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The Bulgarian Economy

After 1990, Bulgarian economy experienced a downturn in development. Losing its strategic partners in the COMECON system, the economy shrunk with almost 50%. Additionally, UN sanctions over former Yugoslavia further complicated the normal development of the restructuring economy. In 1994 and 1995 the first signs of economic recovery were seen with positive GDP growth for the first time since 1988. However, due to insufficient reform and lack of monetary discipline, in 1996 a hyperinflation crisis hampered economic progress. In 1997 a set of reforms was started, including a currency board regime under the supervision of IMF and the World Bank.

The acquisition of full NATO membership of Bulgaria in 2003 further secured investments in Bulgaria from political risks. The stabilizing economy has since grown continuously, with GDP reaching an average 4.9% growth in the period 2000-2005. Bulgarian companies have diversified their foreign markets, and foreign direct investment coupled with privatization and administrative reforms have all enforced positive developments. Currently, issues connected with credit expansion, social security payments and the quality of administrative services have been reviewed high on the economic agenda.


Electricity, machine building and metal working, food processing, chemicals, construction materials, textile and apparel, ferrous and nonferrous metals, nuclear fuel.


Products: vegetables, fruits, tobacco, livestock, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets.


Commodities: machinery and equipment; metals, minerals, and fuels; chemicals and plastics; food, tobacco, clothing


Partners: Italy 14.6%, Germany 11.7%, Turkey 9.2%, US 5.8%, Greece 5.7%, Belgium 5.4%, France 5.1%.


Commodities: fuels, minerals, and raw materials; machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; food, textiles.

Imports - partners: Germany 14.4%, Russia 12.6%, Italy 10.3%, Greece 6.7%, Turkey 6.2%, France 5.7%.

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