An overview by Sunday 150: Mr. Tihomir Kamenov, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the corporate group Commercial League interviewed at the Bulgarian National Radio in a very interesting political conversation providing the entrepreneur’s objective and unbiased standpoint faraway from Bulgaria’s domestic trivialities. He has been the only Bulgarian participant at the most authoritative global political and economic forum – the Davos one:
Ms. Diana Yankulova: You have been the only Bulgarian participant at the forum in Davos. It is no exaggeration to say that this forum represents the world’s most authoritative political and financial élite. Why is our participation there so modest? - “I can hardly explain everything. Last time a Bulgarian Prime Minister showed up at the forum has been 15 years ago (and he stayed in his hotel room most of the time). There are about 40-60 heads of state or government coming every year in Davos eager to meet the main core of the global investment community. Highly paid jobs in the world are currently provided by highly educated entrepreneurs. It is also clear that self-esteem of each nation and its politicians are tightly interrelated, it has an immediate repercussion to its gross domestic product. At the end of 2016 the World Bank published the latest statistics and ranking per country by their GDP. At the end of 2015 Bulgaria was at the 80th place. I don’t know if this gives you a plausible explanation about some of the reasons why the Bulgarian politicians don’t show up. Are they not much sought-after, or they have nothing interesting to say in Davos? The truth is that in Bulgaria there is little talk on how to improve GDP and how to obtain higher self-esteem. It’s not just about GDP per capita. It's about how high the GDP in absolute figures is. Bulgaria occupies the absurd last place in the European Union and the 80th one in the world behind so many countries (like Angola).”
Yankulova: These data get conveyed to the Bulgarian public by their ruling up to now politicians like this: We have economic growth higher than the EU average. This means that in economic terms our country stands very well. Our fiscal reserve is full and we are handing the state over rather tidy and all government policies are financially secured. At least this is how the now former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov summed up at the Cabinet’s last meeting. This is the flipside of your perspective from Davos.
- “Let me make a very clear distinction. As a matter of fact Bulgaria undoubtedly has this growth rate and assumedly we trust statistics, i.e. a low GDP in absolute figures, nevertheless Bulgaria stands firm! We used to have at least a piece of pride that we’ve recently lost. We boasted about being a nation with no debts. We possessed the astonishing 3rd place in whole Europe in terms of low debt ratio. Now, with the last increase in foreign debt, things changed dramatically. And even at a growth rate of 2% growth remains really very low in absolute figures. Just imagine our 50-billion GDP (in dollars). Let’s compare only with countries from former socialist European states, to mention only a few, the Czech Republic, whose territory and population is comparable to the Bulgarian ones, has 4 times higher GDP. Hungary, it is true that 20 years ago big investments were poured into it by Western corporations, has 2.5 times bigger GDP than Bulgaria. So we have to be growing at least according to Bulgaria's potential, natural resources, territory, and nation’s intellectual potential, by no less than 7-8-10%, to feel calm we’re running at a good pace. 2%, given that our economy is stable but small, is a deeply low level. The objectives of the Bulgarian political parties and Bulgarian politicians should attain 8-10% growth of the country in the course of several upcoming years. I am talking about two parliamentary terms at a minimum in order to reach a decent European level. Such a growth of 2% (under the current 50-billion GDP conditions) for a nation of 7’200’000 inhabitants, of which perhaps 2.5 billion comes from the ousted Bulgarian children who work in London, the United States and all over Europe – this is extremely low.”
Yankulova: This conversation about Bulgaria is going to turn into sadness. It is too obvious how we look like against the background of the European and world’s statistics from the authoritative tribune of the Davos meeting. Let's stop here because elections are at hand and no party has promised to govern in such a way that would lead to the specified by you economic development rates.
-“I am talking to you as a true patriot who loves Bulgaria immensely and most part of my business activities are in Bulgaria. But keep tirelessly explaining how good we are, averagely good in Europe ...