EC Vice-President Lauds Bulgaria's Contribution to Fighting Counterfeiting
Bulgaria is an active participant in the fight against counterfeiting and the country stopped the flow of 28% of all fake goods seized at EU borders, according to Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship.
Tajani, who is on a visit to Sofia, commented that, judging by UN data, the volume of trade in fake goods amounted to over EUR 200 B a year, which was similar to drug trafficking figures.
The EC Vice President, as cited by dnevnik.bg, emphasized that fake goods competed unfairly with genuine products, created a serious risk for profit margins of European companies and endangered their survival, and posed a threat to many jobs.
He argued that manufacturers of counterfeit goods evaded taxes and duties, thereby curbing state revenues and making European taxpayers foot the bill.
"Apart from harming our national companies, fake goods could endanger consumer health because their production is not regulated by EU laws," he reminded.
Presenting the anti-counterfeiting campaign of the EC, he underscored that the activities of the police authorities were insufficient and it was necessary to increase people's sensitivity to the matter.
Speaking at a business conference on EU funds for construction in the 2014-2020 period, Tajani cited construction as one of the six sectors which were crucial for the establishment of a new EU industrial policy.
He said that the EC plan for the construction industry consisted of five main pillars – encouraging investments to improve energy efficiency, improving the qualifications of workers in the sector, creating a sustainable system through the efficient use or resources, developing a real internal market, and stimulating the competitiveness of companies.
Tajani also drew attention to the efforts to guarantee access to long-term financing through EU funds.
"Tomorrow the EC will review two reports – on the competitiveness of each country and the industry in general. Bulgaria's development in these spheres is plain to see. However, the productivity must increase," he added.
The EC Vice President suggested that Bulgaria had to step up the fight against corruption and boost innovations by taking advantage of EU funds allocations for the next programming period.
Tajani called on the Bulgarian government to finalize the agreement with the EC in order to take advantage of the EU funding for the 2014-2020 period.
He claimed that in order to boost its competitiveness, Bulgaria had to have balanced budgets, at the same time striving for growth combined with improvements to the industrial sector.
"The sacrifices may turn out to be superfluous unless we bring the industry back on its feet," Tajani declared, adding that the industry could propel the EU out of the crisis.
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