30 November 2011, Sofia - Bulgarian pharmaceutical companies are optimistic about the development of their sector in 2012 while holding a moderate view on the outlook for the country's overall economic environment, a survey conducted by Colliers International in Bulgaria indicated. Additionally, the companies reported that when choosing office space they remain focused on key fundamentals such as location, cost and parking, with issues such as sustainability currently very low down the list of priorities.

The property consultancy's inaugural Pharmaceutical Sentiment Survey was carried out among 80 leading local companies from the sector. More than half of the polled companies said their outlook for the local pharmaceutical sector in 2012 is positive compared to 2011, and nearly 60% of the respondents expect modest growth in the industry over the next two to three years. The overall economic outlook is less positive, with only 38% of respondents reporting a positive outlook for the Bulgarian economy in 2012 compared to this year.

The survey findings highlight an intense level of market competition for customers, in what is still a tough economic environment. This, coupled with a lack of a clear health sector policy at government level, is the key challenge facing the local pharmaceutical industry.

Nearly two thirds of the polled companies see Bulgaria as a good destination for investment in research and development. However, they note that weak intellectual property protection laws, the unstable economic environment and the dearth of qualified personnel are still key obstacles to such investment activity.
The survey results also highlight the priorities of pharmaceutical companies when selecting office space. The leading criteria for office space include location, cost and parking facilities, with the sustainability of the building only an issue for 24% of respondents.