Until 1989, industry and communications were controlled by the State. From then on, competition in free market conditions has been the practice.
Bulgaria is considered the most industrialized country of members of the previous Soviet Bloc including in the machinery and motor industries among others.
During the Soviet era, Sofia was considered an important center for the electronic and hi-tech industries. Still today, a labor force with computer skills attracts overseas investors to Bulgaria. Countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary joined the EU in 2004 and Bulgaria's expected date of entry is in 2007.
The services sector contributes some 58% to the Bulgarian economy, industry contributes some 30% while the balance comes from agriculture and forestry.
The main exports are clothing and footwear - approximately 21%. Metal exports - some 14% of the total.
The main imports are oil and gas - some 16%. Other significant imports are of textiles that constitute some 10%.
Bulgaria's main trading partners are Italy and Germany. In 2003, some 15% exports were to Italy. Exports to Germany were 12% and to Turkey 9%. The main imports in the same years were from Germany - some 15%, From Italy 12% and from Greece and Russia about 9% each. From the aspect of natural resources, bauxite, copper, lead, coal and zinc are to be found.
From the aspect of natural resources, bauxite, copper, lead, coal and zinc are to be found.
An analysis of the Bulgarian economic indices shows that the GDP for the years 2000 - 2002 is comparatively high, around 5%. The average annual rate of inflation fell from 2000 when inflation was in double figures, to an annual rate of around 2% in 2003. The rate of unemployment in 2003 was 13.6%, a sharp drop compared with the years 2000 - 2002 when unemployment was around 18%.
The GDP per capita (PPP) for the year 2003 was 7,600 dollars.
The average gross monthly salary was, in 2003 Euro 138.
At the start of 2003, the average purchase price per square meter of residential space in an exclusive area of Sofia was Euro 200 - 640. The purchase price for a square meter of office space in the center of Sofia was Euro 240 - 1600.
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