No, I did not misunderstand, perhaps you did though.
One example, which will not be a problem as the owner died 3 years ago. The German company "Ivan Zografski" which amongst other tourism investments purchased the Kempinski Hotel. FDI? Technically yes. Legitimate? Entirely possible. Owned by a Bulgarian? The name rather gives it away.
There are many other examples of "FDI" where the Bulgarian ownership is not so obvious. The ownership is well hidden for tax avoidance and law enforcement avoidance purposes!
I am not impressed. The 'haul' the police made is mostly just cannabis, plus a few very small quantities of other drugs. These are just a few students supplying their fellow youngsters with recreational drugs to go night clubbing. Probably they were not cautious enough when making their deals in some club and a 'security' gangster objected to amateurs on his turf and turned them in. When they show a video of the police busting open a large scale amphetamines factory or arresting some heroin traffickers at the border, then maybe the Bulgarian authorities will look a little more serious.
15000 BGN? Is that all? Either the polizia had sticky fingers or they are just arresting small fry for show only.
Well I suppose they have to solicit backhanders from someone. The Belgians paid good bribes to seal a deal, but that is over. Why not try the Dutch? Should be worth a few million of "FDI".
"Elderly people driving around in the wilderness of Bulgaria without being able to read the signs or speak the language is begging to be scammed, robbed, or worse."
Nelka, you are frightening me with all this common sense you are spouting these days. What has happened to you? :)
"For example? "
It is not possible to broadcast names of companies about whom murky allegations have been made on a public forum like this. However it is certainly the case that notionally "foreign" companies are masking other activities.
I am not talking about multinationals who come here, though note that much of the activity of big name chains in BG, with notable exceptions, is pursued by local businesses who operate a franchise or under another form of license. It is certainly true also that a proportion of such local/multinational franchise/license investment is financed by Bulgarian banks. Some though, is financed in less transparent ways.
You do not have to look far to see money laundering going on in every area of business in BG. Often through complex arrangements of holding companies, offshore investment funds, etc. It is not only mutri who are involved, the bigger players were not all former wrestlers, karate fighters or bodyguards...
It is good that there is "normal" international investment coming into BG, but the business environment is skewed by the, let's say "non-transparent" investments in key sectors of the economy.
"Top countries for FDI in Bulgaria are Austria, the Netherlands and the UK."
Look more closely at some of the companies registered in Austria and UK in particular. Don't know about Netherlands, but several examples of A/GB registered companies with majority BG directors/shareholders directing "FDI" to BG...
Fausten, this is not referring to industrial investment, which can be "clean" if it comes from the right places. Rather, the boom in BG from around 2004-08 was in so-called REIT vehicles for property investment, created in BG in 2004 by the "Special Purpose Investment Companies Act".
In simple terms, invest in real estate, no corporation tax to pay. A perfect vehicle for those looking to "redistribute" funds to "investors" and pay no tax...
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