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Interview FRIDAY, 19 June 2009

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Hristo Pirinski: It's the right moment for Bulgaria to draw in investments

Bulgaria will overcome the financial crisis faster and easier than other countries, says Prof. Hristo Pirinski

Hristo Pirinski is a Professor of Finance in the George Washington University, Washington DC. Since 1996 he has been living in the USA and in 2001 he became a professor at the universities of Texas, New Jersey and Los Angeles. He has graduated from the St. Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia (Department of Mathematics) and acquired a Doctor's degree of the Ohio University, USA.
- Mr. Pirinski, what's the specific character of the economic crisis in Bulgaria?
- The crisis in Bulgaria is not a financial one. The disproportions in our country are negligible. The crisis was "imported" due to the open character of the Bulgarian economy.
- Does this mean that Bulgaria will overcome the crisis faster and easier than other countries?
- I am optimistic: the fact that the up-to-now economic downturn is not as all-embracing and deep as it is in the other states can be interpreted as a possibility for an easier way out of the crisis. The expected changes won't be as dramatic as they are in the USA and China.
- The Bulgarian economy relies on foreign investments, so their decrease is one of the greatest concerns of Bulgarian economists and businessmen. What is to be done?
- I think that this is a temporary phenomenon.
- Such 'mastodons' as China are moving out from the investment market. Now is the moment when we have to be more aggressive in drawing in fresh investments for Bulgaria.
- How could Bulgaria harness the situation and occupy the place China has vacated?
- That would be hard because we?re living in a highly competitive world.
- General election in Bulgaria is only weeks away, hence a new government will run the country soon. This sends a very special message to the potential investors. How could we cope with the pre-election apprehensions?
- The fact that a new cabinet will run the country is very natural in a democracy. If we put in sufficient and efficient effort for improving the business climate in Bulgaria and promote our country abroad the investments will flow in.
- What kind of government does Bulgaria need to send a welcoming message for the investors?
- I would recommend a government that would be open to the civilized world, no matter whether East or West. The government should be in close touch with the rest of the world and maintain good diplomatic and trade relationships.

Valeria Stoykova      


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