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Quality of life in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is one of the oldest states in Europe. Situated in the southeastern part of Europe, it is one of the latest additions to the European Union. In recent years, Bulgaria has undergone tremendous changes; the country has transformed from a poor, undeveloped communistic state to a democratic nation that has integrated well into the EU. This picturesque country is located in southeastern Europe, in the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It shares borders with Turkey and Greece to the south, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Romania to the north, and the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria has a population of nearly eight million people. Its capital city is Sofia, which is located in the western region, was born 7,000 years ago in the green embrace of the Vitosha Mountains. Today, Sofia is among the world's up-and-coming greatest cities, according to a ranking by Forbes magazine.

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Essential information on Bulgaria

The routes connecting Europe with Asia and Middle East have crossed Bulgarian territory for centuries—the country has long been a crossroad for trade and transport. Bulgaria is also famous for its picturesque natural scenery. In spite of its relatively small territory, the country has a variety of natural features. High mountains, luscious lowlands, and undulating grasslands are the typical landscape of the country. Spacious beaches and stunning coasts line the Black Sea shore.

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Bulgarian History and Culture

Bulgaria is a small country in Europe that has been in existence for over 1300 years. This picturesque country is located in southeastern Europe, in the northeastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It shares borders with Turkey and Greece to the south, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Romania to the north, and the Black Sea to the east. Bulgaria has a population of nearly eight million people. Its capital city is Sofia, which is located in the western region.

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Overview of the Bulgarian Economy

In recent years, Bulgaria has enjoyed a period of sustained economic growth and political stability. As a result, the country joined the World Trade Organization (WATO) in 1996, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004, and the European Union (EU) in 2007. Bulgaria has shown how a post-communist, economically poor state can grow its economic structures to an advanced development and then be integrated into the EU.

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Bulgarian Real Estate

Architecture
Many of Bulgaria’s villages have timber-built houses. Heritage villages from the National Revival Period (18th – 19th centuries) such as Koprivshtitsa, Bozhentsi, Kovachevitsa, Shiroka Laka and Zheravna have wonderfully preserved and restored houses. They feature graceful curved bay windows and ornate wooden ceilings, along with hand painted murals that show influences from Western Europe. Narrow cobbled streets and stone homes with slate roofs are a distinctive feature of many Rhodopes and Stara Planina villages.

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Tourism in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian tourist industry presents significant development opportunities and a growing package holyday market from Western Europe, along with development potential for new summer and winter resorts, as well as theme park-associated resorts. According to the State Tourism Agency (DAT), the number of foreign tourists who visited Bulgaria in 2007 equaled more than 5 million. In December 2007, the Government introduced a new strategy for developing tourism until 2013. The strategy was elaborated with the cooperation of Bulgarian private business and focuses on attracting wealthier tourists, both by improvising service quality and preserving the country’s natural resources and culture heritage.

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Bulgarian Wine Industry

When it comes to quality wine and gorgeous wine country, Bulgaria might not be the first country you think of. After being 45 years behind the Iron Curtain; Bulgaria is still “terra incognita” for many people around the globe. However, you might be pleased to discover that Bulgaria is home to some of the finest wines available.

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Infrastructure in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is located at the heart of the Southeastern European market, which comprises approximately 56 million people. A number of international rail and motorways cross the country, which enhance the its strategic location. The Pan-European Transport Corridors crossing Bulgaria are IV, VII, VIII, IX, and X. A network of eight motorways (E79, E83, E871, E772, E70, E773, E87, and E85) connects Bulgaria to Western Europe, Russia, Asia Minor, and the Black Sea. Bulgaria’s infrastructure needs considerable investors in new constructions and modernization. For this reason, the Ministry of Transportation adopted an ambitious Strategy for Development of the Transport Infrastructure of Bulgaria in 2006, which aims to have improved the transportation infrastructure greatly by 2015. It includes a detailed investment plan for the railway infrastructure, the road network, and the ports and airports of Bulgaria.Bulgaria has five main ports. The largest are Varna and Burgas, both located on the Black Sea. Russe, Lom, and Vidin are significant commercial ports on the Danube River.

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Leading industries in Bulgaria

In the past, the main industry sectors of Bulgaria were metallurgy, machine manufacture, chemicals, and agriculture. Recently, however, the priority has shifted to sectors like energy, tourism, transportation, IT and telecommunications, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and textile and clothing. In the last few years, the Government undertook measures to restructure the energy sector. These measures aimed to:

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Education in Bulgaria

As per the Constitution of Republic of Bulgaria all its citizens, including citizens form the EU and The EEA countries, living and working in Bulgaria, shall have the right to free education in state and municipal schools. By this mean, the only charges the parents are obligated to pay are for their children’s textbooks, stationery, and school field trips. 
 

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Education in Europe

Foreign nationals can apply to study at Bulgarian higher education institutions in Europe under the same terms and conditions as those for Bulgarian nationals, provided that they:

  • Hold a permanent residence permit
  • Have a refugee status
  • Are of Bulgarian origin, certified in accordance with the 1993 Council of Ministers Decree No. 103 regulating the education of Bulgarian expatriates
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Trade in Bulgaria

Regional and International Trade Agreements and Associations
Bulgaria has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since December 1996. In March 1993, Bulgaria signed the European Agreement of Association with the European Communities and their member states. The country entered into an Agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), enforced in 1993 and in July 1998, and became a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA).

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Foreign direct investments in Bulgaria

Continual economic development and strong market potential are among the decisive forces that enhance Bulgaria’s ability to attract respected international investors. In recent years, international credit rating agencies have increased Bulgaria’s credit rating so that it has now reached an investment grade credit level.

In October 2006, Standard & Poor’s raised its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Bulgaria from “BBB” to “BBB+.” The short-term foreign currency rating was set to “A-2,” while long- and short-term local currency remain “BBB+” and “A-2,” respectively. On 1 March 2006, Moody’s also raised Bulgaria to investment grade status, boosting its sovereign credit rating to Baa3 from a rating of Ba1. These investment grade increases were justified by the continued reduction in Bulgaria’s general government debt burden, improved liquidity, and the lasting credibility of the government’s fiscal policy.

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