EC Project of The Association Of Economic Development Of The Commercial, Business And Industrial Enterprises in Bulgaria
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MUNICIPALITY GABROVO
Dear Sirs,

The crossroad is the middle, where they collect from all directions. From them we start out to reach ours..

There are many the provocations and perspectives in front of the founder of the city Racho Kovatsha, when he has chosen the place for his occupation and smithy to meet the eternally travelers of the world...

Mr. Bogomil Belchev - mayor of Gabrovo
 
Mr. Eng. Bogomil Belchev - mayor of Gabrovo

Picture of the town Gabrovo

LOCATION
Gabrovo is situated in the north central foothills of the Stara Planina mountain range.
The geographic center of Bulgaria is located within the area of the municipality.
Gabrovo has relatively short distances to major Bulgarian destinations:
• Sofia – the Capital of Bulgaria 220 km
• Port Varna on the Black Sea 274 km
• Port Bourgas south of Varna on the Black Sea 234 km
• Russe - Danube River port and cross-border to Romania 151 km
• Gorna Oryahovitsa Airport 60 km
• Capitan Andreevo - main border to Turkey 194 km
• Kulata - main border to Greece 404 km
• Calotina – main border to Serbia 278 km
The municipality of Gabrovo is the largest metro area within the region of Gabrovo

Gabrovo Municipality
POPULATION - Demographic Profile.
The negative trends in the development of demographic processes lead to changes in the population age structure. The process of aging goes further on and it has influence on the formation of the labor potential in the region and most of all on its reproduction. The labor-active population decreases and the population over labor-active age increases.
As a whole Bulgaria has negative net increase, which also characterizes the municipality of Gabrovo.
2. Profile of the unemployment.
According to the information of the Labor Bureau – Gabrovo at the end of 2004 the registered percent of the unemployed is 5,59%.
 
The founder of the City Gabrovo

CLIMATE, WATER AND NATURAL RESOURCES
The climate of the region is temperate continental with cold winters and comparatively warm summers. This climate is suitable for winter tourism. Falls are typically continental.
Prevailing winds are from North and Northwest.
Sun days - high annual prolongation of sunshine.
The average annual temperature is about 10 degrees C.
Snow holds up at the high mountainous areas for about 110 days.
Gabrovo municipality is rich in good and efficient water sources. There are some rivers running through the district's territory. Their flow is mostly used for irrigation and industrial needs.
Hristo Smirnenski Dam is situated to the southwest of Gabrovo. It is the main source of drinking water for the town.
The large diversity of relief, soil and climatic conditions within the territory of Gabrovo municipality has created potential for development of a great variety of vegetable species. The forests consist mainly of deciduous and mixed tree and bush areas. Besides being a natural factor for cleaning the atmosphere, the woods shelter small and big game.
One of the three Forestry Boards, which are functioning within Gabrovo District, is situated in the village of Todorcheta, Gabrovo municipality and it offers excellent hunting conditions.

There is a large variety of soils in Gabrovo municipality. The light gray soils prevail in the high mountain areas and the dark gray and brown ones - in the lower hilly areas.

INDUSTRY AND PLANT LOCATIONS - LEADING BRANCHES IN GABROVO MUNICIPALITY - PAST AND PRESENT /INDUSTRIAL STRUCTURE/
Despite the considerable decrease in the volume of production compared to 1990, the traditionally developed branches in Gabrovo municipality - textile and knitwear production, leather and shoe industry, and machine engineering - still hold a large share in the region's production.
Main industrial branches are:
ELECTRONIC MACHINE ENGINEERING, ELECTRICAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, FINE MACHINERY AND GOODS
PRODUCTION OF GOODS FROM NON-METAL MINERAL RESOURCES
TEXTILE, KNITWEAR, CLOTHING, DRESS-MAKING PRODUCTS
LEATHER PROCESSING, LEATHER GOODS, SHOES AND FANCY GOODS
PLASTIC GOODS PRODUCTION

ELECTRONIC MACHINE ENGINEERING, ELECTRICAL MACHINERY
AND EQUIPMENT, FINE MACHINERY AND GOODS

Machine engineering is one of the leading sectors in the municipality. In 2000 it was credited with 43% of the country's net sales revenues and is represented by large, medium-size and small businesses.

TOOLS MANUFACTURING - Gabrovo is one of the leading towns in the country with regards to tool production. Along with CERATIZIT JSC, which is the biggest metal-cutting instrument plant in the country, a large number of small and medium companies have been established in recent years. Together with the tooling departments of the former military plants they are capable of producing all kinds of high-quality products. Part of them has adopted the ISO 9001 quality management system. The most outstanding representatives of this sector are CERATIZIT JSC, REZBONAREZNI INSTRUMENTI LTD. (thread-cutting instruments), SIE ENGINEERING JSC, SIM JSC-GABROVO etc. Some of the start-up businesses like TECHNOLES LTD.-GABROVO are also worth mentioning because of their rapid development.

HOISTING MACHINES PRODUCTION - Electric hoists made in Gabrovo are being used on five continents. The town is famous as an electric hoist-engineering center. Although the volume of its production has decreased considerably in recent years, PODEMCRANE JSC-GABROVO is still one of the leading European plants producing regular and special electric hoists. Trans-pallet trolleys and other elevating lifts are also produced in Gabrovo by TEXTILMASH JSC.

INSTRUMENT ENGINEERING - Having once been the center of munitions production, Gabrovo district has excellent technological conditions for producing fine instruments and parts. A large number of time-circuits, staircase automatic machines and medical instruments are produced here by IMPULS JSC and GAMA PROJECT JSC, as well as various sensors by STS ELECTRONICS LTD., ZGPU LTD., APRONEX LTD.-GABROVO, plotters by ZGPU JSC -GABROVO and other parts used in assembling end products.

ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT - This industry is developed in Gabrovo - supersonic plating and pickling baths, high-frequency generators and thyristor converters, induction heating furnaces, etc. (MEHATRONICA JSC, PROMISHLENA ELECTRONIKA ENGINEERING LTD, DIMOV PRIVATE MERCHANT, etc. in GABROVO).

OTHER PRODUCTS - Along with the above-mentioned products, the economy of Gabrovo is characterized by some other industries too, namely: effective yarn manufacturing machinery (TEXTILMASH JSC, KARDENATEXT LTD-GABROVO), automatic embroidering machines (KOMTEXT LTD, KOMELECT LTD, etc.), textile machine parts (SD PRECIZ-SK-GABROVO), wood-processing machinery (SIM JSC-GABROVO), fence wire production machines (TESPOM JSC -GABROVO) etc.

PRODUCTION OF GOODS FROM NON-METAL MINERAL RESOURCES

Another important industry is the production of glass based goods- mirrors veiling, wadding ropes and glass fibre (SIMAT JSC-GABROVO).

TEXTILE, KNITWEAR, CLOTHING, DRESS-MAKING PRODUCTS

Cotton and wool fabrics’ production - Traditionally, the textile industry is typical for Gabrovo. Over the past 13 years there has been a considerable decrease in cotton and wool fabrics production due to a number of factors, such as change of ownership, decrease of the agricultural resource production, unfair competition by importers, etc. (MAK JSC – GABROVO)

Underwear and knitwear production - Together with the already established companies both on the Bulgarian and on the international market -, BURIA JSC and KARTAL JSC-GABROVO / underwear, knitted outer garments and track suits /, there are many small and medium-sized companies of up to 50 employees which are involved in the same type of production.

Overcoat and work clothes, everyday dressmaking products - The newly founded small and medium-sized companies have greatly increased the amount of their production over the past few years. A large part of them use materials supplied by their customers. Many of the world -famous Gabrovian companies are experiencing rapid growth; for instance OZEX LTD (men's trousers), ZALLI LTD (Investments of Calzedonia group – Italy), CREATIONS LTD.(Investments from UK), VEGEYA JSC (men's shirts and working clothes), ERIDAN ² LTD (working clothes), VITEX LTD (women's clothing and working clothes), DANIELA VALEVA LTD (household linen) etc.

LEATHER PROCESSING, LEATHER GOODS, SHOES AND FANCY GOODS

The leather and shoe industries are also traditional for Gabrovo. In spite of some non-favorable circumstances this branch is still one of the most important in the region. Along with such long established leather processing companies such as LAV JSC-GABROVO and RECORD JSC, a score of new businesses were set up: FULMAX LTD, DER-GA-MAX LTD., TECHI-GROZDAN STOYANOV PRIVATE MERCHANT, MERCURY PARTNERSHIP, SHPITZ LTD, FLEX-01 LTD-GABROVO, etc.(shoe production). Fancy goods production is new for the region, represented by LOTOS-GH-GALINA HAJINIKIFOROVA PRIVATE MERCHANT, PRINCE -91-SERGEY GUILIN PRIVATE MERCHANT, FULMAX JSC (production of a variety of fancy goods-men's and women's handbags, belts, etc.).

PLASTIC GOODS PRODUCTION

The biggest plastic goods plant on the Balkan peninsula -KAPITAN DIADO NIKOLA JSC -is in Gabrovo. Water pipes and fittings, everyday life goods and disposable packages are produced there. Besides this plant, there are 53 other companies in Gabrovo and nearest municipalities of the region whose main activity is plastic processing. Some companies located in Gabrovo are developing rapidly and are beginning to play an important role in the field. PLASTFORM LTD and TERRAHIM-97 LTD (pre-forms and mineral water bottles, carbonated drinks, pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging), SARGE LTD and AQUAPLAST LTD (water pipes and parts), ALFRIDA PEEV LTD (cosmetics and medicine packaging), etc.

NEW HI-TECH PRODUCTIONS AND SERVICES

New productions - The development of Gabrovo municipality over the past 13 years is characterized by changes in the branch and product structure. Besides the above-mentioned industries some absolutely new industries have been introduced in the region. First, this is the cosmetic product manufacturing (toothpaste, hair dyes, shampoos, detergents, etc.) by STS HOLDING GROUP LTD-GABROVO. For a very short time the company has become the biggest manufacturer of toothpaste in Bulgaria and according to the company's statistics research the company manufactures about 100 million toothpaste annually. Chocolate goods production is also not typical for the region but the products of STANCHO KOLEFF LTD-GABROVO are already known on five continents and equal in quality those of world leaders in the branch.

Hi-tech productions and services - The Technical University in Gabrovo training highly qualified workforce and the traditions in the research field are the basis for the development of hi-tech businesses and productions. The volume of production in that field is not outstanding but it is constantly growing and is indicative of the development tendencies in the region. A typical representative of these new companies is AMK LTD (drive and control equipment), which is a branch of the German AMK (a company specialized in the manufacturing of modern machinery and equipment control). The computer companies once trade companies and dealers of foreign IT businesses, they have turned into producers of applied software, computer networks and systems, PC design, etc. STEMO LTD is the leading PC company in Gabrovo; it is even of national importance in the branch and among the top 10 businesses in the region by net sales revenues. It has five branches in Bulgaria. LIREX COMPUTERS JSC and EDA LTD are among the prominent ones too.


RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES
Uzana is a picturesque recreational area situated in the high-mountains within 22 kilometers of Gabrovo City. The geographical center of Bulgaria is also located in this area as well as the largest open clearing of Stara Planina’s mountain range. In the winter Uzana is a place of attraction for the winter sports fans, in the summer - horseback-riding, mountain-climbing, etc. Hotels, holiday houses and chalets are available and offer their guests a full range of facilities and services including ski equipment storage. Ski lifts and cross-country ski trails are available in the area.

UZANA


Winter Stilllife in Lyulatsite
Lyulatsite is a picturesque site situated on a hill with awesome sheer cliffs overgrown with lilac-shrubs, within 15 kilometers of Gabrovo City. The Lyulatsite Health Resort offers very good opportunities for recreation during the whole year.
LYULATSITE
 

Gradishte site is situated only within 3 kilometers of Gabrovo city and is suitable for family recreation in a natural surrounding. Remains of an early Byzantine fortress were discovered in Gradishte. The walk could be combined with a visit to the Zoo and the Planetarium.

GRADISHTE

GRADISHTE


Bulgarka Natural Park
Direction Bulgarka Natural Park
Gabrovo, 1, Mimzuhar Str.
Phone: +359 66 808 857
E -Mail: dppbulgarka@nug.bg;
http://ppbulgarka.nug.bg/ 
Bulgarka Natural Park
Bulgarka Natural Park is located on the north slopes of Central Stara planina mountain, above the towns of Gabrovo and Tryavna. Its area is caracterized with diverse relief and ground forms: real mountains; river valleys; hills; saddles ridge rakenessnes. Its central position in Bulgaria and the specific of both relief and climate have been attracting peoples' attention since ancient times. The historical datum show that strategically important roads had run trough these places and have connected North to South, and the ridge of Stara planina mountain was considered as natural frontier. This determines the very rich historical heritage of the region.
The specific character of the mountain, the transition from the high central Balkan, more ductile round forms of Eastern Stara planina mountain and the related natural landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, rich cultural heritage were the reasons to be established Bulgarka Natural park.
Bulgarka Natural park was established on 09.08.2002 under order ¹WD-775, by Ministry of environment and water. Its aim is to protect beech-tree forest ecosystems, flora, fauna and cultural-historical heritage of the region. The park's territory includes the springs of Yantra river and its upstream tributaries. Park's total area is 21772,2 ha and includes portion of the areas of nine communities in both Tryavna and Gabrovo Municipalities. Natural park also includes: part of the National-park museum "Shipka-Buzludja"; "Etara" open air museum; protected areas "Sokolsky Monastery", "Mahchenitza-Yovovtzi". Park's territory includes the ridge part of Shipka and Tryavna mountains. From Uzana and Osenikova polyana areas on west, to protected area "Studen kladenetz" on east, ajoining north slopes and part of the corresponding Fore-Balkan. In the ground morphology there are five different parts: "Shipchensko-Buzludjanska" - this is the part with the highest average altitude /Karadjova kula peak - 1511m/, the ridge part of Tryavna's mountain /with highest part Bedek peak - 1488m/, Studen kladenetz; Konarskoto, the north part of Shipka mountain; north slope of Gabrovian Fore-Balkan; north slope of Tryavna mountain and part of Tryavna Fore-Balkan.
Country and ethnographic complex "Etara"
Gabrovo
It is situated 8 km away from Gabrovo, on the left side of the road to the Shipka pass. The exposition represents people's technical works, employing water energy, the architecture, the crafts and lifestyle of the Balkan mountain-dwellers, during the revival period. The museum exposition consists of 50 objects, but 19 of them are active today. Some of them were restored and preserved on the same place: "Karadjeika" type water-mill, dating back in 1780; the fulling-mill built in the middle of the 19-th century.
Here, in the "Etara", the skillful masters' hands make and sell products made of metal, leather, wool and etc.
If you want to feel the spirit of the Balkan people, visit "Etara" on the holidays of the national calendar. Old bulgarian customs become alive on Palm Saturday, St. George's Day, Midsummer day; songs can be heard and chain dances can be seen. At "Etara", depending on seasons are presented different pictures of everyday life of the Balkan people. Such as: knitting of hapmers; drying of plums, preparation of hominy and ritual breads; churning of butter, hulling of wheat, dyeing with natural paints and etc.
Here, you can also taste the specialties of the Balkan cuisine and drink a cup of black coffee with special white jam.
"Etara" is included in the book of Bulgarian 100 most attractive tourism places.
Gabrovo
Watchtower in Gabrovo

The Aprilov High School established in 1835

The Aprilov High School established in 1835 

The educational level is an important factor for the economical development as well as for the individual and social quality of living. Education is related with the population’s and labor force’s skills. It is a measurement of the Human Resource’s quality in the region.
The existing educational system aims to serve the regional necessities of highly qualified personnel in all fields of culture, economy, administration and business.
The city of Gabrovo is one of the educational centers in Bulgaria. The region has rich traditions in the field of education and was the location of the first secular school – the Aprilov High School established in 1835. The population’s educational level in the region of Gabrovo is considerably higher than the average one in Bulgaria and it is continuously increasing. The number of persons with Higher Education is increasing and respectively, the number of persons with only an Early, Elementary or unfinished Middle Education is decreasing. Persons with the lowest education are mainly concentrated in the villages, or they are in the groups of non-active population and minorities.


Contact address:
Municipality of Gabrovo
BG-5300 Gabrovo
3, sq. Vazrashdane,
eng. Dessislava Koleva
Chief Expert Business Development of municipality Gabrovo
Tel: +359 66 818 331
Fax: +359 66 809 371
E -Mail:
desislava@gabrovo.bg; municip@gabrovo.bg
Internet: www.gabrovo.bg