The republic of Bulgaria is a country in Southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the North, Serbia and Macedonia to the West, Greece and Turkey to the South, and the Black Sea to the East. With a territory of 110, 994 square kilometers, Bulgaria is Europe’s 16th largest country.
Bulgaria’s population is 7,3 million. Most commercial and cultural activities are centered in the capital and largest city Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering and agriculture, all of which rely on local natural resources. The country’s current political structure dates to the adoption of a democratic constitution in 1991, Bulgaria is a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative and economic centralization. It is a member of the European union, NATO, the Council of Europe, a Founding state for security and co-operation in Europe( OSCE) and has taken a seat at the UN Security Counsil three times.
Economic profile of Bulgaria
General Macroeconomic Information
Among the well developed industry sectors are energetic, mechanical engineering, food processing, production of construction materials, chemical industry and pharmaceutics, metallurgy, wood manufacturing and furniture etc. Bulgaria hosts Europe’s biggest synthetic soda ash plant and the biggest oil refinery on the Balkans. Bulgaria is among the top15 producers of buffalo and sheep milk in the world.
- IT sector in Bulgaria is one of the most developed. The Annual Broadband Study by Cisco( 2010) ranked Bulgaria 5th in the world and 3rd in Europe in terms of internet speed. A more recent study by Pando Networks shows that Bulgaria ranks third in the world in terms of fastest internet connection( 1,611 Kbps download speed). We hold 3rd place in Europe and 10th position worldwide regarding the absolute number of certified ICT professionals. They have also established strong NGOs in the IT sector. Among the more famous IT companies operating in Bulgaria are: CSC, CISCO, Johnson Control, Microsoft, SAP, VMware, Telerik, Melon, Orange, IBM, HP.
- Electrical Engineering and Electronics Sector is producing a wide range of items: world class batteries for yachts, airplanes, helicopters, military applications, high performance transformers for the needs of the electric power industry; high end energy saving sensors for various applications in different industries ranging from food and beverage production to agriculture equipment.
- Mechanical engineering sector has long established traditions and experience. Among the advantages are : the availability of qualified assembly workforce at affordable cost (more than 205 000 people working in the sector); location close to Central Eastern automotive clusters; vibrant mix of international and local companies with successful operations in this field in BG. Customers of Bulgarian mechanical engineering sector are companies like BMW, Renault, Peugeot, Ford, Audi. For example, one of the plant in our country produces engine heads for the whole series Q of Audi. A successful example in this area is the Automobile manufacturing plant established by Litex Motors Corporation and the Chinese Great Wall Motor Co Ltd. which started operation in 2012 with a capacity of 50 000 automobiles per annum.
- Agricultural and food processing are key sectors in the Bulgarian economy and Bulgaria has strong traditions in these sectors. Almost 50% of the territory of the country is agricultural land. We have significant foreign investments in sectors such as confectionery, dairy and beverages. Among the products are: wines, beer, yogurt and dairy products; poultry; meet processing; chocolate and confectionery. Some of the most famous worldwide brands have factories in the country. Bulgaria has developed production of bottled water and beverages (juices, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages). For 2011 the country has exported more than 10mill liters of drinking mineral water.
- Chemistry and related industries are well developed. Bulgaria exports chemical products to many markets across five continents and is a leader in the manufacture of chemical products such as soda ash, phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizers and mechanical products. In Bulgaria is situated the biggest soda ash plant in Europe and the largest oil refinery in the Balkans. One of the glassware factories hosts the biggest glass furnace on the Balkans. Its customers include IKEA, Coca Cola, Tesco, Walmart and others. The factory manufactures processed glass for Indesit, Bosch, Electrolux, etc. The country is also producing fertilizers, pesticides, acids, oil refinery, lubricants for automotive, but also machinery and military use, production of synthetic fibers, rubber and plastic products, paper and paper products, explosives etc.
- Tourism sector in Bulgaria is accounting for a significant part of the economy and is growing in the past years. This makes Bulgaria one of the most visited tourist destination in South Eastern Europe. There are 142 official resorts in the country, 58 of them are SPA, 56- mountain and 28- sea resorts.
The most popular of the sea resorts are : Sunny Beach, Golden sands, Nessebar, Sozopol, Sveti Vlas, Lozenec, Ravda, Balchic, Albena and many more. All of them offer unique sandy beaches, beautiful nature and perfect places for relax and entertainment.
The best ski destinations in Bulgaria that offers excellent conditions for ski sports are Bansko, Borovec and Pamporovo.
BULGARIA: YOUR SUCCESS STORY
(in a glimpse)
- 0% corporate tax for investment in areas with high unemployment rate
- 10% corporate income tax
- 10% personal income tax
- 20% VAT
- 42, 009 billion euro GDP
- 1,3 bilion euro FDI inflow for 2014
- -1,6% HICP inflation rate
- 424 EUR average monthly salary
- -2,8 budget deficit
- 1,7 real GDP growth
- 11,4 unemployment rate
- 53 universities, colleges and higher schools
- 45,5 % of the population speaks at least one foreign language
- 7% of the population holds an engineering degree
- 3,37 million labour force
14 REASONS TO INVEST IN BULGARIA
- Political and economic stability
- EU and NATO member
- Currency board
- The most competitive business costs in the EU:
- Low tax rates
- Low business costs
- One of the most competitive labour costs in the EU
- Strategic geographic location
- Offers direct access to global markets like : EU, EFTA, The Middle East and CIS
- 5 Pan-European transport corridors
- Stable economic recovery
- Equal treatment of foreign and Bulgarian investors
- Developed and developing industrial zones
- Skilled and highly qualified workforce
- Bulgaria is the best outsourcing destination in Europe, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s rating for 2015
- Bulgaria had the highest level of broadband adoption in Q4 2014 according to Akamai’s Q4 2014 Report
- Fiscal discipline