Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 7/24/2018

As one of the EU’s newest member (since 2007, along with Romania), Bulgaria is an emerging market providing very good potential for new-to-export U.S. companies, to include mature SMEs who have significant international experience in their portfolio. Although not part of the Eurozone, Bulgaria, as a member of the EU, has its currency, the Bulgarian lev, pegged to the Euro. Bulgaria also has the third-lowest government debt in the EU and one of the lowest budget deficits, making Bulgaria one of the most stable countries in which to do business.

From January to June 2018 Bulgaria held the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union and performed well to include promoting the Western Balkans’ accession into the EU as one of its goals.  

Bulgaria is a country full of opportunities for growth and investment. Wages are low by European standards, and the labor force is well-educated, young and possess good language skills. Bulgaria’s geographic location, as a bridge between the East and the West, is the EU’s outer border which makes it an important EU partner.
Key facts:
  • Council of Europe member since 1991
  • WTO member since 1996
  • NATO member since 2004
  • EU member since 2007
  • EU funding opportunities from 2014-2020, in many sectors identified as EU funding/plans for structural and investment funds. Resource:  www.eufunds.bg   
  • As of May 2018, Bulgaria’s population is 7M
  • 2018 GDP: USD $52.4B
  • GDP growth in 2017 was 3.9 percent
  • Per capita GDP: USD $7,470 (World Bank)
  • Bulgaria ranks 47th in the world, in 2018, in terms of economic freedom (# 47 in 2016) according to the American Heritage Foundation (the U.S. ranks #18)
  • There is near trade parity between the U.S. and Bulgaria when counting transshipments that enter Bulgaria through other European countries. The Bulgarian market is very receptive to U.S. goods and services and some 100 major U.S. companies operate in country
  • Bulgaria offers the lowest tax rates in the region: a 10 percent rate on personal and corporate income, as well as a bilateral treaty with the United States that allows for the avoidance of double-taxation
  • 6.1 percent unemployment rate (December 2017)
  • A ‘regional’ approach to Southeast European countries is feasible, recommended and encouraged
  • Excellent logistical and supply chain services location for sales into the EU, Russia, Turkey and the Middle East

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Bulgaria Trade Development and Promotion