Investments in Bulgaria – why?
Political and business stability
- Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, NATO and WTO
- The stability of the currency is supported by the currency board, pegging the Bulgarian lev to the euro at the level of 1.96
- Bulgaria has the second-lowest government debt in the European Union (17.0 % of GDP) and one of the lowest budget deficits (2.1%) as of 2011
Low cost of doing business
- Bulgaria has the most favourable tax regime in Europe.
- Corporate income tax rate is 10%, the lowest in the EU together with Cyprus. Personal income tax is 10 %, flat rate. Industries in high-unemployment areas are granted 0% tax rate.
- There is a 2-year VAT exemption for imports of equipment for investment projects over €5 million, creating at least 50 jobs.
- Depreciation time for computers and new manufacturing equipment is 2 years.
- 5% withholding tax on dividends and liquidation quotas (0% for EU tax residents).
- Bulgaria has one of the most competitive costs of labor in Central and Eastern Europe.
- Favorable office rents and low cost of utilities. Bulgarian cost of electricity for industrial users is 70% of the European average.
- Located at the heart of the Balkans, Bulgaria is a strategic logistics hub. Ease of transportation of cargo is provided by Five Pan-European corridors (IV, VII, VII, XI, X), which pass through the country.
- Transport program TRACECA, which connects Europe with Caucasian and Central Asian region.
- Four major airports: Sofia, Plovdiv, Bourgas and Varna.
- Two main seaports: Varna and Bourgas.
- Numerous ports at the Danube River.
Access to markets
- Due to its location Bulgaria provides direct access to the following key markets:
- European Union - zero tariff market with population of 500 million
- CIS – still not well penetrated market with a high potential
- Turkey - zero tariff market of near 80 million population
- Middle East – a market with high purchasing power
- North African market
- Work force is well educated, highly skilled and multilingual
- 62.2 % of the total population is in working age (appr. 4.6 million)
- 60 000 students annually graduate from 51 universities
- 98% of the high school students study a foreign language (usually English) and 73% study a second language (mainly German, French, Spanish, Russian)
- 94% of the schools have Internet access