Bulgaria – wine and essential oils
Bulgaria is a country in southeastern Europe, bordered by Romania, Serbia and Macedonia, Greece and Turkey and the Black Sea. Bulgaria’s population of 7.4 million people is predominantly urbanised, and most commercial and cultural activities are centred on the capital and largest city, Sofia.
More than half of the labour force is employed in the services sector. Extraction of metals and minerals, production of chemicals, machinery and vehicle components, petroleum refining and steel are among the major industrial activities. It is the largest global producer of perfumery essential oils such as lavender and rose oil. Agriculture has declined significantly in the past two decades, although it should be noted that Bulgaria is one of the world’s biggest winemakers – 200,000 tonnes a year.
Of the services sector, tourism is the most significant contributor to economic growth. In recent years, Bulgaria has emerged as a travelling destination with its inexpensive resorts and beaches outside the reach of the tourist industry. Lonely Planet ranked it among its top 10 destinations for 2011.
Gender equality, while moving in the right direction and actively supported by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and various NGOs, makes slow progress. Mrs Radka Stamenova, President of the Bulgarian Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) has acknowledged that “women’s participation in the Bulgarian institutions is still modest”.
Business culture in Bulgaria is formal. It is a good idea to hire an interpreter, at least for the introductory meeting and brief them fully on your needs. Bulgarians express approval by shaking their heads and this can be confusing for the uninitiated.
Presentations should be factual and backed with statistics. If possible try to present information visually. It may be necessary to ask the same question in a number of different ways to obtain a direct answer.
Share your Bulgarian business experiences
Sources: Wikipedia, novinite.com, Kwintessential, BAWE