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As one of the newest members of the European Union and 15th in Europe, the potential for economic growth in Bulgaria starts with increasing market demand and a comparatively low GDP. It stands at €5,030 per capita in 2012, of a population counting 7.97 million. The country offers some of the most competitive business costs in the CEE region, the lowest tax rates in Europe and generally low labour costs.

Joining the EU in 2007, Bulgaria’s 28 provinces have been divided into 6 development regions. Key sectors include energy, mining, metallurgy, machine building, agriculture and tourism, as well as IT & ICT, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and textiles, while primary industrial exports include clothing, iron and steel, machinery and refined fuels.

Making foreign investment in the private sector a top priority, the government has been upgrading roads and improving intermodality for passengers and freight, along with rail and water infrastructure, as well pledging improved public services for its citizens.

As recipient of €7.6 billion of EU Cohesion Policy funding, for 2014 to 2020, focus remains on improving infrastructure, where there is opportunity across telecommunications and energy, particularly in oil and gas transit, as well restructuring Bulgaria’s declining nuclear energy program. Water and wastewater, waste management, and construction and management of prisons are also a priority, along with the technologies, equipment and expertise needed in renewable energy across, wind, solar and biomass.

Click here to read a more detailed article about Bulgarian economy.