Business | October 20, 2001, Saturday // 00:00

45% of 196 business people said that the macroeconomic environment in Bulgaria has remained unchanged as far as small and medium-sized enterprises are concerned. Conditions for doing business are improving according to 12 % of respondents, while nearly three times as many, 34 % think that the business conditions do not improve. 28 % of the businessmen consider that the business environment is becoming worse and 48 % of them think that currently they do not have the possibility to expand their businesses. Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Nikolay Vassilev and Finance Minister Milen Velchev are rated highest: Vassilev`s approval rating is 58 %, and Velchev`s is 56 %. To achieve economic growth, the State should encourage Bulgarian producers and protect local production, cope with corruption, attract foreign investment, cut taxes, and offer low-interest long-term loans. The business people support tax liberalization, sociologists commented. The National Public Opinion Center said the survey preceded the concrete measures undertaken by the government. Presumably, most business people will criticize them, but there is no data to confirm that. 89 % of the respondents say that their business will benefit from a possible exemption from profit tax when the profit is reinvested. Almost as many believe they will benefit from a lower income tax rate. The results are from a survey conducted by the National Public Opinion Center at the autumn Plovdiv Fair.

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