Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east. With a territory of 110,994 square kilometres (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria is Europe’s 16th-largest country.
Bulgaria’s population of 7 million people is predominantly urbanised and mainly concentrated in the administrative centers of its 28 provinces. Most commercial and cultural activities are centered on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are heavy industry, power engineering, and agriculture, all of which rely on local natural resources.
Bulgaria is a unitary parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative, and economic centralisation. It is a member of the European Union, NATO, and the Council of Europe; a founding state of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and has taken a seat at the UN Security Council three times.
Bulgaria has an emerging market economy in the upper middle income range, where the private sector accounts for more than 80 per cent of GDP.
The labour force is 2.45 million people, of whom 7.1 per cent are employed in agriculture, 35.2 per cent are employed in industry and 57.7 per cent are employed in the services sector. Extraction of metals and minerals, production of chemicals, machinery and vehicle components, petroleum refining and steel are among the major industrial activities. Mining and its related industries employ a total of 120,000 people and generate about five per cent of the country’s GDP. Bulgaria is Europe’s sixth-largest coal producer. Bulgaria is also a net exporter of agricultural and food products, of which two-thirds go to OECD countries. It is the largest global producer of perfumery essential oils such as lavender and rose oil. Of the services sector, tourism is the most significant contributor to economic growth. In recent years, Bulgaria has emerged as a travelling destination with its inexpensive resorts and beaches outside the reach of the tourist industry. Lonely Planet ranked it among its top 10 destinations for 2011. Most of the visitors are British, Romanian, German and Russian. The capital Sofia, the medieval capital Veliko Tarnovo, coastal resorts Golden Sands and Sunny Beach and winter resorts Bansko, Pamporovo and Borovets are some of the locations most visited by tourists.
Key advantages of Bulgaria:
– EU membership and NATO membership
– Macroeconomic and financial stability
– EU’s most favourable taxes:
– Flat 10% corporate income tax
– Flat 10% persoanal income tax
– 0% in high-unemployment areas
– Europe’s lowest operational costs
– Well-educated and highly-skilled labour force
– 22% of population holds university degree
– Government support for priority investment projects
– Linking Europe and Asia