Bulgaria is heavily dependent on its exports, which go mainly to the EU and Turkey. The country has retained excellent industrial know-how (steel, chemicals, electronics, defence and IT), which is complemented by low wages. In the last 10 years (2010-2020), total exports have grown strongly, e.g. merchandise exports grew by 54%. Bulgaria was also hit hard by Covid-19, not least because of global trade problems. However, thanks to the measures taken by the government, the country was able to avoid a high recession (“only” 4.1% in 2020).
According to the Swiss Federal Office for Customs and Border Security (BAZG), Swiss exports to Bulgaria have increased annually, except in 2020, so since 2011 to 2021 a very positive dynamic can be observed – exports have grown by 70% and amounted to CHF 454 million. Switzerland exports mainly pharmaceutical products, electrical machinery and industrial goods, and plastic products. Most Bulgarian goods imported by Switzerland are chemicals, textiles and clothing, electrical chains and motors. As far as services imports from Bulgaria are concerned, these are mainly IT services, in particular the outsourcing system provided by around 1000 Bulgarian start-ups, and the development of software for companies. Behind increased service exports is the tourism sector. 41,000 Swiss tourists visited Bulgaria in 2019.
RELEVANT INFORMATIONS AND CONTACTS
Market informationen Switzerland Global Enterprise: Economic report SECO, Business Guide, Legal provision, Basic Addresses
Bulgarian investment agency: Invest Bulgaria Agency
Country responsible Bulgaria at SEC: Reto Iten