Business Opportunities in Bulgaria

After joining the European Union in 2007, Bulgaria is on the radar screen of international firms for investments and business opportunities. The country enjoys political stability and financial forecasts point to economic growth in the near future. The Bulgarian government has introduced the lowest tax rates in the region – ten per cent rate both on personal income and on corporate income, which contributed to strong foreign investment inflows. The global financial crisis has slowed investment growth somewhat, particularly in the real estate and manufacturing sectors. Bulgaria has managed to avoid the global financial downturn through strict fiscal discipline.  As a result, the government  debt is one of the lowest in the EU.

Recently Bulgaria has signed a contract with Russia’s Gazprom to build a gas pipeline that will provide a direct gas delivery to Bulgaria and other European markets through the Black Sea, thus avoiding the problematic Ukraine. This will prevent potential gas supply disruptions like in the past.

In addition, U.S. companies such as  Hewlett -Packard, Microsoft, IBM, Starbucks, American Standard, AES, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola are expanding their business in Bulgaria. Due to its geographical location, Bulgaria is an excellent launching pad for sales into the European Union, Russia, Turkey and the Middle East.

EU membership will further solidify Bulgaria as a solid investment for major corporations.

Bulgaria is second in the world in the export of gold ore in 2012, according to analysis of the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA), prepared by the World Trade Organization. Last year Bulgaria exported precious metal ores and concentrates, other than silver, totaling 340 million. US dollars, which gives the country second in the world with a global market share of 10.8%.

Overall  Bulgaria export  is ranked 65th in the world for 2012, which is a rise of 4 places in the rankings to 2011 Although Bulgarian has no leading sectors of the economy to soar in the role of a world leader in exports for all sectors, the country presents itself quite well in terms of exports of niche products.

As Bulgaria is a world leader in the export of cereal grains, which are processed in another way (rolled or flaked), with 20.5% worldwide market share and exports for 2012, measured of 32.5 million. dollars. Second in the world in the export of sunflower seed, provisionally preserved cherries, duck and goose meat, seeds of coriander. Not less dignified third place in the world in the export of raw anode copper, soda ash and seats and covers for toilet seats, according to the analysis.

It turns out that in 2012 the Bulgarian out tops and seats for toilets of 31.03 million in total. us dollars. Wheat is the 12th most in demand by importers in the world (exports worth 627 million dollars and have 1.4% global market share). Total exports of cereals for over $ 1 billion. dollars.

The refined cathode copper is ranked 13th in the world (with a share of 2.5% and exports worth 1.6 billion dollars). Exports of Bulgarian tobacco ranks 18th place in the world with a market share of 1.4%. It turns out that 84% of the native cigarettes for export leave to Iraq. The second interest in the native tobacco ranks Montenegro. The export of Bulgarian electricity was 17-a place in the world with 1.3% market share.

Bulgaria’s competitiveness continues to improve this year as the country moved up 5 places to the 57th position out of 147 countries in the prestigious “The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014” ranking. The information was released by the Sofia-based Centre of Economic Development, the partner of the World Economic Forum.

By a maximum value of 7, the competitiveness index of Bulgaria rose from 4.27 in 2012 to 4.31 this year. With this result, Bulgaria is ahead of several EU member states, such as Cyprus, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania , Slovakia and Greece. The last was only ranked as 91th.

The index is based on 12 factors affecting the competitiveness. These are: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency , efficiency of the labor market , financial markets, market size, technological readiness, level of business development and  innovation.

To a large extent, this year’s good position is attributable to Bulgaria’s macroeconomic stability, in which Bulgaria occupies the 30th place among the 148 countries, due to a good performance of the national debt, low deficit, the 23.2% of national savings, the low inflation ( 2.4%) and others.

The other factor in which the country has performed very well is technological readiness. Here Bulgaria ranks 44th as compared to the 52th place last year, thanks to the high number of Internet users and broadband.

Financial Data of Bulgaria