Bulgaria overview


In Bulgaria we focus on:

  • Enhancing Competitiveness through Improved Efficiency, Governance and Innovation. The Bank will support financial restructurings and provide long term finance for competitiveness enhancement, and energy efficiency investments as well as support regional economic integration by providing financing for cross-border investments and exports. For smaller companies, the Bank will work with and through financial intermediaries to ensure sufficient access to funds and explore expanding its business advisory activities.
  • Strengthen the financial sector intermediation through targeted investments and improved governance. The Bank will explore risk sharing products in order to support overall intermediation and in particular MSME development as well support sector consolidation. The Bank will also seek to support the deposit insurance fund with a combination of investment and policy dialogue.
  • Narrowing the Infrastructure Gap through Commercialisation, Reform and Efficiency. The Bank will seek to support commercialisation and private sector participation in transport, gas and municipal infrastructure, including by working with the authorities to facilitate leveraging of available EU structural funds. In the energy sector, the Bank is ready to renew its dialogue with the authorities with the view to support the energy sector reform strategy and would provide investments to support public utilities financial and operational performance, while continuing energy efficiency investment across the economy.

The EBRD’s latest strategy for Bulgaria was adopted on 8 July 2015

EBRD forecast for Bulgaria’s real GDP growth in 2017 3.2%

EBRD forecast for Bulgaria's real GDP growth in 2018 3.0%

After growing 3.6 per cent in 2015, the Bulgarian economy expanded by 3.4 per cent in 2016. While private consumption grew on the back of a 10.5 per cent hike in the minimum wage and improved labour market conditions, government spending remained subdued due to the transition to the new EU funds programming period and budgetary tightening, resulting in a budget surplus for the first time since 2008.

There was also strong growth in private investment, offsetting the low public investment resulting from fiscal tightening. Driven by increasing growth prospects of the main trading partners, net exports also had a positive impact on growth in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, growth will be driven by private consumption and investment, as fiscal consolidation continues and the contribution of net exports to growth tapers off due to strong domestic demand. Overall, growth is expected to stand at 3.2 per cent in 2017 and 3.0 in 2018.

Bulgaria in the EBRD’s 2016-17 Transition Report