Thursday, September 12, 2013

Industry in Bulgaria

In the past, the main industry sectors of Bulgaria were metallurgy, machine manufacture, chemicals, and agriculture. Recently, however, the priority has shifted to sectors like energy, tourism, transportation, IT and telecommunications, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and textile and clothing. In the last few years, the Government undertook measures to restructure the energy sector. These measures aimed to:
  • Foster conditions for liberalization and competition that will give consumers the freedom of choice and access;
  • Fast track and transparently privatize assets in the sector while keeping Government ownership of electricity transmission and of the National Dispatching Center;
  • Implement regional investment projects to make maximum use of Bulgaria’s unique geo-strategic location.
In 2002, Bulgarian Parliament approved the Energy Strategy of the Republic of Bulgaria, declaring as its priority the development of a competitive energy market. In the beginning of 2008, the Government of Bulgaria and representatives of Russia signed a general framework agreement in support of the South Stream project for transit of natural gas from Russia to Southeast Europe and Italy. Another natural gas transport project - Nabucco - is planned to pass trough the territory of Bulgaria. The Nabucco project envisages transit of natural gas from the Caspian Sea and the Middle East to Central and Western Europe.
Priorities of the Government’s policy in transportation include:
  • Active investment strategies for developing a modern infrastructure through financing from the Government, EU funds, and other funding sources;
  • Privatization of large transpiration companies and the granting of concessions for airports as well as the ports at the Danube River and the Black Sea;
  • Financing stabilization and modernization of the state-owned railway transportation and railway infrastructure companies.
Liberalization and modernization measures were undertaken for the communications and high technologies sector. Mobile penetration in the country rose rapidly over the last few years and was estimated at 117.4% as of September 2007, which is the second best heist in Eastern Europe, following the Czech Republic’s 123%. According to the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO), the IT market in Bulgaria is growing at a two-digit rate and will continue to increase at an average of 12.4% per annum until 2009.

Real Estate
Bulgaria is currently considered to be one of the world’s best property hotspots. According to the Knight Frank Global House Price Index Q1 2008, Bulgaria had the greatest annualized price growth of , at 31.5%. Despite signs that the property market in same areas is approaching saturation point, residential property prices continue to rise in Bulgaria. Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, offers excellent investment potential and, according to Ernst & Young’s report for 2008, investor confidence in Bulgaria is set to continue well into 2009.
  • Bulgaria has the lowest prices of services and real estate of any country in the EU; it also has the potential to increase until it reaches the levels of other EU countries.
  • Bulgaria is a politically stable state, with a strong banking system that can withstand significant financial or economical setbacks.Ø Sofia provides opportunities for high return strategic investments.
  • According to projections of the World Travel Tourism Council, 16 million tourists will visit Bulgaria per year by 2017.
  • Significant investments have been made for the purposes of developing the country’s infrastructure, supported by EU funds.
  • The country’s favorable geographical location provides perfect climatic conditions for year-around activities like skiing and snowboarding during the winters, sunbathing and scuba diving during the summers, and great possibilities for adventure tourism, spa and recreation, and cultural and congressional tourism.