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Bulgaria

3500 Developers |2 Certified Partners |High Software Outsourcing Readiness

Overview

Bulgaria’s state-owned electronics companies specialized in computer hardware and basic programming for the Soviet bloc before the end of Communist rule. Now, a generation of Westernized engineers and programmers with a global outlook underpins the country’s emergence as the technology capital of the Balkans.

Talent Pool & Education

With an education system focused on engineering and computer science, Bulgaria is churning out a highly technical talent pool from more than 50 universities offering STEM, ICT, or other tech and business degrees. JavaScript and Java are among the most popular technologies among developers. Bulgaria has the largest percentage of female ICT specialists (31%) in Europe, and the capital Sofia has been described as a “women’s Silicon Valley”. 

Language

The national language is Bulgarian, but a large percentage of students study English and the country is rated “high” on the EF English Proficiency Index.

Economic Outlook

After a post-pandemic rebound in 2021, growth is expected to weaken. Business and consumer confidence are in decline, as the war in Ukraine contributes to energy and food prices described as “staggeringly high”. Ameliorating factors include an expected increase in public investment and the impact of government measures to protect households from inflation, which has neared a 14-year peak. The European Union's poorest member, Bulgaria already pegs its lev currency to the euro and has committed to joining the eurozone in 2024.

Political Conditions

Bulgaria’s long-running political deadlock continues. A snap election sent the country to the polls for the fourth time in 18 months in October 2022, following the collapse of a four-party coalition. While ex-Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's center-right GERB party topped the popular vote, the political landscape remains fragmented and uncertain.