Analysis 15 Mar 16

Bulgaria Gains from Drive to Woo Investors

Efforts to make Bulgaria’s business climate more attractive for foreign investors are paying off as FDI levels bounce back, but corruption and judicial reform remain key challenges.

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofia
In 2015 the foreign direct investments in Bulgaria saw 22.5 per cent growth, Bulgaian National Bank data shows.| Photo: Numismatic Bibliomania Society/Flickr

Although Bulgaria hosts only one car manufacturing factory on its territory, belonging to China’s giant Great Wall, its car parts can be found in 80 per cent of automobiles assembled in Europe, the Bulgarian Agency for Investments, BAI, says.

This includes seats for the German luxury carmaker BMW produced in Trudovets in northwest Bulgaria, which is one of the poorest regions in the EU. Bulgarian IT and electronic companies produce software for automotive on-board computers as well as electronic components for different car models.

Car manufacturing is one of the top three economic sectors in Bulgaria in terms of attracting investment, together with machine engineering and outsourcing of business operations, according to the BAI director, Stamen Yanev.

Following a drop in investment in the years after the global economic crisis, in 2015 the foreign direct investments, FDI, in Bulgaria saw 22.5 per cent growth compared to 2014, reaching a six-year peak of €1.6 billion. 

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