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Country information

Bulgaria has a strategic location in the center of Southeastern Europe and the main roads of Europe to the Middle East and Asia pass through. Located on the Balkans, Bulgaria is bounded to the north by Romania, to the west by Serbia and Macedonia, to the south by Greece and Turkey and to the east by the Black Sea.

Capital: Sofia

Geographical size: 111 002 km²

Population: 7 245 677 (2014)

GDP: € 42.011 billion (2014)

Official EU language(s): Bulgarian

Political system: parliamentary republic

EU member state since: 1 January 2007

Currency: Bulgarian lev BGN

Bulgaria will hold the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time in 2018.

According to the last census of 2011, the population of the country is approximately 7.3 million. The majority define themselves as Bulgarian (~77%). Traditional religion is Orthodox Christianity. The biggest minority religion is Islam, indicated by 7.8% of the population, primarily of the Turkish minority (constituting 8.8% of the population in the country), but also by Bulgarian Muslims and 1/5 of the Roma ethnic group followed by Roman Catholicism by 0.7%, Protestantism by 0.9% while the remaining 31% have declared themselves as non-believers.

Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union ("EU") since January 1st 2007 and has some of the most favorable taxes in the EU including a 10% corporate income tax rate; 10% flat tax rate on personal income.

Bulgaria is strategically located and provides access to the following markets:

  • South-East Europe – a 122 million inhabitant, high growth market
  • EU – Bulgaria offers the lowest cost, zero tariff access to a 500 million inhabitant market
  • CIS, Middle East and North Africa

Bulgaria offers a combination of political and macroeconomic stability and incentives for doing business:

  • Stable parliamentary democracy; EU, NATO and WTO member
  • Bulgaria’s currency is fixed to the Euro under a currency board arrangement
  • Lowest tax rate and one of the lowest labor costs in the EU coupled with special incentives for investors
  • EU funding – more than €8 bn in EU funds planned for coming years

Bulgaria is also a full member of the Central European Free Trade Association. The local currency, the BGN Lev, has been pegged to the Euro (1.95583 BGN/€) since 1999.

Educational standards within the country are high. Bulgaria is well serviced by facilities and infrastructure. Large towns have the normal facilities provided in western European countries. The country is served by an extensive network of paved roads, except in the most mountainous districts. There is also a comprehensive rail network.

Stock Quote: TSE

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03/24/2017 04:00 PM ET Pricing delayed 20 minutes
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