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Bulgaria continued to attract foreign investments in 2019

posted onJanuary 14, 2020

Bulgaria remains an attractive investment destination for foreigners. Between January and October 2019 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Southeastern country amounted to 953.3 million euro (the equivalent of 1.6 per cent of the gross domestic product) which was 554 million euro more as compared to the same period in 2018,  according to statistics from the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB).

By country, the biggest volume of net direct investments was registered from the Netherlands  (422 million euro), followed by Germany (233.7 million euro) and the UK (168.2 million euro). South Bulgaria and economic zones near Sofia, Plovdiv, Haskovo and Dimigtrovgrad continued to attract most of the foreign investments.

Equity investments, including in the real estate sector, recorded an outflow of 429.6 million euro (compared to an inflow of 185.7 million euro in January-October 2018) and reinvestment of earnings was worth 81.2 million euro (down from 267.6 million euro a year earlier), according to BNB data.

The central bank data also showed receipts from real estate investments by foreign-owned companies stood at 3.4 million euro, compared to 15.7 million euro in the first 10 months of 2018.

At the same time, Bulgarian investment abroad increased by 290.8 million euro in the first 10 months of 2019, compared to 222.5 million euro in the same period of last year, BNB said.

(Graph data source: Bulgaria National Bank)

Bulgaria FDI

Foreign Direct Investment in Bulgaria averaged 137.06 million euro from 1996 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 1018.40 million euro in December of 2007 and a record low of -879.80 million euro in July of 2015.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria is ranked 61 among 190 economies in the ease of doing business, according to 
The World Bank's new Doing Business 2020 report,  which looks at the simplicity of setting up, operating, and paying taxes in 190 territories around the world. 

Specifically, the report grades territories according to the rules affecting a business from inception through operation to wind-down: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. 

Doing Business in Bulgaria averaged 49.92 from 2008 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 61 in 2019 and a record low of 36 in 2014.


Population: 7 504 868
Area: 110 910 square kilometers
Workforce: 4.6 million
Urban population: 73%
Capital: Sofia
Currency: Bulgarian lev (BGN), pegged to the euro at 1.95583
Corporate tax: 10%
Taxes on personal income: 10%
VAT: 20%