Bulgaria’s Manufacturing Base, Electrical Equipment & Clothing Apparel

 

 By Donna Welles.

 

H.E. Daniel Mitov, Bulgarian Foreign Minister.

 

Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister, H.E. Daniel Mitov, spoke this week in Washington, DC. Much of the conversation pertained to energy, specifically to natural gas and to Russia’s Gazprom. Allow us, however, to examine the Bulgarian economy in terms of its manufacturing base as well as its trading partners.

Clothing Apparel and Electrical Equipment are Bulgaria’s major manufacturing exports; Copper is Bulgaria’s major export in terms of Non-Ferrous Metals. Notably, Clothing Apparel, Electrical Equipment, and Copper are in demand all over the world and at all times. In 2014, Bulgaria’s exports totaled $29bllion USD. Of that, Non-Ferrous Metals totaled $3billion, Electrical Equipment totaled $2billion, and Clothing Apparel totaled $2billion.

Regionally, Bulgaria is surrounded by enviable buyers such as Hungary, Italy, and Turkey. Romania exports much more to Hungary than Bulgaria exports to Hungary. In 2014, Romanian exports to Hungary totaled $3.5billion while Bulgarian exports to Hungary totaled $395million. Italian and Turkish figures are more similar, however. To Turkey, Bulgaria exported $2.8billion in 2014. To Italy, Bulgaria exported $2.6billion in 2014. Romania exported $3.5billion and $8.2billion. Arguably, there is room for growth in terms of Bulgarian exports to each of these regional buyers.

On the whole, both Bulgaria’s and Romania’s economies have expanded since 2010. Bulgaria’s to $56billion from $48billion and Romania’s to $199billion from $165billion. Population figures for both countries are in decline, however, resulting from both low fertility rates as well as net outflow of migration. Also, unemployment rates for both countries are concerning.

Bulgaria’s were up to 12.9% in 2013 from 10.2% in 2010. Romania’s were a little lower, 7.3% in both years. Literacy rates in both countries are steady at 98.5% and life expectancy rates for both countries are 74.5 years.

 

July 16, 2015

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