services and enabling rights of ownership to be granted over private municipal land plots without a tender process;
  • Reducing investment costs by allowing developers of small long-term investment projects to apply for investment certificate class, if they create significant employment opportunities;
  • Offering a partial reimbursement of social security payments to employers involved in high-tech industries or in developing projects in municipalities with above-average unemployment.

The proposals would also extend the right to reside in Bulgaria (and ultimately Bulgarian citizenship) to potential foreign investors who:

  • own, represent or take key positions in a company that carries on a certified investment project, or
  • own at least 50% of the shares of a Bulgarian company which has created investments and employment opportunities above certain thresholds without an investment class certificate, or
  • have granted at least BGN 200,000 to the National Innovation Fund.

The current regime allows foreigners to apply for a long-term/permanent residence permit, if they:

  • are representatives of a foreign commercial entity registered with the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or
  • are certified under the current Investment Promotion Act, or
  • are of benefit to the country’s public and economic sector, as well as in the field of national security, science, technology, culture or sport, etc.

If adopted, the changes will not only affect local authorities and strategic potential investors, but also small and medium-sized enterprises, communities in underdeveloped areas and highly-qualified experts.

Law: Draft bill re amendment and supplement of the Investment Promotion Act;

Europe 2020: A European Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth; National Reform Programme 2012-2020;

Commission Regulation (EC) No 800/2008 of 6 August 2008 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the common market in application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty