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Plovdiv is the second biggest city in the Republic of Bulgaria with a population of 345 000 people.
The city is situated on the area of 53, in the flat Upper Trakia lowland on the two shores of the Maritsa River. Plovdiv is characterized with a well-developed economy in all of its fields. It is a center of a variety of scientific institutes, universities, international fair, airport, financial institutions, duty free zone, stock exchange market and cultural institutions. Plovdiv is divided into six administrative regions the mayors of which are elected by the City council. The 51 members of the local parliament are elected in direct elections, as well as the Mayor of the Municipality. The functional system of the Municipality of Plovdiv consists of a Mayor and Deputy Mayors, whose governing mandate is for four years, there is also a chief architect, and a secretary of the Municipality. The Deputy Mayors are appointed by the Mayor and are governing the departments and the other units in the structure of the Municipality. In Plovdiv is concentrated the state administration, providing services to the population, which together with the seven universities, the positive business climate and the well-developed infrastructure are determining the city as the center of the South-Central region of Bulgaria.
Местонахождение на Пловдив

Dr. Ivan Chumakov, MD. - Mayor of the Municipality Plovdiv

Dr. Ivan Chumakov, MD. - Mayor of the Municipality Plovdiv

The old Part of the town  Plovdiv
Plovdiv is one of the oldest cities not only in Bulgaria but also in Europe. Plovdiv with its eight thousand years of history is contemporary of the human civilization and the famous ancient towns Troy and Mikena . The cultural-historical heritage of Plovdiv is unique not only for Bulgaria but also for the whole world. The city’s historic and attractive value is incompatible with any other city in Bulgaria. Therefore, it is not an accident that the motto of the city is “Ancient and eternal”.
The unique natural and economic advantages of Plovdiv have defined it as a trade and cultural center. There are over 200 cultural sites in the city, 30 of which are with national importance, which determine the fame of the city as the cultural capital of Bulgaria. Most of the archeological, architecture-historic and cultural sites in the city are found in the Architecture- historic complex “Old Plovdiv”. It is build from archeological sites, museums, and galleries with valuable expositions, old buildings, temples, restaurants and hotels, older and contemporary buildings with romantic yards, and cobbled streets.

In 2005 the complex is nominated to be included in the List of the worlds cultural and natural heritage of UNESCO.

The city has been determined long ago as an attractive destination for tourists, due to its rich cultural-historic heritage and its artistic atmosphere. The tourism in Plovdiv and the region is developed mostly in the fields of cultural, religious, spa, congress, and business. There are over 150 000 foreign tourists per year, coming to visit the wonders of the city. Plovdiv and the region have more than 7 000 beds in over 50 hotels.
The city of Stefka Kostadinova and Hristo Stoychkov has won a lot of friends with its sport hospitality. One of the favorite places for the citizens of Plovdiv is the sport complex “Plovdiv”, which has a rowing channel with water area of 255 000, a stadium for 55 000 viewers with an Olympic size football field, athletic facilities and a tennis complex with 19 open courts and a hall with 4 courts. In this sports facilities have been conducted numerous European and world championships and in the year 2004 a pre-Olympic preparation for various sport disciplines took place. The citizens of Plovdiv are also enjoying the three football clubs in the city, which are famous with their rich history and many successes throughout the years.
Geo-strategic location  
The strategic location of Plovdiv has determined the city, since the time of Phillip II, as a crucial transport center with international importance. Contemporary Plovdiv together with the capital Sofia are in the center of the Balkan peninsula and are situated at almost the same distance from the rest of the Balkan capital cities.
Throughout the city are passing the Euro-Asian transport corridor number 8 and the “Road of Silk”, which has an outmost importance for our country, it connects the countries from the Middle Asia, these from the north Black Sea area, Bourgas, Plovdiv-Sofia, Skopje, Tirana, Italy, ets,.
With no less importance is the European corridor number 10, which also connects Europe and Asia (London- Bombaj).
Very close to the city of Plovdiv is situated the Plovdiv airport which provides travel and cargo services. The airport provides services to over 50 000 travelers per year and processes over 4,500 tons of cargo. The major clients of the airport are Bulgarian and foreign companies. It has been planned that the airport will be reconstructed and modernized and thus become an airport with European and international importance, taking into consideration the most favorable whether conditions in the country. The short-term vision for the “Plovdiv” airport is for it to be defined as an international cargo airport, which will additionally boost the international importance of the city as a transport center of the South-central region of Bulgaria.
Plovdiv also has the densest railway net in the country and an adequate road infrastructure. The well-defined transport net on the territory of the Municipality of Plovdiv is a pre-condition for the constantly growing local and foreign investments on the territory of the city
Demographic characteristics

Another extremely important resource for our city is the high number of population in an active age, 65.5% from the total population, as well as the high educational level of the citizens. Almost two thirds (62.38%) from the citizens are enjoying high education (university, two-year college, high school degrees). Therefore, we should underline the fact that 14.64% from the population of the city possesses a university degree. The main pre-conditions for the high educational level of the citizens are the seven universities, which determine Plovdiv as a university, technology and innovation center of the South-central region of Bulgaria.
The unemployment in the city is relatively low and thus it is corresponding to the European standards described in the Copenhagen criteria. For the year 2003 the official unemployment in Plovdiv is 9.05%, following a constant decreasing pattern.

The variety of ethnic groups in the population is pinpointing the good integration policy of the Municipality. The main ethnic group is the Bulgarian one with 89.5%, followed by the Turkish with 6.7%, the Roma with 1.5%, and others with 1.7%. The different ethnic groups in the city of Plovdiv are playing a crucial role for the cosmopolitan outlook of the city.

The qualitative human resource in collaboration with the high educational level of the population is a good pre-condition for the positive investment climate in the city of Plovdiv.


The Municipality of Plovdiv has an outmost importance for the development of the Bulgarian economy. The changes in the economy in Plovdiv throughout the last ten years (Transition from market planned economy to free market economy) led to alterations in the structure, the approaches, and the means that define the activities of the industry and services. After the transition crisis in the nineties the Municipality succeeded to start a process of restructuring of its economy and nowadays it is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country.

Since the year 2001, the GDP of the economy of Plovdiv has a higher annual growth rate than the average for the country. According to the last statistical data in the end of 2003 the GDP of the Plovdiv economy has a growth rate of 8.59% in comparison to 2002. The GDP for the year 2002 is 2698.9 million leva. The private sector share in the gross production of the Municipality of Plovdiv is 83%. The presence and constant growth of the number and importance of the private companies, the results from which are showing a constant and sustainable tendency for widening and increasing their economic activities, foster the increase of the net amount of incomes from sales. According to the last statistical data the GDP per capita in Plovdiv is 165% higher than the average for the country. The economy of the Municipality of Plovdiv provides for 6% from the national industrial production, 8% from the profits from trade and services and 8% from the exports of the country.
The coefficient of economic activity is 55.4% in comparison to the 46.8% for the country.
There is a well-defined balance in the economy of the city of Plovdiv, which underlines the realistic state and ratios of the major sectors of the economy.


The well-defined industrial zones and the production infrastructure situated in the favorable for that geographic directions of the city are accounting for the industry to be one of the leading sectors of the Plovdiv economy. The enterprises situated on the territory of the Municipality, are responsible for 68% of the GDP in the region.
The industry is represented in almost all of its brunches. The highest share has the food industry, the production of drinks and tobacco, followed by:

• Machine engineering
• Metallurgy
• Production of chemicals, chemical products, synthetic fibers.
• Production of cellulose, paper, paper and polygraph products.

The investment activity is dominating in the industrial center. In the year 2002 the amount of expenditures for acquiring long-term assets reached 566.7 million leva (approximately 284 million euro), which is almost 62% over the level depicted in 1999. From the whole amount of the investments, 60% are concentrated in the industry, electricity and construction. In 2002 most of the investments are concentrated in the production of wood products, paper, food products, textiles, textile products, and clothes. In the technological structure of the investments are dominating the expenditures for machines and facilities- 65.6%, which is due to the presence of sustainable companies on the market and their intentions for technological renovation and optimization of the production process.

Many of the strongest construction companies in Bulgaria are situated in Plovdiv. Construction as a sector of the economy is having a second place according to the number of people hired in the field. In 509 companies are working 5586 people. The biggest company is “Stroitelstwo I wyzstanoviavane”. There are 851 people working in it. Some of the other bigger companies are “Vodstroj”, “Trakia- RM”, “Stroitelna Mehanizacia”, “Zavodski Stroezi”, “Sienit”, “Stoyanstroi” and others. It should be underlined that the private construction companies are famous in the country and abroad for the high quality of their work, as well as the precise execution of their contacts. Throughout the last years our construction companies have gained experience in the execution of wide-scale projects.


Except from the well-developed industry, Plovdiv also has sustainable services sector, which accounts for 52% from the total income of the Municipality. The percent ratio between the secondary and the third sector of the economy in Plovdiv is classifying the city as one of the sustainable cities in Europe. The services in the city of Plovdiv are represented in all of their fields. The highest share in the income from sales has the trade of household products, followed by:

• Transport
• Real estate and business services
• Financial intermediaries
• Hotels and restaurants

Plovdiv have international Airport for passanger and cargo flights.


For the last 5 years the hotel in the city have grown about 277 % and the beds with 66,4 %.

Plovdiv Novotel

Plovdiv Novotel

For the last 4 years the sleeping accommodation of foreign tourists have grown with 55%.


Due to the sustainable companies found on the territory of Plovdiv, the city is playing a crucial role in the exports of the country. The city of Plovdiv provides for 8% from all the exports of Bulgaria. According to the last statistical data the export rate enjoys a 5% increase for the year 2003. The highest share in the exports has the metallurgy, followed by:

Production of chemicals, chemical products, synthetic fibers,
Machine engineering
Production of cellulose, paper, paper and polygraph products
Production of food products, drinks, and tobacco
Production of rubber and plastic products

Instruments attracting foreign investments

Except for the positive business climate, the well-situated transport net and the high education level of the population, Plovdiv also depends on the following institutions in order to attract foreign investment. The unique natural and economic advantages have defined Plovdiv as a trade center. The biggest trade fair in the country, with international importance, is the Plovdiv international fair. The fair in Plovdiv is the biggest one in South-East Europe. The international fair “Plovdiv” is the exhibition center of Bulgaria, with the support of which the Bulgarian producers are entering the international markets. Also, the fair’s activities are a good indicator for the economy of the country. It provides the most modern conditions for work and has facilities that are famous in the whole of Europe. The international fair in Plovdiv is a modern exhibition center, situated on the area of 360 000 sq.m. The total exhibition area is 95 000 sq.m. The Plovdiv fair has 24 multi-functional pavilions, providing opportunities for the exposition of all kinds of products. The positive tendencies in the economic development of the country, the favorable investment climate and the fast pace at which the country is being attracted to the European economic and political community gave a new impulse for the development of the exhibitions. The qualitative data is clearly depicting this tendency. Throughout the year 2004, forty exhibitions were conducted with the participation of 7378 exhibitors from 63 countries. Until this moment the number of the visitors amounts to 600 000 people. The foreign participation is about 46% from the total number of exhibitors and 25% from the exhibition area.

One of the important structures facilitating the international business in the city is the Duty free zone- Plovdiv, which is one of the institutions providing for the modern outlook of the city. It is established in 1987 and provides conditions for mounting or production processes, both by foreign or mixed companies, distribution and re-export, storage and processing of products.

There is also a customhouse working in the Municipality of Plovdiv. It is specialized in processing mainly heavy trucks and wagons.

In 1990 in the city was re-established the Plovdiv Chamber of Commerce. Throughout the last years it has developed even further its international activities, establishing contacts with similar Chambers from Great Britain, USA, Greece, Turkey, Israel, France, Germany, and Italy. In the city are also functioning a Chamber of Economy, Transport Chamber, Stock Exchange market and others.

Financial institutions

On the territory of the city of Plovdiv are concentrated a lot of financial and intermediary institutions. Here are represented many of the Bulgarian and foreign banking institutions, insurance companies, financial institutions, foreign exchange offices. According to the last data in the end of the year 2003 in Plovdiv are registered 203 companies working as financial intermediaries.

Opportunities for international investments in the Municipality of Plovdiv

1. Establishing a Zone for fostering economic growth, on an area situated South-east from the city.
2. The well-developed scientific base in the city of Plovdiv is a good pre-condition for investing in the establishment of Innovation-technology park, The objective of this park is to increase the capacity of the business, the universities, and the scientific institutes by providing a common structure of these, which will attract numerous local and international investors.
3. The Municipality of Plovdiv plans to establish Business incubators for the purpose of stimulating entrepreneurship and at the same time provide more and better jobs to its citizens.
4. Following from the planned vision for the Plovdiv airport in the short-term a reconstruction and modernization will start in order to transform it into an airport with European and international importance.
5. Building a Heavy wastes treatment plant.

Due to the established partnership climate between the local authorities, the private sector and the structures of the civil society, Plovdiv is determined to achieve even higher economic rates, as well as better standard of living for its citizens.

Major Foreign investors in Plovdiv and the region

• MITSUL and others

For contacts:

International and European Affairs Department

Plovdiv Municipality
1,Stefan Stambolov Sqr.
4000 Plovdiv / BULGARIA
Mr. Gocho Gochev
phone: +359 32 656 433; 656 434; 656 427
fax.: +359 32 656 439

Association NEST®