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Doing Business in Bulgaria

According to Eurostat, Bulgaria ranks second in the European Union in terms of the lowest government debt with 20.4% of GDP and macroeconomic indicators. The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria maintains strict financial discipline, placing it in the top three of the European Union. Moreover, as of 2020 Bulgaria is part of the ERM II which is the last step before accepting the euro and is expected to join the Eurozone in 2023.

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Since 2003, the World Bank has produced the Doing business report. It evaluates the economic policies of 190 economies and ranks them in 10 areas of regulation. The report provides quantitative parameters regarding starting a business, building permits, access to electricity, registering property, obtaining credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading abroad, executing contracts and resolving bankruptcy. In the 2019 edition Bulgaria ranked 59th among 190 countries in terms of “Ease of doing business”. Our country occupies top positions, respectively – 21st place under the criterion “Trading across borders” and 33rd place – according to the criterion “Protecting minority investors”.

Since 1996, the index published in the Economic Freedom Report by the Fraser Institute (Vancouver, Canada) has been measuring the extent to which policies and institutions in different countries support economic freedom. The fundamental principles of economic freedom are personal choice, the voluntary exchange and security of private properties. There are 42 variables used in five broad areas – government size, legal system and property rights, stability of money, freedom of international trade, regulations. According to the latest data from 2020, Bulgaria ranks 37th among 162 countries. Our country is at the forefront of the indicators “Freedom of International Trade” (20th place), “Money Stability” (22nd) and “Regulations” (38th place).

Since 1995, the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation (Washington, USA) have been tracking the dynamics of economic freedom around the world with the Index of Economic Freedom. The index examines 10 areas of the business environment, including protection of property rights, fiscal freedom, freedom of trade, regulatory framework. In the 2019 edition of the index, Bulgaria ranks 37th among 178 countries in terms of economic indicators. In regional statistics, Bulgaria ranks 19th among 44 countries in the region of Europe, and its overall result above average for the region and the world. Data from the World Economic Forum pins Bulgaria on the 49th place (out of 141) under the “Global Competitiveness Index”.