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flag Bulgaria Bulgaria: Investing

In this page: FDI in Figures | Why You Should Choose to Invest in Bulgaria | Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment | Investment Opportunities

 

FDI in Figures

In a context where global foreign investment increased by 10.9% in 2013, in particular in Europe (+25.2%) and in Latin America (+17.5%), FDI flows to developing economies reached a new high of US$759 billion. However macroeconomic fragility and policy uncertainties are driving investors to caution.

Bulgaria attracts a certain volume of foreign cash flows, but since 2009 their level has been badly affected by the global and European crisis, particularly in the sectors of construction, real estate, financial intermediation and manufacturing. Foreign direct investment fell notably due to the Greek crisis of 2011 and 2012, Greece traditionally being an important investor in Bulgaria. Moreover, the European crisis dried up capital flows significantly. Considering all the advantages that Bulgaria provides, notably its fiscal plan with one of the lowest tax rates in the area and its labor costs, the country remains well-placed for foreign investments to revive again in 2014. The revival will nonetheless only be driven by the improvement of the economic situation of the EU countries, particularly of Bulgaria's closest neighbors. In 2013, the inward flow of FDI totalled USD 1. 899 billion.

Information on the 2013 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2014 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

 

Country Comparison For the Protection of Investors

  Bulgaria Eastern Europe & Central Asia United States Germany
Index of Transaction Transparency* 10.0 7.0 7.0 5.0
Index of Manager’s Responsibility** 1.0 5.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Shareholders’ Power*** 6.0 9.0 5.0
Index of Investor Protection**** 6.0 5.9 8.3 5.0

Source: Doing Business - Last Available Data.

Note: *The Greater the Index, the More Transparent the Conditions of Transactions. **The Greater the Index, the More the Manager is Personally Responsible. *** The Greater the Index, the Easier it Will Be For Shareholders to Take Legal Action. **** The Greater the Index, the Higher the Level of Investor Protection.

 
Foreign Direct Investment 201120122013
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 1,8491,3751,450
FDI Stock (million USD) 47,38149,24052,623
Performance Index*, Ranking on 181 Economies 45--
Potential Index**, Ranking on 177 Economies 49--
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 946466
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 16.012.612.8
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 88.596.699.2

Source: UNCTAD - Last Available Data.

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Bulgaria

Strong Points
Bulgaria's strong points are:
- An advantageous taxation system for investors;
- A sizeable workforce that is skilled and cheap;
- Very low cost of living;
- Its membership to the European Union; and
- A strategic geographical position.
Weak Points
Even though the country has become attractive to investors and especially after its membership to the European Union, Bulgaria still has to take on a number of challenges:
- Inefficient bureaucracy;
- A very slow and inefficient judiciary system;
- A high level of corruption;
- The non implementation of the intellectual property and copyright laws; and
- A significant amount of the population having limited revenue.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The Bulgarian government has established a very advantageous taxation system in order to attract investors and the costs of creating a company have also been lowered. The government has undertaken the privatization of a number of companies. We can name the following, amongst the most attractive measures put in place:
- A fixed company taxation rate at 10%;
- Competitive labor force costs;
- A skilled active population; and
- The country's membership to the European Union and its access to the EU structural funds.
Foreign investors, who are citizens of countries outside the EU, EEA, and Switzerland, are eligible for a Bulgarian permanent residence permit valid for an unlimited period of time if they invest over BGN 1,000,000 (approximately EUR 511,292).

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Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment
Bulgaria is the country in the region most open to direct foreign investment with no limitation.
For further information visit the Investment Climate section on the Factbook site.
Acquisition of Holdings
The proportion of foreign participation in new or existing businesses is not limited. Foreigners have the right to register any company types according to the Bulgarian Commercial Code, including legal type of businesses extending the benefit of Private Limited Company status to sole owners with a 100% foreign participation.
Obligation to Declare
The agency for the promotion of foreign investment in the country provides information on the necessary authorization for setting up.
Competent Organization For the Declaration
Invest Bulgaria: Bulgaria Investment Information site
Requests For Specific Authorizations
No specific requirements.
For further information visit the site Invest Bulgaria.

Learn more about Foreign Investment in Bulgaria on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Invest Bulgaria Agency
Invest Bulgaria
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Tenders Info, Tenders in Bulgaria
Ted - Tenders Electronic daily, Business opportunities in EU 27
United Nations Development Programme, Current Tenders
Investnet, Selected tenders
Globaltenders, Tenders & Projects from Bulgaria
DgMarket, Tenders Worldwide
Other Useful Resources
Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
 
 

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Learn more about Investing in Bulgaria on Globaltrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Last Updates: December 2014