Sofia, 8 June 2018 – Credit insurer Atradius opens branch office in Sofia to strengthen and protect Bulgarian businesses’ domestic and international trade.
In the course of its official branch opening in Bulgaria, Atradius organised an exclusive venue for executives of leading Bulgarian companies on 7 June. The well-attended event took place at the capital’s prestigious location “The Residence”. In his opening speech, Atradius Chief Market Officer, Andreas Tesch, highlighted the strategic significance of the Bulgarian market for the world’s second largest credit insurer and pointed out the importance of professional credit management in times of growing domestic and international turbulences.
With its new office in Sofia, Atradius aims to strengthen its strategic presence in the burgeoning Bulgarian market, with high GDP growth rates and steadily expanding exports, creating a substantial credit insurance market volume. By offering tailor-made solutions, Atradius protects businesses from payment defaults, thus enabling them to trade safely with their customers and explore new markets. Thanks to their international business intelligence network, the world’s second largest credit insurer provides substantiated ratings of clients’ buyers, in Bulgaria and around the world, thus contributing to professionalise and improve the credit management of Bulgarian businesses.
Increasingly risky business environment
In his inaugural speech, Andreas Tesch, Chief Market Officer of Atradius, gave a generally positive view of the current economic situation in Bulgaria, but at the same time warns of increasing domestic and international risks: “At first glance, macroeconomic data seems to be promising. GDP is expected to expand by 3.2 per cent this year”, Tesch said. “But”, he added, “this is only one side of the story. As Bulgarian companies are exporting more than 50 per cent of their goods and services, the dependence on the EU and other international export markets is significantly high.” Thus, the linkage between domestic company risks and international political and economic challenges is rather tight. “Mainly the steel and metal as well as the transport and textile sector could be affected negatively”, Tesch concluded.
Payment defaults may affect Bulgarian exporters
Atradius expects that exporters worldwide are facing an increasingly challenging political and economic environment throughout global markets. At the political sphere, a rise of protectionist measures is observable. Examples include Brexit, whose consequences are still difficult to predict with respect to EU trade, as well as the volatile and at times perplexing new trade tactics of the USA. General political instability is increasing worldwide, as reflected in war zones like Syria, but also in neighbouring Turkey where political developments are taking a toll on the economy.
Economic risks are growing
Speaking of economic risks, there is a continuous and considerable shift of trade flows in favour of China and other Asian emerging countries, which will accelerate in the future. Additionally, a rise of global debt levels, higher inflation and interest rates might weaken consumption and investment activities worldwide. Moreover, the international currency and commodity markets remain highly volatile, therefore causing additional risks for manufacturers due to speculation.
Domestic political and economic tensions remain
Political discontent in the country is still high and reflects issues concerning the labour market as well as social welfare, both of which remain unattended to by the government of Prime Minister Borisov. In addition, the construction sector is highly dependent on favourable financing, EU funds and a sufficient skilled labour force potential, which is becoming scarce in some areas. Furthermore, two of the country’s key export industries, machinery and metals, are highly vulnerable to commodity price shocks and constraints of foreign demand on key markets like Italy, Turkey and Greece
Reliable and competent partnerships required
“For a single business, it can be very tricky to avoid the aforementioned risks without good market information and industry expertise. With an experienced and skilled partner like Atradius, risk-exposed companies have access to a broad range of business intelligence and thus will be aware of potential risks in their domestic and foreign markets”, Tesch adds. Atradius provides deep business insights, a continuous company monitoring and serves as an expert risk navigator in an ever-changing business world.
Atradius is a global provider of credit insurance, surety and collection services, with a strategic presence in over 50 countries. The credit insurance, bond and collection products offered by Atradius protect companies around the world against the default risks associated with selling goods and services on credit. Atradius is a member of Grupo Catalana Occidente (GCO.MC), one of the largest insurers in Spain and one of the largest credit insurers in the world. You can find more information online at www.atradius.com
For further information please contact:
Niederlassung der Atradius Crédito y Caución S.A. de Seguros y Reaseguros
Phone: +49 (0) 221 2044 - 2210