Why not? I imagine that Bulgarians know more about the UK than Brits know about Bulgaria, but there are many things that make Bulgaria a unique place. Historically, Bulgaria is the oldest named country in Europe, it was founded in 681 AD as the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the name hasn’t changed since then – the borders have moved to and fro a little, but that’s another matter. That’s something Bulgaria has in common with the Isle of Man… not the borders but the political continuity.
Another thing Bulgaria has in common with Britain, or Wales at least, is that it shares pride of place along with Welsh language as being one of the oldest extant languages in Europe.
The Neolithic Varna civilization produced the oldest known gold ornamentation in the world. Archaeologists even believe that the Neolithic Varna settlers emigrated via the Black sea to found new civilizations in Shumeria and Egypt. There has even been evidence of Neolithic jewellery and flints from the British shores being found in the Black Sea area.
What about wine? Most people in the UK associate Bulgaria with good quality wine, but do you know that Dionysus, who the Greeks claimed to have invented wine is also rumoured to have lived in the Bulgarian Rhodope mountains, and his ancient temple is in Perperikon? Of course, many other countries claim the origins of wine, but why not Bulgaria, it has the right climate and the people have the right temperament.
Bulgaria has such an incredible depth and wealth of culture and history making it one of the most important but overlooked cultural crossroads in Europe.
But why do business with Bulgaria?
Of course, culture and history aren’t the main reason why you should consider doing business with Bulgaria. There are so many other reasons why modern-day Bulgaria is attractive. It has often been overlooked as a business destination, but the British Bulgarian Business Association is actively fostering new links and partnerships to promote and support economic growth.
Bulgaria has a thriving and vibrant IT sector. Indeed, one of the most active sectors which the BBBA has supported is the software development sector. BBBA has organised IT roadshows in the UK and Bulgaria and have managed to promote many promising Bulgaria IT companies. Look at the BBBA website and you’ll see the growing number of young IT companies in Bulgaria.
Agriculture is another important sector which is open for business with the UK. Bulgarian suppliers of dairy products – don’t forget that soured milk based on lactobacillus Bulgaricus was first made in Bulgaria – are keen to work with the UK. Bulgarian rose oil is highly sought-after and used in some of the most exclusive perfumes in the world.
There are Bulgarian fresh and processed fruit producers supplying UK supermarkets. Bulgaria is also one of the largest exporters of grain for flour milling.
Wine as a subsector of agriculture is a huge growth area and in addition to the traditional large-scale exporters of wine, there are hundreds of as yet unexplored boutique wineries offering exquisite vintages.
You might not think of Bulgaria as an automotive manufacturing country, but there are hardly any car brands which do not contain components produced in Bulgaria. There are a number of research and development facilities looking at electrical propulsion, but with high-class electric cars and the urban mobility electric scooter field. This is the mobility of the future.
Bulgaria has always been well known for its textile and clothes manufacturing sectors. Certain areas of the country are famous for it, and for example historical ties already exist between Leicester and Haskovo. Many famous UK and European high-street retailers have their clothes made up here.
Many of the leading hotel chains in the UK and Europe are furnished by Bulgarian furniture manufacturers. Bulgaria is a leading exporter of chairs and beds!
Sofia Tech Park, in the capital city, is a leading centre for high tech startups and research and development.
There are so many other potential areas for partnership as well – such as machine building, electronics, health care, renewable energy projects, retail, tourism, real estate investment, construction...
Here are a few other advantages Bulgaria has to offer:
While the pound sterling exchange rate is currently under pressure, the Bulgarian Lev is tied to the Euro and has been absolute stable since for more than twenty years. It has the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe – 10%, the fastest internet and much greater penetration than in the UK. It is a member of the EU and NATO, so there’s no internal and external political stability to worry about. GDP growth rate is 4%. Labour costs are some of the lowest in Europe, and the labour force is one of the best educated. Language isn’t a problem either, there has been a mass campaign of English language learning amongst the younger, and even the older generation!
When you’re not working…
In addition to the sea and ski and resorts, which have been traditionally a preferred destination for British tourists, Bulgaria has a growing golf scene. There are plenty of courses to choose from. You might prefer hiking and mountain climbing, even horse riding and you name the sport you’re interested in… Bulgaria has excellent facilities at reasonable prices in a whole range of leisure areas.
Then there’s the ubiquitous SPA facilities – Sane Per Aqua, or health through water – again legend has it that SPA was invented in Bulgaria by the Romans.
So make the most of the opportunities for business, leisure and a healthy lifestyle! Come to Bulgaria.
BBBA can help you with contacts and partnership and guide you along the journey of discovery and success!
How can the British Bulgarian Business Association help?
The British Bulgarian Business Association (BBBA) was established in 2015 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Its purpose is to bring together British and Bulgarian companies, organisations and individuals interested in doing business together and in both countries. It is a continuation and consolidation of previous bi-lateral business associations, but this new association is both dynamic and positive in its strategy and aims to reach out and develop new contacts and partnerships. The BBBA, although an independent and self-financing body, enjoys the full support of the British Embassy in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Embassy in London.
This independence enhanced with diplomatic and high-level support gives the BBBA the flexibility it needs to negotiate directly with regional chambers in the UK and entrepreneurs in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom.
In the current challenging climate of uncertainty, there is one certain thing – business and trade has always surmounted any kind of pressure. It’s what keeps the wheels turning and the world moving. So the BBBA has launched an Outreach project proactively looking for new contacts with UK and Bulgarian regional chambers and enterprises who want to establish direct bilateral links and seek for new opportunities.
We are looking forward to talking to you!