As one of the fastest growing translation companies in the UK
, we deal with translations to and from almost every language
. We have seen a steady increase
in the number of Bulgarian translation jobs
over the last couple of years. Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007
and offers a wealth of opportunities for British exporters
As part of our blog feature we have compiled research on the last five years in Bulgaria, identified key strategic sectors for British exporters.
January 2007: A Time for Optimism
On January 1st
2007 Bulgaria, along with Romania, became the newest member
of the European Union
. The motivation of the general public and private organisations was very high, since the deal meant more opportunities
and enormous potential for growth for Bulgaria
. With a highly motivated and hard working population of 7.6 million, the country felt it had a lot to contribute to the EU.
Bulgaria joining the EU also benefited exporters
from other EU countries
. The country presents excellent conditions for both large companies with strong export backgrounds, and new-to-export small and medium enterprises from all across the Union. Bulgaria is economically attractive
and also geographically. Not only does its geographical position place it at the strategic crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the former Soviet republics, but it is also easily accessible
. For example there are several daily flights
between the UK and Bulgaria with a flight time of no more than three hours
A sample of flight from SkyScanner.com and CheapFlights.co.uk:
Becoming an EU member
immediately introduced new perspectives of modernisation
and social prosperity
for the people of Bulgaria. The country has benefited from financial support from the Union, which helped boost its economic growth and prospects
However these have not been without sacrifices. The European Union
has its own targets, priorities, regulations and standards
, which had a significant impact on the country’s economic processes. In addition to this, stringent EU regulations
mean Bulgaria has had to catch up administratively. A concerted effort has seen the country’s systems and procedures rising to comparatively remarkable levels
2007-2010: Reality Check
joined the Union at a time of prosperity
, but the economic crisis
of the next few years left Europe fragile and financially unbalanced
. Even though the economic growth during 2006-2007 was steady, there were a number of challenges in the following years in the face of macroeconomic imbalance, higher inflation
, rises in real estate prices, and a decrease in GDP of 5.5%
It was not until the middle of 2010 that Bulgaria
started slowly recovering
with a gradual 0.2% GDP growth
, thanks largely to increased exports
. At that time the export levels of other European countries
started matching Bulgaria’s, returning to levels seen before the economic crisis. The rapidly shrinking deficit implicated how flexible the Bulgarian economy is. The potential for further economic development
is good, and during the years of recession foreign investors continued to find it an attractive market
, although growth continued at a slower pace.
Now: Opportunities for Exporters
Bulgaria has already received EU funding
of over EUR 12 billion
for the period 2007-2013
, and expects to continue to receive strong funding into the future. The funding
is invested in five main sectors
1. Transport – development of railway and road infrastructure, improvement in accessibility for passengers and freight, improvement of maritime and inland-waterway navigation. Significant investments in the Bulgarian ports on the Black Sea and the Danube River.
2. Waste management – construction of regional landfills, recycling and hazardous waste management. Upgrade and extension of water and sewage network, construction and upgrade of wastewater treatment plants. In accordance with EU requirements, over 430 agglomerations will require completion or reconstruction of the existing sewage network and extension or construction of wastewater treatment plants.
3. Support for innovation in enterprises – improvement of technology and management in enterprises, improvement of pro-innovation infrastructure, etc. Upgrade and extension of information and communication networks.
4. Renewable energy – technologies, equipment and expertise for construction of wind farms, solar installations and biomass installations.
5. Training and development of human resources – delivery of vocational and life-long learning, business and entrepreneurship training, wider usage of ICT and e-content.
Opportunities will also open
up in the area of energy, oil
and gas transit
. As part of its EU accession agreement, Bulgaria closed down two units of its nuclear power plants. To replace these resources the government is considering building infrastructures that are more environmentally friendly, and will need support from private firms in implementing their plans.
Furthermore, due to its geo-strategic location Bulgaria
is a key transit route
for two major gas pipelines
currently in the planning stage – the EU-backed
Nabucco connecting the Caspian region and Western Europe
, and the South Stream project for transit of Russian gas to Italy and South-East Europe.
Role of the UK
The UK is has been and still is a major importer to Bulgaria
, forming a foundation for improvement. In 2008 the value of UK exports
was GBP 228 million
and it decreased by estimated 23%
. The main product groups exported are as below:
The United Kingdom
was the number one investor
in Bulgaria for 2006 and 2007.
Though a large part of it was in the real estate sector
, a number of strategic investments in manufacturing
were also made. In the global economic downturn the UK
is still holding its position among the leading investors in Bulgaria
. In 2009, the UK ranked 4th largest investor after the Netherlands, France and Belgium with over EUR 93 million
worth of investment.
The major British investors in Bulgaria include the pharmaceutical giants
AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline; Melrose Resources (who holds the exploration license for the first offshore gas
field in Bulgaria); ESAB (major welding and cutting equipment manufacturer
); Tishman Management, Salamanca Capital and United Utilities.
2012: What does the future hold?
show that the GDP
by an average of 5% during the period of 2012-2015
and a slight increase of 3%
. On the other hand, the unemployment rate will remain relatively high in near future, with a gradual long term decrease.
still remain and the insecurity of investing during such economic
climate of post recession
Bulgaria might put foreign companies off. Though, facts show that UK investors are still holding strong positions
and business presence in Bulgaria.
Even though Bulgaria entered the European Union under different terms to the countries who joined in May 2004, the country’s integration
has been positive
and its potential is enormous
. The top four sectors
to invest in remain machinery, beverages, fertilisers and minerals
. Investment in Bulgaria’s infrastructure
, its industry and crucially in its people will benefit the country
in the short term and also for generations to come.
Upcoming events in key sectors 2012:
- International technical fair Plovdiv- Includes all sectors – 24 -29 September 2012
- “Interfood & Drink”- 07- 10 November 2012
- The Agriculture and Everything For It- 28 August - 01 September 2012
If you’re thinking of investing in Bulgaria
, speak to us first. We offer
a full service export translation service
that will help you pitch your products the right way and increase chances of success
- International Fair Plovdiv- All Sectors
- Food & Drink
For more information about Wolfestone services:
Document translation services, Localisation services, Transcreation services, Multilingual SEO services, Proofreading, Voiceover services, Interpreting services, Multimedia services, Legal translation services, Other types of translation
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