Initially, Bulgaria had concentrated only on the agricultural sector but after World War II, the government nationalized all industrial enterprises and brought them under a series of five-year economic plans, with the priority of heavy industry. During the 1990s with the collapse of the communism and the loss of the Soviet market the economy of Bulgaria declined dramatically. The standard of living fell by about 40%, and only regained pre-1989 levels by June of 2004. In addition, UN sanctions against Serbia (1992-1995) and Iraq took a heavy toll on the Bulgarian economy. After some years of crisis Bulgaria started converting from a socialist to a market economy. The first signs of recovery emerged when GDP grew 1.4% in 1994 for the first time since 1988, and 2.5% in 1995. During 1996, however, the economy collapsed due to the Bulgarian Socialist Party’s slow and mismanaged economic reforms, its disastrous agricultural policy, and an unstable and decentralized banking system, which led to an inflation rate of 311% and the collapse of the lev. The economy began to stabilize only after Union of Democratic Forces won in April 1997 pre-term parliamentary elections and introduced an International Monetary Fund currency board system.
Nowadays economically Bulgaria can be qualified as a developed industrial-agrarian country with a free market economy and an attractive place for investors, tourists and sport-lovers because of its incredible natural resourses. For more information about Bulgarian economy read the report “Business environment and key sectors”.
The main industries of the country are food-processing, wine and tobacco industries, as well as the plant growing and the stockbreeding. Bulgaria produces and exports the best tasting and nitrates-free agricultural products - vegetables, fruits, tobacco and dairies. The country is also a famous producer and exporter of wine to more than 70 countries in the world. On the territory of Bulgaria there are 12 wineries producing a variety of excellent wines.
With its unique climate and natural resourses Bulgaria is home for Bacillus Bulgaricus, the main substance for making number one yoghurt in the world, which is believed to be the main factor for the long life of the Bulgarians.