Why Bul­garia is at­trac­tive for In­dian in­vestors

FICCI Business Digest - - Front Page -

Ba­mong ul­garia has been cho­sen

other pos­si­ble in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tions from In­dian com­pa­nies in the spheres of BPO, pharmaceuticals, agri­cul­ture, re­tail, hos­pi­tal­ity busi­ness. The In­dian com­pany Suther­land Global Ser­vices has opened BPO ac­tiv­i­ties hir­ing Bul­gar­ian young mul­ti­lin­gual pro­fes­sion­als and shared that the Bul­gar­ian team does the job of a twice as big teams in other coun­tries where the com­pany has set­tled. The In­dian agri com­pany Namdhari Seeds pro­duces fruits and veg­eta­bles and ex­port the pro­duc­tion to UK's chains of stores. Elder Pharmaceuticals Mum­bai has ac­quired a Bul­gar­ian pharma pro­ducer and now has op­er­a­tions in Bul­garia, which al­low the com­pany to step in the whole EU mar­ket in a cost ef­fec­tive way. A large In­dian com­pany has ac­quired ho­tel prop­er­ties in Bul­garia, as tourism is one of the most de­vel­oped sec­tors in the coun­try.

Nowa­days, Bul­garia is fa­mous for its po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness sta­bil­ity. Be­ing a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union, NATO and WTO and hav­ing a na­tional cur­rency, sup­ported by a cur­rency board, peg­ging the Bul­gar­ian lev to the euro at the level of 1.96, Bul­garia is a pre­dictable place to do busi­ness. Bul­garia is proud to have one of the low­est gov­ern­ment debts in the Euro­pean Union (18.5 per cent of GDP) and one of the low­est bud­get deficits (0.8 per cent) as of 2013. The coun­try is fa­mous for pro­vid­ing the low­est costs of do­ing busi­ness due to the most favourable tax regime in Europe, pro­vid­ing cor­po­rate in­come tax rate of 10 per cent, the low­est in the EU to­gether with Cyprus and per­sonal in­come tax of 10 per cent on flat rate. In­dus­tries in high-un­em­ploy­ment ar­eas are granted zero per cent tax rate and there is a two-year VAT ex­emp­tion for im­ports of equip­ment for in­vest­ment projects over €5 mil­lion, cre­at­ing at least 50 jobs. Bul­garia has one of the most com­pet­i­tive costs of labour in Cen­tral and East­ern Europe and favourable of­fice rents and low cost of util­i­ties. Bul­gar­ian cost of elec­tric­ity for in­dus­trial users is 70 per cent of the Euro­pean av­er­age.

Lo­cated at the heart of the Balkans, Bul­garia is a strate­gic lo­gis­tics hub which eases the trans­porta­tion of cargo by five panEuro­pean cor­ri­dors (IV, VII, VII, XI, X), which pass through the coun­try, the four ma­jor air­ports in the ci­ties of Sofia, Plov­div, Bour­gas and Varna, the two main sea­ports in Varna and Bour­gas and the nu­mer­ous ports at the Danube River. Due to its lo­ca­tion Bul­garia pro­vides di­rect ac­cess to key mar­kets such as the whole EU - a zero tar­iff mar­ket with pop­u­la­tion of 500 mil­lion, the CIS mar­ket, Turkey - zero tar­iff mar­ket of near 80 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion, the Mid­dle East – a mar­ket with high pur­chas­ing power and the North African mar­ket.

A spe­cific ad­van­tage of Bul­garia is the well ed­u­cated, highly skilled and mul­ti­lin­gual work force. Of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion, 62.2 per cent is in work­ing age (ap­prox­i­mately 4.6

Why Bul­garia is at­trac­tive for In­dian in­vestors mil­lion) and 60000 stu­dents an­nu­ally grad­u­ate from 51 uni­ver­si­ties. Study­ing for­eign lan­guages is quite com­mon, 98 per cent of the high school stu­dents study a for­eign lan­guage (usu­ally English) and 73 per cent study a sec­ond lan­guage (mainly Ger­man, French, Span­ish, Rus­sian). Sec­tors at­trac­tive for In­dian in­vestors

The key sec­tors, which will be at­trac­tive for In­dian com­pa­nies look­ing for ex­pan­sion of their pres­ence in the EU are ma­chine build­ing, au­to­mo­tive sec­tor, pharmaceuticals, agri­cul­ture, food pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries, elec­tric and elec­tronic en­gi­neer­ing, IT, BPO. Bul­garia has spe­cial eco­nomic zones un­der the gov­ern­men­tal com­pany Na­tional Com­pany In­dus­trial Zones, where all nec­es­sary fa­cil­i­ties with re­gard to in­fras­truc­ture, ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional trans­porta­tion net­work, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, elec­tric­ity, wa­ter and sewage and many in­vest­ment in­cen­tives are pro­vided for di­rect start-ups. Ad­di­tion­ally, the in­vestors in Bul­garia can ben­e­fit from the Euro­pean Union Struc­tural Funds once they found a com­pany in the coun­try. The reg­is­tra­tion of a com­pany takes not more than a day or two.

Strate­gic lo­ca­tion

Po­lit­i­cal and busi­ness sta­bil­ity


Hu­man resources

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