Moving to Bulgaria
Are you considering moving to Bulgaria? If you are looking for information on the area, and help with your move to Bulgaria then allow us to guide you. We will provide you with up to 10 free and personalised quotes from top experienced international movers and moving companies who will safely transport your possessions from door to door, inter-state or internationally.
Bulgaria is located in the South of Eastern Europe, bordering Romania to the North, Serbia and Macedonia to the West, Greece and Turkey in the South, and having a coastal border with the Black Sea to the East. Bulgaria’s climate is very varied, although the majority of the country has a temperate climate, the Black Sea coast is more Mediterranean.
Infrastructure / Job Prospects
If you are are interested in moving to Bulgaria for work you will find the economy has improved greatly in the last ten years.
The government has succeeded in stabilizing the economy and reducing the percentage of government debt to under 25% of GDP in 2006, from well over 65% in 2001. It has also reduced inflation to a manageable level, privatized most state-owned utilities, and has recently started to encourage significant foreign investment of well over $2 billion per year.
Bulgaria has a lower than average unemployment level. In particular in Sofia the unemployment level is low, at around 3%.
Sofia is an important city in Bulgaria’s economy. The city accounts for around 75% of the country’s metal industry, and half of the country’s printing and textiles industries. It is also the main financial hub, being home to the National Bank and Stock Exchange as well as most of the country’s commercial and international banks.
In terms of economy, Varna is the second most important city in Bulgaria, and is a major port city, in addition to being an important tourist resort on the Black Sea coast. Around 60% of Varna’s economy is related to tourism or trade, with around 2 in 3 of the visitors to Bulgaria each year staying in, or visiting, the area.
The tourism industry is becoming increasingly important for Bulgaria. The industry served around 7 million visitors in 2007, and is currently growing at a rate of over 15%.
The country’s historic cities, including UNESCO world heritage sites, the Black Sea beach resorts and the Ski resorts in the mountains are among the excellent destinations on offer and have been attracting increasing numbers of Europeans and Russian tourists.
The government is trying to encourage foreign investment through a number of initiatives and projects, including a flat rate corporation tax of 10% and large business park developments like Business Park Sofia, which will provide around 300,000 sq m of commercial space and has already attracted BMW and Globul (Bulgarian Mobile Telephone company).
Living cost and Taxes
Bulgaria has the lowest income tax rate in the European Union, and one of the lowest rates in the world of 10%. This combined with the lower living costs in Bulgaria mean those moving to Bulgaria from other EU countries, or western countries like the US will have a relatively low living cost if they are able to bring work with them, or find a well paid local position in an equivalent industry.
Living costs in the capital, Sofia are more comparable to other European cities, but in the towns and villages the rent is much cheaper, and therefore the cost of living is much lower.
The corporate tax structure in Bulgaria is also progressive, with a flat rate of 10% for Corporation tax.
The Port of Varna is the largest in Bulgaria, and is located in Varna Bay. It provides Bulgaria’s only cruise ship port, and the area has been expanding due to increased trade. The local shipbuilding industry is also important, and a planned international gas pipeline has boosted the local energy industry.
Bulgaria has a well developed air transport industry, and 6 international airports.
The largest airport in Bulgaria, Sofia Airport (SOF), is located in the capital Sofia and served around 2.7 million passengers in 2007. The airport serves routes to the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Malta, Czech Republic and outside of the EU to Russia, Middle East among others.
The second largest airport, Bourgas International Airport (BOJ), serviced nearly 2 million passengers in 2007 and the third largest, Varna Airport (VAR), serviced around 1.5 million passengers.
Important Cities and Population Density
Bulgaria has a population of around 8 million people living in an area of around 110,000 sq km.
The capital, Sofia is home to around 1.4 million people and is growing at around 0.5% per year. Economically, Varna is the second most important city in Bulgaria, although it ranks third in population.
Other important cities are those of Plovdiv, Burgas and Rousse, with populations ranging from around 400,000 to 150,000.
Bulgaria has been an important country for thousands of years due to its geography and position in Europe. It has been a cross-roads between Europe, Asia and Africa for thousands of years.
The Thracians made their mark on the area in the period between 500 BC. Their reign lasted until the first century AD when the Romans began administrating the region after a ceasefire ended many decades of war. They left behind many historical sites, and some of the worlds finest treasures, including Gold and Platinum sculptures and ornaments. One such collection is the Panagyuriste treasure, weighing in at over 6000 Kg
The population in Bulgaria is mostly of Bulgarian descent (over 80%) although Turks make up the largest minority of around 10% of the population.
Bulgaria currently has a population crisis, with a declining population due mainly to emigration. Even accounting for higher immigration, the birthrate in the country needs to increase significantly in order for this to change.
Since announcing its intention to join the European Union, the country has undergone a huge real estate boom. This in turn has meant more attention from the rest of Europe, and resulted in more people moving to Bulgaria either to work or live permanently and benefit from the low living costs and growing economy.
If you are looking to move to Bulgaria, we recommend you fill out the free estimate form which will allow you to specify details of the possessions you would like to take with you when you move. We will provide you with personalised quotes at no cost to you, from up to ten of our pre-screened, experienced, international moving companies.
Local Newspapers: www.sofiaecho.com