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Innovation and Growth Minister Pulev: In the First Six Months of 2023, BGN 1 Bln Will Be Provided for Businesses

Caretaker Prime Minister of Innovation and Growth Alexander Pulev said on NOVA Saturday: “We are starting to rapidly open measures under the structural funds at the Ministry of Innovation and Growth. For the first six months of this year alone, we will provide one billion BGN for seven procedures.”
The caretaker cabinet found zero approved EU programmes for zero leva. Five months later, there are ten out of ten approved programmes with an assured resource of BGN 20 billion for the Bulgarian economy, commented Pulev.
The Minister also pointed out that there was one open procedure under the Recovery and Resilience Plan, but with only four submitted project proposals. “The plan was open and working, but no one knew. So my team and I made a mobile reception that went around all the districts in the state. We held 28 meetings with all regional governors and representatives of local businesses. As a result, we have submitted more than 10,200 project proposals under two open and already completed procedures from the Plan,” said Pulev. He predicted that interest will continue to grow.
Under the first procedure, “Technological modernization”, a total of 953 projects will receive funding of BGN 260 million, the Minister said.
When asked if it is certain that the business will receive financing in view of MPs requesting a renegotiation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, Pulev assured that there are enough funds.. “The first payment of funds under the Plan in the amount of three billion BGN is provided by the Cabinet, there is also national co-financing. According to all procedures, there will be money,” said Pulev.
The Minister also announced that at the beginning of February, the third procedure under the Recovery and Resilience Plan for renewable energy sources and batteries for local energy storage, worth BGN 200 million, will be open for applications. 
One of the first procedures which will open in April, will be for the implementation of innovations, for a total of BGN 293 million. 
Pulev added that both European programmes under his Ministry, the “Competitiveness and Innovations in Enterprises” and the “Research, Innovation and Digitization for Smart Transformation” programmes  were approved in record time. 
Regarding Minister Pulev’s second official visit to Saudi Arabia, he said that he met with the executive directors of the country’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages over half a trillion dollars, as well as with the ministers of communications, economy and energy. “We’ve come back with a framework agreement that will define the entire investment regime between Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia,” said Pulev. During his first visit together with Deputy Prime Minister Hristo Alexiev, direct flights Sofia-Riyadh were arranged.