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National emblem of Republic BULGARIA



NEST Agency - Invest in Bulgaria - Your Strong Partner for Bulgaria
The business location Bulgaria is very profitable for international investors. Optimal access to the grwoth markets auf Eastern and Southeastern Europe, a highly educated and motivated workforce, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a high-tech environment go without saying in Bulgaria.

Moderate corporate taxation, attractive research incentives and efficient public services make the framework for the economic success of companies.

Social and economic stabilit, combined with high test quality of life, make Bulgaria the ideal location for your investment.

  Productivity & Quality
  Business Subsidies 
  Quality of life
  Bulgaria: East - West business interface 
  Bulgaria in the EC
  High level of employment
  In Bulgaria you can feel secure
  Social security
  Bulgaria Facts
  Frequently asked Questions

Productivity & Quality
The level of industrial productivity in Bulgaria has historically been high, and is now on a par with that of Germany. Bulgarian industry has succeeded in posting higher productivity gains than Germany in recent decades.
Bulgaria’s educational system is numbered among one of the best in the world – and it is largely oriented toward the needs of the business world. Serving this end are a practice-oriented educational system for skilled workers, a diversity of vocational schools and a close cooperation between institutes of higher education and the business community – all unique in the world.
One of Bulgaria’s foremost attractions as a business location is its business-friendly tax system. Profits are taxed with a standard tax rate of 10 percent - a strong showing even in comparison to the older and the new EU member states.
Business Subsidies
Bulgaria offers foreign investors a wide range of subsidies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research and development, company start-ups, investment and new technology. These extend from cash grants and preferential rates of interest through to the provision of guarantees. These exceptionally generous provisions enable companies to take up support programs tailored to their specific requirements.

Priorities for business support

Support of research and development activities;
Strengthening of the competitiveness of SMEs;
Improvements in regional structures;
Promotion of environmental protection;
Promotion of training and staff development.

Bulgaria is not just the geographical heart of the New Europe – it’s also assuming a central position in the eyes of many international concerns as a distribution center and logistical hub between West and East. The premise for more dynamic economic space is a good functioned infrastructure. On the Telecommunication sector is Bulgaria, compared to the other CEEC at the top places. Modern Cable networks and High speed data transmitting connect the whole country. The modern Energy guarantee the supply with electricity, oil and in the future with gas on the whole territory.
Quality of life
Culture, environmental quality, high living standards, security, classic dwellings and shopping - Bulgaria has it all and more, when it comes to everyday quality of life.
Bulgaria: East - West business interface
Bulgaria’s central geographical position provides ideal access to the emerging markets of Russia, Central & Eastern Europe and Asia. The modern highways and freeways, and dense network of air routes mean that all areas of West, Central & Eastern Europe are quickly reachable from Bulgaria.
Thanks to Bulgaria’s membership in the European Union, not only can all the benefits of the single market be exploited, but the country’s role as a crossroads between North and South, East and West provides strategic advantages for companies involved in international trade. Experienced Bulgarian freight forwarding companies, and excellent transportation links via road, rail, inland waterway and air ensure good logistics.

Apart from its ideal geographical location, Bulgaria has the additional advantage that it serves as a center for a large number of service companies with outstanding Central & East European know-how.

And the Bulgarian banking sector is also exceptionally familiar with the region. The banks‘ financial experts have a great deal of in-depth knowledge of the markets in question, and they have built up strong networks of branches throughout the transitional countries.

Bulgaria’s economic, social and political stability is a further significant advantage.The low crime rate and the high security of justice is very attractive to foreign investors.

Because of all these advantages over one thousand transnational companies have opted for Austria as a business location, and use it as a base to coordinate their Central & Eastern European operations. Renowned concerns have set up East-West headquarters in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria in the EC
Since January, 1, 2007 is Bulgaria Member of EU- the world’s richest domestic market.

The European Union – with more than 372 Million consumers – is the world’s largest market. And as an EU member, Bulgaria offers full access to this rich market.

High level of employment
Bulgaria´s economic stability is one reason for the high employment rate. Not only within the EU - but worldwide, Bulgaria has gained a top position when unemployment rates are concerned
In Bulgaria you can feel secure
When it comes to security of persons and property, Bulgaria is your place for investment and leisure.
Social security
Bulgaria’s good industrial relations stem from the social partnership system, established after the changes, under which problems are settled by negotiation. Agreements negotiated "around the table" by representatives of labor and industry (the government, the trade unions, KNSB and Podkrepa, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey

Area total: 110,879 sq km
land: 108,489 sq km
water: 2,390 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 km

Coastline: 354 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Climate: temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain: mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m

Natural resources: bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land

7,204,687 (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Age structure:
0-14 years: 13.8% (male 509,544/female 484,816)
15-64 years: 68.5% (male 2,426,060/female 2,508,772)
65 years and over: 17.7% (male 518,711/female 756,784) (2009 est.)

Median age:
total: 41.4 years
male: 39.2 years
female: 43.6 years (2009 est.)

Population growth rate:
-0.79% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 232

Birth rate:
9.51 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205

Death rate:
14.31 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22

Net migration rate:
-3.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 150

urban population: 71% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: -0.3% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 17.87 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.28 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.25 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.09 years
male: 69.48 years
female: 76.91 years

Ethnic groups:
Bulgarian 83.9%, Turk 9.4%, Roma 4.7%, other 2% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian)

Bulgarian Orthodox 82.6%, Muslim 12.2%, other Christian 1.2%, other 4%

Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)

Country name: Republic of Bulgaria
conventional short form: Bulgaria

Government type:
parliamentary democracy

Capital: Sofia

Administrative divisions:
28 provinces (oblasti, singular - oblast); Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Khaskovo, Kurdzhali, Kyustendil, Lovech, Montana, Pazardzhik, Pernik, Pleven, Plovdiv, Razgrad, Ruse, Shumen, Silistra, Sliven, Smolyan, Sofiya, Sofiya-Grad, Stara Zagora, Turgovishte, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Vidin, Vratsa, Yambol

Independence: 3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire); 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday: Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)

Legal system: civil and criminal law based on Roman law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Georgi PARVANOV (since 22 January 2002); Vice President Angel MARIN (since 22 January 2002)
head of government: Prime Minister Boiko BORISOV (since July 2009);

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 22 and 29 October 2006 (next to be held in 2011); chairman of the Council of Ministers (prime minister) elected by the National Assembly; deputy prime ministers nominated by the prime minister and elected by the National Assembly

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Narodno Sabranie (240 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 5 July 2009 (next to be held mid-2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - GERB 39.7%, BSP 17.7%, MRF 14.4%, ATAKA 9.4%, Blue Coalition 6.8%, RZS 4.1%, other 7.9%; seats by party - GERB 116, BSP 40, MRF 38, ATAKA 21, Blue Coalition 15, RZS 10

Judicial branch:
independent judiciary comprised of judges, prosecutors and investigating magistrates who are appointed, promoted, demoted, and dismissed by a 25-member Supreme Judicial Council (consists of the chairmen of the two Supreme Courts, the Chief Prosecutor, and 22 members, half of whom are elected by the National Assembly and the other half by the bodies of the judiciary for a 5-year term in office); three levels of case review; 182 courts of which two Supreme Courts act as the last instance on civil and criminal cases (the Supreme Court of Cassation) and appeals of government decisions (the Supreme Administrative Court)

Political parties and leaders:
ATAKA (Attack Coalition) (coalition of parties headed by the Attack National Union); Attack National Union [Volen SIDEROV]; Agrarian National Union or ANU [Stefan LICHEV]; Blue Coalition (a coalition of center-right parties dominated by UDF and DSB); Bulgarian New Democracy [Borislav RALCHEV]; Bulgarian Socialist Party or BSP [Sergei STANISHEV]; Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria or GERB [Tsvetan TSVETANOV]; Coalition for Bulgaria or CfB (coalition of parties dominated by BSP) [Sergei STANISHEV]; Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria or DSB [Ivan KOSTOV]; Gergyovden [Petar STOYANOVICH]; Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization or IMRO [Krasimir KARAKACHANOV]; Liberal Initiative for Democratic European Development or LIDER [Khristo KOVACHKI]; Movement for Rights and Freedoms or MRF [Ahmed DOGAN]; Movement Forward (LIDER, IMRO, ANU, Gergyovden); National Movement for Stability and Progress or NDSV [Simeon SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA] (formerly National Movement Simeon II or NMS2); New Time [Emil KOSHLUKOV]; Order, Law, Justice or RZS [Yane YANEV]; Union of Democratic Forces or UDF [Martin DIMITROV]; Union of Free Democrats or UFD [Stefan SOFIYANSKI]; United Agrarians [Anastasia MOZER]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria or CITUB; Podkrepa Labor Confederation
other: numerous regional, ethnic, and national interest groups with various agendas

Economy - overview:
Bulgaria, a former Communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, has experienced strong growth since a major economic downturn in 1996. Successive governments have demonstrated a commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but have failed so far to rein in rising inflation and large current account deficits. Bulgaria has averaged more than 6% growth since 2004, attracting significant amounts of foreign direct investment, but corruption in the public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime remain significant challenges.

GDP (purchasing power parity): $93.78 billion (2008)
country comparison to the world: 68
$88.48 billion (2007)
$83.31 billion (2006)

GDP (official exchange rate): $49.43 billion (2008)

GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2008) country comparison to the world: 57
6.2% (2007)
6.3% (2006)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$12,900 (2008 )
country comparison to the world: 86
$12,100 (2007 est.)
$11,300 (2006 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4.6%
industry: 28.7%
services: 66.7% (2008 est.)

Labor force:
2.44 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 107

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 7.5%
industry: 35.5%
services: 57% (2007)

Unemployment rate:
6.3% (2008)
7.7% (2007 est.)

Agriculture - products:
vegetables, fruits, tobacco, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets; livestock

electricity, gas, water; food, beverages, tobacco; machinery and equipment, base metals, chemical products, coke, refined petroleum, nuclear fuel

Industrial production growth rate: 3.9% (2008)
country comparison to the world: 89

Exports - commodities: clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels

Exports - partners: Turkey 11.5%, Germany 10.3%, Italy 10.2%, Greece 9.1%, Belgium 6.2%, Romania 4.9% (2007)

Imports: $35.3 billion f.o.b. (2008)
country comparison to the world: 60

Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; fuels, minerals, and raw materials

Imports - partners: Russia 12.3%, Germany 12.3%, Italy 8.7%, Ukraine 7.2%, Turkey 6.9%, Greece 6.2%, Romania 4.5%, Austria 4.3% (2007)

Exchange rates:

leva (BGN) per EURO - 1,95583 fix since 1997
leva (BGN) per US dollar - 1,4121 (2009 est.)
, 1.3171 (2008), 1.4366 (2007), 1.5576 (2006), 1.5741 (2005), 1.5751 (2004)

Communications Telephones - main lines in use: 2.3 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 56

Telephones - mobile cellular: 9.897 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 55

Telephone system:
General assessment: an extensive but antiquated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; quality has improved; the Bulgaria Telecommunications Company's fixed-line monopoly terminated in 2005 when alternative fixed-line operators were given access to its network; a drop in fixed-line connections in recent years has been more than offset by a sharp increase in mobile-cellular telephone use fostered by multiple service providers; the number of cellular telephone subscriptions now exceeds the population
domestic: a fairly modern digital cable trunk line now connects switching centers in most of the regions; the others are connected by digital microwave radio relay
international: country code - 359; submarine cable provides connectivity to Ukraine and Russia; a combination submarine cable and land fiber-optic system provides connectivity to Italy, Albania, and Macedonia; satellite earth stations - 3 (1 Intersputnik in the Atlantic Ocean region, 2 Intelsat in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2007)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 31, FM 63, shortwave 2 (2001)

Television broadcast stations: 39 (plus 1,242 repeaters) (2001)

Internet country code: .bg

Internet hosts: 513,470 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 47

Internet users: 1.899 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 65

Did you know? Facts about the business location Bulgaria
Here we answer the most frequently asked questions about Bulgaria as a business location
1. Bulgaria as a business location?  
3. Why is Bulgaria the ideal location when targeting European markets, and especialy CEE?
4. Bulgaria is said to be rather bureaucratic. Can companies be successful here?

Q: Why should a company choose Bulgaria as a business location?
A: Here are the top 5 reasons for locating in Bulgaria
High qualification und motivation of workforce
Only 10 % corporate tax, no trade tax, no property tax
Efficient Research & Development incentives
EU member state and best connections to West, Central and Eastern Europe
Lowest strike rate, high stability   

Bulgaria is well known for its scenery and cultural highlights. Is it also a good place to do business?
As a business location Bulgaria offers may advantages like attractive conditions for companies complete overhaul of public system
80% of facility approval procedures within 3 months above the average purchasing power of Bulgarian consumers central location

Bulgaria is a member of the European Union since 1.1.2007 close ties to the growth markets in Central and Eastern Europe. The productivity after some changes is highest productivity growth in Europe for decades education practical training in technical and business education. Highest level of graduates from secondary education worldwide. Tax benefits moderate corporate tax rate efficient system of R&D incentives. Security political and social stability availability of highly qualified workforce despite low level of unemployed stable currency lowest strike rate in European Union

Q: Why is Bulgaria the ideal location when targeting West and East European Market?
A: Traditional European Market know how of Bulgaria service providers:
banks, management consultants and tax advisors benefit from wide-ranging contacts and competencies in East-West business, knowing exactly "who, how and with whom." highly developed infrastructure. A high-quality transportation and telecommunications infrastructure also support the rapid transfer of goods and information motivation.
  Bulgaria workers are not only among the best educated and highly motivated.
  Stability - almost no strikes and high personal security
  Bulgaria offers a stable home base for business in unknown markets
  affordable office space - in a comparison of European capitals Sofia is among the cheapest regarding office rents.
  neutral status
  quality of life
  peak performance can only be produced when your employees feel comfortable in their surroundings.    

Q: Bulgaria is said to be rather bureaucratic. Can companies be successful here?
A: Several reforms have entered into force during the last years, making Bulgaria even more attractive as a business location.

Moreover, Bulgaria became e-government champion - a clear-cut demonstration of the business-friendly and customer-oriented approach taken by Bulgaria’s public authorities. E-Government results in decisive competitive advantages for the business community.

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