Creative Industries Bulgaria
Population: 6,924,716 (July 2014 est.)
Internet country code: .bg
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), green, and red; the pan-Slavic white-blue-red colors were modified by substituting a green band (representing freedom) for the blue the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed
note: the national emblem, formerly on the hoist side of the white stripe, has been removed
Republic of Bulgaria / Република България / Republika Bǎlgarija
The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People’s Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.
Bulgaria, a former Communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007, averaged more than 6% annual growth from 2004 to 2008, driven by significant amounts of bank lending, consumption, and foreign direct investment. Successive governments have demonstrated a commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning, but the global downturn sharply reduced domestic demand, exports, capital inflows, and industrial production. GDP contracted by 5.5% in 2009, and has been slow to recover in the years since. Despite having a favorable investment regime, including low, flat corporate income taxes, significant challenges remain. Corruption in public administration, a weak judiciary, and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country’s investment climate and economic prospects.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$104.6 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74
$104.1 billion (2012 est.)
$103.3 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Textile and Clothing Sector Market Trends
In the coming years, European retailers will be forced to import the majority of large order, commodity clothing from Asia in order to remain competitive. But remaining competitive for these firms will also mean reducing opportunity costs of lost sales resulting from mid-season stock- outs, particularly for higher quality items. Asia, due to its slow delivery and inability to ship in small quantities, will not be an option for retailers and buyers to respond quickly to unexpected fluctuations in demand. European retailers must look closer to home for these solutions.
Bulgaria is Europe’s quick response solution. Bulgarian firms are rapidly developing the internal capabilities to manage all aspects of their supply chains to European partners, including sourcing, design, transport/logistics and own branding. These capabilities, combined with Bulgaria’s strategically favourable location, make working with Bulgaria a critical and valuable component to your company’s strategy.
The predominant part of the companies is export orientated. Bulgarian textile companies have specialized in the production of high quality apparel in relatively small series.
The Bulgarian fashion industry has experienced positive developments during the years before the economic crisis – constant increase in production, winners at design competitions, awards and distinctions at prestigious foreign forums and participation in fashion weeks in the world capitals of style. The industry has experienced low production levels in 2009 however the years after are of stabilization.
Presently, Bulgaria is Europe’s most resilient market for the production of apparel. The local companies are developing their production taking into consideration specific niches of international markets where demand is characterised with preference to smaller series of apparel products with a complex design. At the same time, Bulgarian companies are heading towards mid and upper-mid price segments of the
European confection market. These are the positions that the Bulgarian apparel producers are targeting and expect to explore further in the years to come.
One of the major advantages of Bulgarian apparel and textile producers is the ability to make fast deliveries to the European market. Compared to the industry in China and India, Bulgarian companies are able to respond in a shorter time frame to unexpected fluctuations in the demand. Moreover Bulgarian textile producers have already specialized in production of high quality products, implementing orders for famous international brands, which give them advantage in this segment of the world textile market.
Source: The Danish Trade Council in Bulgaria