UKTI country profile – Bulgaria
Martha Rasheeva from the British Embassy in Sofia talks about the opportunities in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union since 2007 and has an economy with real growth potential. With a population of 7.3 million, the country presents opportunities for both large companies experienced in export and new-to-export SMEs. Bulgaria is easy to reach; there are several daily direct flights between the UK and Bulgaria and the flight time is three hours.
The country’s geographic position places it at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Russia and the former Soviet republics.
Specific areas that present opportunities to increase the export of goods and services are driven by the absorption of EU funds. Bulgaria is expected to receive Eur 15 B EU money during 2014 – 2020.
There are increasing demands in the mass transport infrastructure (roads, railways, airports, and ports), environment and water industries (water services and waste treatment), nuclear services and gas transit projects, financial and legal expertise area (incl. PPPs), healthcare sector.
Opportunities will also open up in the fields of education and training, agriculture, food and drink, automotive, security, sustainable construction/ regeneration.
East of England businesses looking to do business for the first time in Bulgaria are strongly advised to contact UKTI Sofia for discussion on a market entry strategy or provisional check on potential local partners. They also need to be fairly pro-active and persistent in dealing with Bulgarian counterparts and put some effort into understanding the local business culture.
Working though a dedicated Bulgarian business partner has proved the successful way forward. The UKTI team is in a position to advise on reputable local partners, carry out research for evaluating market prospects and identifying distributors/ agents, organise meeting programmes, products presentations, introduce UK firms to local authorities, decision makers, etc.• For further information visit the UKTI website
Image courtesy – Boby Dimitrov