by Sofia Investment Agency
SOFIA AT A GLANCE
Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Its history dates back several millennia. Today Sofia is Bulgaria’s capital, the financial, educational, cultural and business centre and the biggest city-economy in the country.
Sofia’s economy is growing at a rapid pace: the city provides the highest standard of life in the country. For the past 10 years, Sofia has been one of the European cities with the highest GDP per capita growth. Sofia accounts for 40% of the nation’s GDP and 1/3 of the country’s export.
The city has a mature IT ecosystem, producing 16% of the city’s exports. Many of the IT companies in the city develop products and their conducting R&D activities. Sofia has a growing automotive sector and is working on the development of new industrial zones. The city has one of the most vibrant start-up ecosystems in CEE, and over 15% of the startups are involved in deeptech – IoT, Fintech, smart city, aerospace, biotech, etc. Sofia is also on the global map when it comes to creative industries such as film, CGI visualization, game development and film.
Sofia is no longer a business destination only. Due to the systematic effort and investments in the city’s urban environment and cultural sites, Sofia is becoming an increasingly attractive tourist destination. The key to this success is the unveiling of the cultural and historical heritage in recent years
SOFIA INVESTMENT AGENCY
Sofia Investment Agency (Invest Sofia) is the investment promotion and business development agency of Sofia Municipality.
- We support Sofia in creating, attracting, retaining and inspiring local and international businesses and talented professionals that will help turn the city into a centre of innovation for high value-added industries, and share their successful stories in Bulgaria and abroad.
- Our mission is to facilitate the development of Sofia’s priority industries, to support local and foreign businesses in building their success story in Sofia, and to share those stories across Bulgaria and the world.
- We support the internationalisation of local businesses and facilitate the business collaboration and the establishment of international partnerships between Sofia and other cities around the world.
We believe the future of Sofia is to develop as a modern, innovative, digital, green and smart city; an attractive and preferred place to start and grow a business by local and foreign companies.
SOFIA AS AN INVESTMENT DESTINATION
In recent years, Sofia has developed as an extremely attractive place to invest. The work that is being done in Sofia brought the city to leading positions in both national and international rankings in terms of employment, infrastructure security, quality of life, good education, successful business endeavours and tourist growth. Investors are attracted by Sofia’s location, good connectivity, but most of all, by the qualified and highly-educated population of the city. Sofia acts as a magnet for talent. Twenty-three of Bulgaria’s 51 universities are located in Sofia, with over 100 000 students.
By the end of 2018, Sofia attracted half of the foreign investments in Bulgaria, totalling EUR 13 billion, or EUR 9 800 per resident, three times the average for the country. A big share of the investment is directed to high value-added sectors. Sofia aims to encourage projects in the field of R&D, biotech, creative industries, high value-added manufacturing and technologies for sustainable city development, tourism.
SMART CITIES AND DIGITALISATION
In 2019, Sofia Municipality, represented by Sofia Investment Agency, completed the Digital Transformation Strategy for the City of Sofia (DTSS) – a document created under the Digital Cities Challenge project by the European Commission with the participation of over 100 local stakeholders. The mission of the Strategy is to enhance the local tech ecosystem by turning the city into a market for the digital products created in Sofia.
One of the first successful steps in implementing the DTSS was the establishment of a new department and a new Deputy Mayor position in Sofia Municipality, responsible for digitalisation, innovation and economic development.
The ‘Digitalisation, Innovation and Economic Development’ department of Sofia Municipality was established in 2020 to support Sofia’s development as a smart, digital, innovative, and tech city. The new Department will consolidate and guide all of the city’s digital and smart city projects and will continue to support high-tech and R&D investors in Sofia. It will focus on increasing the number and quality of municipal e-services, open data and smart city projects implementation.
CURIOUS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SOFIA?
Don’t hesitate to check our website www.investsofia.com, or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.