Association Of Economic Development Of The Commercial, Business
And Industrial Enterprises in Bulgaria
Montana Municipality is located in the north-western part
of Bulgaria along the Ogosta River, strategically nestled
between the Stara Planina Mountain Range and the Danube River
plains on a surface area of 676.11 km2. The region enjoys
a pleasant climate, easy transportation access, and is suitable
for development as an economic, transport, tourist and cultural
center. Montana Municipality is the administrative center
of the district. Montana has a population of more than 60,000
residents with an average age of 34.7 years.
Machine building, tailoring, agriculture, food production
and ceramics industries are well developed in the region.
The region is ecologically sound with fertile land and has
one of the largest reservoirs in Europe, providing for excellent
opportunities for industrial, agricultural and recreational
Like anywhere in the world, a strategic location is useless
without a fast and effective transportation system. Montana
is equipped with excellent travel and transportation capabilities.
The shortest way from Western Europe to the Southern part
of Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, and the Middle East passes through
the territory of Montana, which is situated on the European
transport corridor No.7 and on the main highway E-79. The
well-established road and railway systems provide easy access
to the International Airport in Sofia as well as the Port
of Lom, the second largest Bulgarian port on the Danube River.
Montana's proximity to major European highways, river ports,
an international airport and extensive railways provides an
excellent opportunity to manufacturers and distributors wanting
to locate in South-eastern Europe.
it comes to local economic development, our local government
is strongly determined to facilitate and encourage any constructive
business initiative. The Municipality of Montana isn't just
pro-business; it's pro-your business. Your success is our
success. To help you succeed, local government offers site
selection assistance, small-business consulting and a professional
staff to help keep your business going and growing.
1990, Bulgaria has embarked on a remarkable journey towards
economic restructuring that has created suitable business
opportunities for direct foreign investment. Bulgaria now
boasts a well-developed banking and insurance system as well
as business agencies and organizations to facilitate enterprise.
A combination of political and economic stability, low-cost/highly-qualified
workforce, a strategic location and business friendly local
government establishes Montana as an ideal location for business
in Eastern Europe.
of the Workforce - 2003.
to the social and economic structural reforms occurring in
Montana, many people are unemployed (17.2% as of 2003). There
is a tendency to decrease, thus creating an opportunities
for highly skilled unemployed people. The machine building
industry has been particularly affected by these changes as
more than 1500 people are unemployed and available from this
industry. On the other hand, the number of people employed
in the apparel, retail and services industries, as well as
communications and equipment manufacturing has increased in
training programs, provided by the Montana Labor Bureau, vocational
schools, and NGOs, also contribute to maintaining a highly
skilled workforce. The Labor Bureau conducts regular research
of the requirements of the workforce market to guarantee that
companies are supplied with a properly trained workforce.
Free certification and re-certification courses, vocational
training and business orientation programs are continuously
offered to employed and unemployed people to meet the needs
of local businesses and increase the marketability of the
acquires a well-developed school system that prepares students
for success in the local business community. Twenty-three
public schools with 805 qualified teachers serve more than
8 900 students. Schools offer technical, business, science
and liberal arts courses, flexibly designed to the specific
needs of a wide range of businesses. School programs enable
students to focus on special areas of study and accelerate
their learning. Grant programs are available in elementary,
middle and high schools, designed to challenge and stimulate
- Foreign language high school specializing in English and German
- Math and natural sciences high school
Five vocational schools are training more than 2,500
students annually, providing them with professional qualifications
to meet the needs of local businesses. The most popular majors
are accounting, construction and architecture, economics and
management, automobiles, apparel manufacturing and design,
and electronics. The vocational schools offer a very favourable
teacher/student ratio of 1/12. Moreover, they offer a variety
of courses and programs for the local workforce and their
curricula are local industry-oriented. The number of new students
accepted into vocational schools has increased by 15% in the
983 Students graduate the
Vocational and High Schools in 2004/2005
and Construction Vocational School
Students study building and architecture, land surveying, construction
of transportation networks, building installation and assembly.
Tel: +359 96 303262, 303260
Specialties include business administration, industrial management,
computer information processing, accounting, economics, management,
and restaurant management.
Tel: +359 96 300435, 300425
Tel: +359 96 305197, 305178
Tel: +359 96 300632, 300635
Tel: +359 96 304090, 301166
business environment in Montana consists of a wide spectrum
of industries with firms operating in national and international
markets. These companies take full advantage of the area's
natural resources, location, and highly skilled personnel.
The privatization process in the region is near completion
as foreign investors and manufacturers now own most of the
biggest companies in Montana. In Montana are operating 2127
enterprises. Small-scale companies prevail: 91% (1939) of
the companies have less than 10 employees, while 24 companies
have more than 100 employees. However, these 24 companies
constitute over then 80% of the industrial production in Montana.
These large companies are primarily active in the production
of starting batteries, ceramics, apparel, transport systems,
bicycles, shelving, fittings, marble tiles, milk and meat
from Sales by Industry – 2003
boasts many well-established and diverse companies who have
partnered successfully with international firms for investment,
production and sales:
Leading Montana enterprise producing over 1 million
lead-acid starter batteries a year with sales in countries
including Greece, Macedonia, Hungary, Belarus, Romania,
Russia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Turkey, England, Norway,
Sweden, Czech Republic, South America, and the Middle
East. MONBAT employs over 450 people who design and
produce batteries for cars, trucks, trains, military
planes and helicopters.
Tel: +359 96 393101
Fax: +359 96 300974
Since 1993, CROSS has produced sport utility/mountain
bicycles primarily for the European market including
Great Britain, Holland, Russia, Finland, Greece, Serbia,
and Macedonia. CROSS satisfies customers by producing
high quality parts and self-designed frames for bicycles
that provide a comfortable, smooth-ride at inexpensive
prices. CROSS employs 200 people.
Tel/Fax: +359 96 300725
BERG MONTANA FITTINGS
This is the biggest Spanish investment in Bulgaria.
The firm produces galvanized and iron pipeline fittings
with exports to European Union countries. Leading employer
in Montana, with 600 employees and ISO-9001 certification.
Tel: +359 96 399201
Fax: +359 96 399200
Over 250 employees at MONOLITH mine and manufacture
raw stone materials used for exterior and interior wall
cladding, flooring and paving, and architectural design
elements and structures. Limestone, marble, and travertine
are extracted from 8 stone quarries owned by the company.
MONOLITH exports stone and tiles all over the world,
including Europe, U.S.A., Canada, and the Far East.
Proof of the quality of their work is shown by the use
of their stones for numerous monuments and structures
including Wembley Stadium in London, England.
Tel: +359 96 300854
Fax: +359 96 300857
Specializes in the design and production of high quality,
comfortable paragliding harnesses, skydiving parachutes,
and associated accessories for many well-established
international companies. AVA Sport currently employs
70 people and is rapidly expanding with sales all over
the world, including Canada, Europe, Japan, Middle East
and the U.S.A. Their products have been awarded DHV
international certification in Germany. They also organize
an annual international paragliding competition in Montana.
Tel/Fax: +359 96 300235
Bulgarian-Dutch company producing netlike and solid
platforms, stands for bikes, and pipe and wire constrictions
for export to Great Britain, France, Austria, Holland,
Germany, Belgium, IKEA-Sweden, and Poland. BALKAN currently
has 130 employees with processes that are ISO-9001 certified.
Tel: +359 96 300010
Fax: +359 96 300011
Over 285 employees contribute to the production of high-quality
glazed floor tiles oriented for sale in the European market.
CERAMIC INVEST has over 1 million EUR in foreign investments.
Tel: +359 96 392111
Leading designer and manufacturer of women's ready-made
garments, with over 700 employees who produce 800,000
pieces of clothing per year. Exports for textile companies
in France, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy and
Tel: +359 96 300260
Fax: +359 96 300261
Manufactures special metal constructions, rubber-linear
carriers, machines and parts for them. Through partnerships
with MANNESMANN-DEMAG, DURR, RIELA, and ACCO, MIR's
processes have been awarded ISO-9001 certification contributing
to increases in sales and additions to the current staff
Tel: +359 96 300510
Fax: +359 96 300512
30 employees produce over 500 tons/year of inorganic
pigments and paint for Balkan Color, Ltd. and in partnership
with Italian based Color Trading, Ltd. for export all
over Europe. MONT-PIGMENT ensures high quality by using
modern technology and thorough chemical testing during
production. Pigments are designed for ceramics, enamel,
porcelain, glass, lime and cement mixtures, stoneware
tiles and mosaic blocks.
Tel: +359 96 300702
Fax: +359 96 305567
For over 40 years, TRIMONA has produced everyday shoes,
sport shoes, and house slippers. The company has received
prestigious national awards for the quality and design
of their shoes in the recent years. In partnership with
European firms, they continue to update their production
with new technologies for sale in Bulgaria and other
European countries. TRIMONA currently employs 480 people.
Tel: +359 96 301026
Fax: +359 96 301029
VOINOV and Co.
Leading producer of high quality dairy products for
the Bulgarian market. VOINOV and Co. currently has 50
Tel: +359 96 306254
Infrastructure Projects and International Partners
is ushering in a bright economic future with the following
projects completed or in development:
• Over twenty-year Town-Twinning relationship with Banska
Bystrica, Slovakia, which includes exchange activities for
youth, culture, sports, local government representatives,
economic, environmental, and regional development specialists.
• Establishment of Town-Twinning Programs with other
international cities, including cities in Germany, Russia,
• Completed project to provide the city with water generated
power, funded by private French investors.
• Completed project to develop a gas supply structure,
funded by Bulgarian and Foreign private investors.
• Completed project to develop a landfill for solid
waste funded by the European Commission ISPA Program - 8.5
• Currently implementing a water treatment plant for
the municipality funded by the European Commission ISPA Programme
- 15 million EUR.
• Completed project to develop a Customer Service Center
in the Municipality with USAID and FLGR funding.
• Establishment of a Digital Telephone Network.
• Completed project to develop a Business Incubator
to aid small businesses and start-ups with lower lease costs
for space and equipment and discounted business consultancy
services through the Bulgarian government and UNDP, JOBS Programme.
• Completed project to develop a JOBS Centre funded
by UNDP, JOBS Programme
Montana is included in Bulgaria's fibre optic highway providing
an excellent communication system to meet the standards of international
• Digital Telephone Network provided by Bulgarian Telecom
• High-speed (to 1 Gbit/sec), cable Internet connection
is available from two Internet providers, Optilink and Net-surf,
offering the most up-to-date services to the community. Currently
100% of homes have the capability for cable Internet access.
• 35 Internet cafes/clubs
• Full cellular network coverage from three different
mobile phone providers, also offering wireless Internet access:
Mobiltel, Globul, Vivatel.
Montana has well-developed water-generated electricity and
natural gas supplies that were developed through foreign investment.
In order to meet the needs of future consumers, this power
supply network was constructed with plans for consumption
larger than current usage.
Resources and Water Supply Network
The Montana region has numerous water resources supplied by
an underground water system, five major rivers, and 16 dams
and lakes. The Ogosta Reservoir, situated on the edge of the
city, is the second largest reservoir on the Balkan Peninsula
and one of the largest in Europe. The 24-hectare reservoir
provides water for agricultural irrigation, industrial use,
and power generation as well as activities linked with recreation
and rail carriers provide public transportation services to
and from Montana. The inter-city bus services are privately
owned, guaranteeing high quality and competitive prices for
BUSINESS ASSISTANCE ORGANIZATIONS
are several organizations and associations in Montana that
assist existing businesses and work to attract new ones. They
provide a variety of services, including consultancy, training,
information, and international contacts for starting, expanding
and improving business.
Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - Montana
Established 105 years ago, the BCCI aims to assist, promote,
represent, and protect the economic interests of Bulgarian
business - industrialists, producers and traders. The organization
carries out a number of specific activities including establishment
of e-Commerce info centres and development of publications
with information deriving from international conventions,
domestic legislation, business law and international practices.
BCCI is operating efficiently within the system of chambers
of commerce worldwide.
Tel/Fax: +359 96 305660
Development Agency and Business Center - Montana
The RDA & BC was established as a Non-Governmental Organization
in 2000 to provide support to small and medium size enterprises
in the Montana region. The RDA & BC is a member of the
Bulgarian Association of Regional Development Agencies (BARDA).
The RDA & BC strives to create sustainable regional development,
stimulate community involvement in social and economic regional
development, improve the economic performance of the region,
and to increase employment by providing consulting, training,
and information services for a variety of business needs.
Seminars have included marketing, import/exports, project
design and management, business planning, and seminars for
Tel: +359 96 300760
Fax: +359 96 300740
Industrial Association of Montana (RIA)
The RIA in the Montana district was founded in 1982 as an
economic union of companies, established to incorporate the
interests and render support to business in the region. The
RIA is a collective member of the Business Industrial Association.
52 industrial and trade companies from Montana and other towns
in the region are members. The RIA offers a range of services
including: information related to foreign trade activities,
organization of business delegations abroad, preparation of
business plans in compliance with terms of investment sources,
assistance with implementation of international ISO certification,
and qualification training.
Montana has highly skilled and motivated workforces who are
prepared to work in a competitive market economy, giving another
strong incentive for companies to conduct business in the
region. A wide variety of skills are available to investors
choosing to develop new products, services, and business partnerships
in Montana. Montana's residents are also in step with the
contemporary IT-driven global economy as the use of the Internet,
PCs and mobile telephones has penetrated life in Montana.
Careers of the currently employed are ranged from agriculture
to light industry and machine building, from commerce to communications.
INSTITUTIONS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES LOCATED IN MONTANA
The stability of the Bulgarian financial and banking system
guarantees good financial support for all types of businesses.
European banking institutions have opened many offices in
Montana and most of the prominent insurance companies in Bulgaria
have offices in Montana including some owned by leading European
and American insurance companies. Bulgarian National Bank
and International Banks
Tel: +359 96 301291, 301292
Fax: +359 96 303036
Tel: +359 96 300811, 300801
Fax: +359 96 300806
Tel: +359 96 300510-518
Fax: +359 96 300501
HVB Bank Biochim
Tel: +359 96 306045
Fax: +359 96 307269
Tel: +359 96 303054
Fax: +359 96 305051
Tel: +359 96 300810
Fax: +359 96 300800
Tel: +359 96 303062, 303063
Fax: +359 96 303062
Tel: +359 96 304400
Fax: +359 96 304401
Tel/Fax: +359 96 301210
Tel: +359 96 22560
Fax: +359 96 23296
& Investment Bank
Tel: +359 96 307363, 304100
Fax: +359 96 304101
SG Express Bank
Tel: +359 96 391980
Fax: +359 96 391984
Tel: +359 96 301352
Fax: +359 301681
Tel: +359 96 300806, 300802
Fax: +359 96 300803
Tel/Fax: +359 96 300881
Tel/Fax: +359 96 301 349
Tel: +359 96 300668
Fax: +359 96 300667
Tel: +359 96 301214
Fax: +359 96 301211
Tel: +359 96 300797
Fax: +359 96 300798
QUALITY OF LIFE IN A SMALL EUROPEAN TOWN
is a pleasant European town with a long history, hospitable
people, a clear environment and pleasant places for rest and
tourism. Just a 1.5-hour drive from the Bulgarian capital,
Sofia, leads you to a wonderful place to live, work, and study
with everything from arts and culture to shopping, sports,
and health care. Montana's 4-season climate is just right
for year-round recreation. Quality time can be spent in the
numerous parks, the close 4 monasteries, and the open-air
Montana was established during ancient times and has managed
to survive through the ups and downs of its rich and tragic
- 1st Centuries B.C.:
tribes settled in the fertile picturesque valley of
the Ogosta River. Part of an ancient Thracian fortress
was discovered under the Roman fortification in Montana.
area of Montana was occupied by the Romans and became
part of a Roman province called Misia.
to the important geographical and economic position
of the Ogosta valley, a Roman military garrison, called
Castra ad Montanesium (Fortress in the Mountain), was
established where the present city is located. The fort
still overlooks the town.
settlement was given the status of a center with municipal
rights and was granted the name Montana, coming from
"mons" - which means mountain.
- 8th Centuries:
Montana virtually disappeared after the fall of the
Roman Empire. The Slavs later developed the area into
a small roadside settlement called Koutlovitsa on the
ruins of Montana.
- 11th Centuries:
is known about Montana during the First and Second Bulgarian
Kingdom's; however artefacts found in the region indicate
that the area continued as a growing settlement that
area was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and declined
as an economic and cultural center.
area started to become a Turkish stronghold against
Austria's invasion. Two churches exist dating from this
Liberation of Koutlovitsa from Ottoman control. Montana
survived the turbulent period of Ottoman oppression
thanks to its military, political and market functions.
the National Liberation, the town became the center
of a district under the name Ferdinand, after the Bulgarian
King Ferdinand. Agriculture, trade and industry developed
during this period.
town was renamed Mihailovgrad at the beginning of the
Communist regime in honor of the local revolutionary
Hristo Mihailov, leader of the 1923 anti-fascist uprising.
After the fall of Communism, the town adopted the ancient
name Montana after an Issue signed by the first Bulgarian
democratic president. Today Montana is an important
economical, transport, cultural and educational center.
residents appreciate the privacy, tranquillity and safety
of a small town away from the congestion of Sofia. Montana
is proud to have an extremely low crime rate with a 10.03%
decline in crime from 2003 to 2004. In addition, Montana has
one of the highest rates in Bulgaria of closed crime cases.
Montana's health care facilities are conveniently structured
and equipped. Montana's regional public hospital has a four
star accreditation and a highly qualified medical staff who
are on-call 24-hours a day. Built in 2000, the Emergency Room
center is one of the best-equipped in Bulgaria. All Bulgarian
citizens receive health insurance with free medical services.
The town center is always active and the nightlife in Montana
has much to offer. Any night you can choose between going
to lively discotheques, comfortable outdoor cafes, or cosy,
quiet restaurants offering the flavour of Bulgarian national
cuisine. All types of entertainment are available, with numerous
bars, nightclubs, cafes, discotheques, a casino, a bingo hall,
and a movie theatre.
Montana has wonderful places for picnics, hiking, fishing
and sports activities. Three parks are located throughout
the town and the "Ogosta" Reservoir is just 2 km
from the city center boasting the biggest open-air water complex
in northwest Bulgaria. The sports resort complex "Augusta",
situated on the wall of the dam, is a great place for sport
activities with an Olympic-size swimming pool, double-speed
water slide, bungee-jumping, and boating facilities for a
wide variety of water sports.
The pristine environment provides possibilities for the development
of tourist sports, hunting and fishing, and water sports.
Football, basketball, volleyball, cycling, wrestling, karate,
judo, track and field, automobile racing, and paragliding
are available at Montana's sports centres and licensed sports'
clubs. Montana also celebrates International Earth Day through
various school and club celebrations and events.
Montana's rich culture has been influenced by a variety of
cultures that have lived in the region over the years. This
eclecticism is seen not only through valuable cultural and
historical monuments displayed in the many museums, but also
through the colours of the urban environment such as modern
buildings, neon signs and street cafes quite typical for the
Cultural monuments and artefacts can be found at institutions
such as the Historical Museum, the Geo Milev Regional Library,
the “Razoum” Cultural Center, the Public Record
Office, and the Kiril Petrov Art Gallery. The Gallery is one
of the best-stocked art galleries outside of Sofia containing
over 2,350 works of art. Concerts, literary events, exhibits,
and lectures are also continually organized by Montana institutions.
In 2001, Montana was proud to unveil a Lapidarium displaying
many epigraphic monuments dating from the Is' and 2nd centuries.
Other cultural monuments near the park include an orthodox
temple, an Islamic mosque, a house built in a style from the
Revival period, and a monument erected during the communist
The theatres, schools and cultural clubs also enrich the cultural
life of the city by performing Bulgarian traditional dances
and songs in addition to modern aspects of dance, music and
theatre. Many celebrations, festivals and cross-cultural events
are held each year.
Agencies and Firms
Organizes tourist excursions and transport services
on luxury buses in Bulgaria and abroad. Also makes bus
and train reservations.
Tel/Fax: +359 96 300704
Organizes tourist group excursions in country
and abroad. Also makes hotel and bus reservations. Plans
for expansion include building a hotel and additional
tourist services at the present location at the Montana
Tel: +359 96 306454
+359 96 306770
in 1919, the Tourist Association is an NGO providing
tourism opportunities to socially disadvantaged groups
such as students and pensioners. The association works
with volunteers and local clubs to organize events and
tours in country and abroad in areas such as cycling,
hiking, walking, swimming and culture.
Tel: +359 96 305251
"Montana" * *
• 11 rooms with a double bed, 4 rooms with single
beds, 5 small apartments and 2 large apartments - breakfast
• Features an indoor restaurant, outdoor garden
restaurant, and nightclub.
• Caters events for 75 people and can accommodate
45 people in the conference room.
Tel: +359 96 300404
Fax: +359 96 306252
"Ogosta" * * *
• 8 rooms with a double bed, 2 rooms with single
beds, and 2 apartments - breakfast included.
• 12-15 person capacity conference hall, restaurant
and bar, summer terrace, bingo hall, and parking lot.
Tel/Fax: +359 96 306310
"Zhitomir" * *
• 16 single rooms, 65 double rooms and 6 apartments
- 20% discount for tour groups.
• 25 person capacity conference hall, 240 seat restaurant,
nightclub, snack bar, summer terrace, fitness center,
commercial and bank office, and parking lot.
Tel: +359 96 305582
Fax: +359 96 306197
Sports and Attractions Complex "Augusta"
• Situated on the wall of the "Ogosta"
Reservoir (2 km from Montana's center), the sports complex
has a swimming pool, double-speed water slide, bungee-jumping,
beach bars, and summer and winter restaurants.
• 5 bungalows with a view of the Stara Planina Mountains
and 10 private rooms with two beds and a private bath.
• The complex also offers jet-skis, water skis,
yachts and boats for rental.
Tel: +359 96 307100
- Hotel "Bulgarians" * *
• 2 single rooms, 8 double rooms and an apartment
with private bath, AC, television, telephone and Internet
• Sightseeing, bus/train reservations, room service,
currency exchange, safety boxes for valuables, and secured
parking are also available.
• Tavern "Bulgarians" has room for 50
people, offering over 150 traditional Bulgarian dishes
and live performances of Bulgarian folk music.
• Cafe "Laguna" can hold 40 people, plus
40 additional garden seats open in the spring and summer
months. The Cafe offers a variety of coffees, fresh drinks,
and sweets in a pleasant atmosphere.
Tel: +359 96 305600
Fax: +359 96 305601
Come to discover the competitive advantages Montana has to offer
for local businesses and international investors – strategic
location, highly skilled workforce, supportive and open community
and local authorities!
If you have any questions as you peruse this brochure, do not
hesitate to contact us. We are always available to answer any
questions, discuss concerns or ideas, and provide more information
about Montana and future possibilities here.
more information, please contact:
eng. Vesela Kolarska - Deputy mayor
Tel: +359 96 300 410
Head of Sustainable Development and European Integration Department
Tel: +359 96 394 262
eng. Daniela Nakova
Chief Expert of Investment policy
Tel: +359 96 394 228
1, Izvora Street
+ 359 (0)96 300 400
+ 359 (0)96 300 401
http://www.montanabg.net/ ; http://www.invest.bg