A low cost of living in Bulgaria is catching the eyes of many potential expats. Investment is one of the easiest ways to obtain residency abroad in Bulgaria. Many overlook the advantages that Bulgaria can offer those looking to make a foreign investment. The low labor prices and taxes are two of the country’s strongest reasons to invest. The country is also strategically located to the rest of the EU, of which it is a member, and other strong markets.
The Bulgarian government has showed commitment to improving its economy and has done so successfully. A lot of the success is thanks to joining the EU in 2007. Between 1996 and 2008, the country saw a 6% GDP growth. The government implemented a 10% flat tax rate and reduced corporate tax for investors investing in less industrialized regions or regions with high unemployment.
Bulgaria’s economy strongly relies on exports with potential for growth. Many investors rank Bulgaria as a place for low cost production. Laborers are highly skilled and inexpensive. Infrastructure is rapidly improving, slowly making the country more modern. This is opening the doors to many investment opportunities such as healthcare, education, tourism, and more.
Bulgaria’s geographic location allows for access between the EU and growing markets in Russia, Turkey, and the Middle East. The government wants to focus on modernizing the infrastructure to reduce the transit time for transporting cargo.
Five pan-European corridors pass through Bulgaria, drawing new investors in expanding their businesses: Transport Corridor IV, Transport Corridor VII, Transport Corridor VIII, Transport Corridor IX, Transport Corridor X – with all five of them crossing Bulgaria’s second biggest city, Plovdiv. TRACEKA links Bulgaria with Central Asia through port Varna.
Residency by Investment
One of the most common reasons one may invest abroad in Bulgaria is the residency that can be achieved. Investment abroad is the easiest way to achieve residency, and there is even the option to obtain citizenship quickly by doubling your investment.
One investment type is full investment. This requires applicants to deposit BGN 1 million ($609,236 USD) in a Government Bond Portfolio for an investment period of five years. There is no further payment required. After five years, the full amount is returned to the investor.
This option allows you to finance the required investment amount through a European bank. The investor pays a reduced price of BGN 380,970 ($231,786), used to finance a BGN 1 million loan. The investment is not returned at the end of the five year period in this option.
As stated in the Bulgarian Citizenship act, foreigners who hold permanent residence of five years are eligible to apply for citizenship. As a Bulgarian citizen you will have unrestricted rights to live, work, and study in Europe. You will also have the right to own land in any European Union country.
If you want to speed up the citizenship process, you have the option to double your investment. This option allows you citizenship after one year of permanent residency. To qualify, you must double your investment by purchasing roughly BGN 1 million in government bonds or in capital of a Bulgarian company that is carrying out a Priority Investment Project and hold a second additional investment for a period of two years.
Where to Invest
Agriculture– Many experts believe that agriculture is the hottest sector in Bulgaria today. The sector is quickly rebuilding itself after a decline in the early 1990s. After entering the EU in 2007, many opportunities arose for major exports into the EU market. Land is inexpensive and suitable for many uses.
Real Estate– Bulgaria is getting more popular amongst those looking to invest in real estate overseas, as an alternative to traditional European countries. Compared to western Europe, the property prices are inexpensive.
Tourism– This sector is quickly growing, allowing for opportunities of foreign investment with high return on investment rations. With access to skiing and the Black Sea, there are already natural features attracting visitors all around the world. Infrastrastructure is rapidly improving, natural beauty is abundant, and the cost is very low.
Recycling and Waste Management– As of right now, Bulgaria lacks modern facilities for waste management and recycling. Sofia, the capital, is looking to build a waste management site in the coming years. Most of the country’s cities and towns use outdated methods to deal with their waste, making the waste management sector one of Bulgaria’s most promising investment opportunities.
Healthcare– Most Bulgarian healthcare is dominated by the government, which has caused many problems. Opportunities to invest in healthcare are vast with little to no competition. It is a similar case with the country’s education.
- Business Outsourcing
- Software Development
- Textile and Fashion
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