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BULGARIA COUNTS ON GOLF DEVELOPMENT, RETAIL RENAISSANCE TO RECOVER

Bulgaria has vowed to bring back the incentives for investors in golf courses, malls, hotels and spa complexes as the country is trying to stay competitive and keep low the unemployment rate.
The incentives will be provided under amendments to the Law for encouraging investments, which will offer a wide range of bonuses for investors in projects that are worth over BGN 100,000 and create at least 200 jobs.
The package includes the issuing of an investor’s certificate, the sale of a land slot at a minimum price, fast services, covering expenses for the installation of electricity and water sewage channels.
Bulgaria is expected to be set for a boom in mall and golf development.
The economic crisis in the past year proved fertile for the malls and discount retailers stepping on Bulgarian soil in recent months and the country is expected to see their boom in 2010.
Retailers, including Carrefour, Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG of Germany and Slovenia’s Mercator Poslovni Sistem d.d., want to shore up flagging sales at home by expanding in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member.
The country, which fell behind other former-communist nations in raising living standards, offers better growth prospects than neighbors, whose more- developed markets are becoming saturated, while investors enjoy lower wages and costs.
Golf was considered a sport of the capitalist elite and banned in Eastern Europe under the rule of communist regimes — but in the 20 years since the Berlin Wall has fallen there has been a renaissance of the game in the region.
With rising disposable income and an increasing interest in leisure pursuits, a growing number of courses, more television coverage and availability of EU funds, the future of the industry in Eastern Europe is bright.
Bulgaria is one country where the sport is on the up as it tries to fulfil the increasing domestic demand and attract more tourists to the region..
Bulgaria’s government expects the economy to grow about 1% in 2010 after shrinking 5.1%. That compares with an estimated 0.2% contraction in Hungary, and growth rates of 0.6% in Slovenia and 1.3% in the Czech Republic. Novinite.com

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