The priority of Bulgarian government for internationalization and europeization of Bulgarian business, related to the forthcoming integration in EU is reflected in the increased attention towards promotion of Bulgarian goods and services abroad. The participation of companies on national stands within major specialized exhibitions and the organization of bilateral business meetings have shown to be one of the most effective promotional instruments in terms of achieved economic results (expressed in concluded transactions), significantly contributing to the increase of the prestige and image of the country. For 2005-2006, BSMEPA has planned to continue to organize:
- SMEs participation on national stands on the leading world and regional specialized fairs and exhibitions;
- Trade missions, business delegations and economic forums organization;
- Training (for starting up including specific training – marketing, finances, management and etc. and general – language, computer);
- Training for enhancement of managerial and foreign trade qualification of managers and employees;
- Training for entrepreneurial skills;
- Workshops organized by BSMEPA, focused on trade with EU countries, specifically aspects on the EC market etc. issues;
- Issuing of specialized promotional and information materials and manuals (Directory of exporting Bulgarian companies, Export Marketing Guide for SMEs in the food processing sector, Export Marketing Guide for trainers, Wine Export Guide and etc.).
For assisting the process of increasing the SME competitiveness the Bulgarian Government has decided to allocate certain amount from the State budget for the following programmes:
– Foreign Trade Fairs participation. The Programme supports the Bulgarian exporters by covering the full cost of space renting and part of basic equipment for the international trade fairs participation. The budget for such promotional activity was granted for the first time in 2002. The total amount for 2005 is EUR 500 000. The Bulgarian SMEs Promotion Agency is organizing the participation of Bulgarian companies on selected international trade fairs realizes the programme. Out of it BSMEPA provides participating companies with logistical support, organizes matchmaking during the fair inviting biggest companies interested in their production.
– Project „Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points“ (HACCP) provides assistance to SMEs from the meat production and processing industry for applying the HACCP system. The HACCP system is an important premise for the preparation of food industry enterprises to perform under the conditions of competitive global environment. SMEs, which corresponded to the project requirements, were funded through grants amounting to 50 % of the expenditures on the HACCP system application, but no more than BGN 10000 (about EUR 5000) per enterprise.