When Bulgaria joined the EU in January 2007 it opened itself up to the real possibility of foreign investment after seventeen long and economically devastating years of postcommunism. The economic stability that EU membership helped to provide has been instrumental in opening up Bulgaria to the West and investment has been gradually increasing in the country. This cements the steps to economic stability already taken by Bulgaria when it joined NATO in 2004.
Bulgaria is also set to join the Euro zone once it has fulfilled its convergence criteria. These are related to financial stability and economic strength in the country. Bulgaria hopes to meet these criteria by 2012 and it seems probably that it will become a member by 2014. Investing in the country before this conversion make good economic sense since costs will soar once the transition is made. The lucrative lure of the Euro is helping to spur the country to solve its economic problems and once the transition is made markets for Bulgarian buisness will really open up.
Bulgaria has made great progress since the fall of communism and is one of the strongest economies in the former Eastern bloc. The country’s deficit is below 3% of GDP and public debt is also low. Government debt has also fallen since independence to come in well below Euro zone membership guidelines. It is also ranked third after Poland and Hungary in terms of development since independence. However the cost of setting up a business remains low making it potentially very profitable.
Geography: The location of Bulgaria makes it strategically advantageous for accessing the developing markets in Eastern Europe and Turkey. It is also a largely un-spoilt rural country with enormous tourism potential. It has a coastline along the Black Sea and lovely mountains making for potential investment opportunities.
Franchises are permitted, and laws protect trademarks, patents and copyrights. Equal treatment is required by law for both foreign and domestic investors. Bulgaria has low taxes for both individuals and corporations, 10 percent, and offers businesses some of the most competitive business costs.