In an Argophilia Travel News spotlight on people who initiate change and progress in Eastern Europe today the light shines on Bulgaria and a fascinating personality. Grisha Ganchev is an almost legendary figure in Bulgaria, for his wrestling prowess and for his willingness to tackle business problems. A particular case in point being his endeavors to bring investment and industry to his countrymen.
Not many realize just how huge the market in the European Union is for automobiles, but Grisha Ganchev and his Chinese partners do. Bulgaria is in the news a good bit relating to the negativity spawned by the most recent economic crisis. Together with Romania, these two Black Sea countries may be the most “beaten up” over bad economies outside Greece.
None of that hype seems to matter for Ganchev though, except his countrymen not having jobs, that is. Together with industry knowhow and investment by Great Wall Motors, a brand new auto plant outside the picturesque village of Bahovitsa is for many, a dream come true.
€100 million is no paltry sum of confidence where manufacturing Chinese automobiles, and on the European continent is concerned in particular. But the advantages for Bulgaria, besides the pride of making 50,000 automobiles, will come from the more than 1200 jobs this new factory will provide. Almost overnight, if you can imagine, a remote village is being transformed into a potentially thriving regional hub. Ganchev’s outreach to the Chinese, and his holding company Litex’s commitment here, is significant. For a Chinese auto maker, even without substantial investment euro involved, this market engagement is a bold move too.
Chinese companies have been on the move in Eastern Europe for some times now. Mostly on the QT actually, but this interjection into the so called “low end” Balkans market for automobiles, while risky, has the mark of brilliance to it. Even if the PR machines do not do their homework, people in these regions understand the score. Buying locally made cars will help the whole of Southeastern Europe, not even taking into account that Great Wall makes decent low end cars cheaply.
As for Grisha Ganchev, his companies are into everything from travel to – well, obviously auto making now. We took special note of Litex’s slogan; “Our Way Is For The Benefit Of All.” Not your customary corporate jargon to be sure. The positives in Ganchev’s deals somehow seem to always outweigh the negatives, who know’s he could be the “real deal” where building a new Eastern Europe is concerned?
As for the Bulgarian government’s support of these engagements, Julian Nikolov, director of economic policy at the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism, suggested his country is an attractive partner because of EU membership, but that low taxes and labor costs were other determining factors. Regardless of Ganchev’s reputation in other sectors, his businesses benefit the people of Bulgaria.
“We are actively attracting Chinese investment, it’s one of our priorities.”
For more information about this area of Bulgaria, please go to the Visit Bulgaria website. For hotels and accommodations in the town, you might also visit the BgStay site. To read more and learn about the many companies of Mr. Ganchev a good start is looking through the page of the Litex main site.