Bulgaria can be the perfect place to expand your business or set up an office. Bulgaria is situated in Eastern Europe and is among the fastest-growing economies on the old continent.
Between 2016 and 2017 there was a 4.5 % rise in Bulgaria’s GPD per capita.
The Gross Domestic Product in Bulgaria was estimated to exceed 67 billion US dollars in 2019, according to the World Bank.
Although during the COVID pandemic the economic pace has certainly decreased, as in many other countries around the world, Bulgaria still has a lot more to offer.
Have a look at the Invest in Bulgaria Agency’s video, which was recently released:
In the following blog, you will learn the most important facts and figures about Bulgaria.
Read on to know why it is the perfect place for expanding your business!
1. What you get when you set up business in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has a lot more to offer than its growing economy. The country offers a business-friendly environment, a well-educated workforce, and a lot more. Have a look:
- Strategic position – its position on the Balkans can give you access to the Middle East and Russia, which is a great opportunity for global domination.
- Top 10 for the fastest internet connection in the world among countries such as South Korea, Qatar, China, UAE, Netherland, and Canada
- Low salaries and low cost of living – this doesn’t mean the quality of life is low – actually, it is just the opposite
- Low taxes for utilities such as internet
- 10% corporate tax – this is among the lowest in the EU and it could increase your cost savings.
The Mensa back in 2006 rated Bulgarians to be the second smartest nation second only to Israelis.
- Bulgaria ranks 3rd in the EU and 10th in the world for IT specialists Per Capita
- 1 in 2 Bulgarians is fluent in at least one other foreign language
- The software development business is estimated to grow with 30% every year
- Almost 90% of the European cars manufacturers have invested in Bulgaria – BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Nissan, Audi, Ford, Porsche, Tesla are just a few to name
- More than half of the land is fertile – this coupled with 4 seasons makes Bulgaria a perfect place for agricultural businesses
2. Cultural challenges of doing business in Bulgaria
Like every nation around the world, Bulgarians have their own peculiarities and it is imperative that you are well acquainted.
With at least some of them before embarking on the quest of moving your business to Bulgaria.
- Oddly enough Bulgarians shake their heads when they mean “Yes” and nod to say “No”
- Bulgarians don’t say Thank you/ Sorry/ Please as much as English or German people, for instance. It’s just not part of their cultures.
- Bulgarians like Spanish and Italian people are very loud and emotional. Bulgarian people hug and kiss when they meet strangers.
This might bother some foreigners, but it shouldn’t – it is just how Bulgarian people show their emotions!
- Bulgarian people are a very proud nation in general. They are very fond of their culture.
- Their history and traditions and they are very important to show you value these things.
3. Technical challenges of translating to Bulgarian
Bulgarian is a Slavic language and it is a fairly difficult one. This is why you should be careful when translating in Bulgarian. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Bulgarian uses the Cyrillic alphabet instead of the Latin
- Punctuation differs considerably from English, for instance.
For example, some conjugators are preceded by a comma while others are not and there is no particular rule to follow.
- Similarly to German and Russian, Bulgarian has a flexible word order
- Probably the most tricky part is the Bulgarian vocabulary – it is comprised exclusively of words with Slavic origin as well as a fair amount of words from Russian, Turkish, Greek, and Latin
Slang words and colloquial expressions, which are oftentimes untranslatable, are an important part of Bulgarian everyday language
- There are nine tenses in the Bulgarian language. Interestingly, the present tense appears in only one version.while there several varieties for the past and future, such as past preliminary or future preliminary in the past.
4. International companies that have successfully expanded their business in Bulgaria
Each year the number of foreign companies that are investing in Bulgaria is growing.
They all could agree that Bulgaria offers a great economic climate for any business.
Some of the biggest names in the car industry such as BMW, Mercedes, Renault, Nissan, Audi, Ford, Porsche, and even recently Tesla have invested in moving part of their production to Bulgaria.
Some big names of department store chains have also expanded to Bulgaria. For instance, Lidl, Billa, Kaufland, etc. have been on the Bulgarian market for a long time.
Their success is no coincidence since they have adapted to suit the taste of the Bulgarian customer.
For instance, most supermarkets in Bulgaria have big parking lots to suit the typical Bulgarian client who goes shopping in their car.
Most supermarkets work until 10 p.m. which is unheard of in Central and Western Europe.
However, in Bulgaria, a lot of people work until late so the supermarkets stay open for them.
Moreover, many of these chains offer typical Bulgarian products since this is what the customers look for when they go shopping – local production.
The IT sector is booming as well. Some massive companies have already expanded to Bulgaria such as William Hill, Playtech, Samsung, Huawei, Tide, Sky, Ubisoft, Epic Games, and the list is constantly!
Here is the story of the French video game enterprise UBISOFT:
Ubisoft moved to Bulgaria in 2006. When it opened its office in Sofia it had just 11 employees while today, they work with nearly 200 people.
In 2018 in an interview for Euronews the Ubisoft’s directing manager, Ivan Balabanov has stated that factors such as a well-educated workforce, low tax rates, and good infrastructures have made Bulgaria a magnet for foreign infestations.
He pointed out that it is the people who have the biggest impact on the fast-developing IT sphere and foreign companies should take advantage of the local workforce.
Mr. Balabanov adds that he considers “Bulgaria a good destination to continue growing in the future”.
To sum it up, Bulgaria is a fairly small country which, nevertheless, can offer a great number of opportunities for expanding and further developing your Business.
Its well-educated workforce, low taxes, vibrant economy, and overall business-friendly climate are convincing enough to make you want to come to Bulgaria!
Still, you need to come up with a good localization plan to ensure success before moving your business to Bulgaria!
If you’re setting up an office in Sofia, we can provide Bulgarian translation services for legal documents, communications, marketing, training video, and more.
Contact us to know more!