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Bulgaria strategy

Although Bulgaria is an advanced transition country and an EU member, the country still faces significant transition challenges.

Strategy (163KB - PDF)

Comments (44KB - PDF)

Local language translation (700KB - PDF)

Key transition challenges that can be addressed with EBRD financing and assistance include:

  • Restructuring in the power sector and increasing energy efficiency and sustainability. Despite improvements in recent years, Bulgaria remains the most energy-intensive economy in the EU and has not yet made the transition to an efficient, low carbon economy.
  • Encouraging a shift from the non-tradable to tradable sectors. Future growth prospects depend to a large extent on developing greater export capacity and knowledge-based industries, which in turn will be an important source of innovation and research and development.
  • Strengthening infrastructure sectors through more efficient management. In many infrastructure operations – water, waste, roads, rail, ports – there is a need to improve management and to further strengthen regulatory capacity.
  • Developing financial markets. The banking sector is fragmented, commercial banks’ access to medium and long-term funding is limited, and financial market development suffered during the crisis.

The Bank’s priorities are focused in those areas where the transition gaps remain significant and where the Bank’s finance and expertise are additional to what commercial and non-commercial funding sources can provide. 

The Bank’s activities in Bulgaria will be focused on the following operational priorities:

  • Developing sustainable energy policies and investments. The Bank will facilitate Bulgaria’s transition to a low-carbon economy and enhance its energy security by supporting energy production from renewable and environmentally sound sources, by assisting companies employing energy-saving technologies and by supporting the building of new connections for delivery of gas and oil.
  • Supporting a shift to more sustainable growth focused on competitiveness. The Bank will continue to respond selectively to demand from the corporate sector with direct financing for larger and mid size firms, focusing on value added investments in sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and technology.
  • Enhancing commercialisation, competition and private sector involvement in infrastructure. The Bank will seek to expand its activities in the municipal sector by supporting commercial structures. The Bank will work alongside the EU and European Investment Bank (EIB) to introduce private sector practices.
  • Deepening financial intermediation, with greater emphasis on non-bank sectors. The Bank will target funds to special-purpose lending activities, such as energy efficiency for individuals, enterprises and public buildings. The Bank will consider expanding micro and leasing lending.

Last updated 12 January 2012



The Local Enterprise Facility (LEF) is a €400 million proprietary vehicle for investments in SMEs in the Balkans and beyond. It provides a wide range of flexible financial products and post-investment assistance to companies, whose needs are not sufficiently addressed by existing financing sources.

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Български (1MB - PDF)