Business Climate for Investments in Bulgaria (Results)

A new study by ManpowerGroup Bulgaria among the managers of companies with significant investments in the last four years found that 52% of them find the investment climate in Bulgaria is good, and a third of them consider it excellent.

Bulgaria and neighboring countries

The main factors for their positive assessment are the high quality of work (70%), the relatively low costs for it (66%), and the easy access to other markets (64%), as well as the favorable tax regime, excellent internet coverage. Only 6% of the respondents indicated the country’s political and economic stability as an advantage. At the same time, almost half of the companies that have operated in neighboring countries over the past five years say the business climate in Bulgaria is better than in Romania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, northern Macedonia, and Montenegro.

“The results of our latest study clearly show that Bulgaria continues to be an attractive regional destination for companies that plan to invest in the country or expand their activities. Our strategic location, our EU membership, and the developing infrastructure create good conditions for the development of a number of sectors such as manufacturing and logistics. In addition, easy access to neighboring countries allows companies to attract international talents for difficult-to-fill positions, for example in the “Information Technology” sector” commented Maria Stoeva, Head of Business Development, ManowerGroup Bulgaria.

The labor market – state and development

According to the survey, two-thirds of companies manage to find employees for their vacancies, and 12% have serious difficulties in attracting and retaining talent, mainly in the Tourism and Hospitality, and Construction and Engineering sectors. At the same time, approximately one-third of the respondents are partially satisfied, and every tenth – completely dissatisfied with the quality of education in the country, with the exception of the traditionally strong subjects “Mathematics”, “Foreign Languages”, “Physics” and “Chemistry”.

Regarding employment plans for the next three months, just over half of respondents do not expect a significant change in the total number of employees in their companies by the end of June 2021, while 26% plan to create new jobs and 16% predict a reduction in workforce.

“According to our observations, business organizations are increasingly robotizing and automating work processes, using outsourcing services and creating new positions for people with a wider range of skills. In the current situation, the creation of new jobs happens very carefully and after detailed planning of business operations and related costs” added Maria Stoeva.

Business recommendations

The results of the ManpowerGroup Bulgaria survey also show that only 16% of investors in the country find strong state support for business development, 8% believe that it is satisfactory, and 38% – that it is weak or missing.

In order to stimulate the future economic development of the country, the recommendations of investors are mainly aimed at increasing state support such as planning the education system according to business needs, improving procedures for importing personnel from third countries, more pandemic measures, and providing e-government.

Other recommendations for improving the investment environment in the country include long-term government efforts to motivate young emigrants to return to Bulgaria, simplified administrative procedures, and the opportunity for rapid communication with government institutions.

The survey “Business Climate Assessment for Investments in Bulgaria” of ManpowerGroup Bulgaria was conducted in the period February-March 2021 in the form of a survey with 17 questions. It includes the opinion of top managers of 51 national and international small, medium, and large companies from 13 industrial sectors across the country.

The full analysis and guidelines can be found HERE.