Net foreign direct investment (FDI) in Bulgaria was €1.05bn in January-March, four times higher compared to €244.1mn a year earlier, preliminary central bank data showed on May 18. The net investment figure is equal to 1.4% of projected 2022 GDP.
Foreign investment in Bulgaria has collapsed in the past 13 years due to the unstable economic environment, insufficient profits and alleged political pressure, which forced several big foreign investors to leave the country in 2019 and 2020. The new government of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has pledged to improve the economic and political environment, including by reforms of the judiciary, hoping to attract new foreign investors. This started producing results, with investment rising significantly compared to previous years despite the war in Ukraine and the economic crisis.
The largest net direct investment inflows came from the Netherlands (€469.4mn), Belgium (€159.4mn) and Austria (€115.3mn), while the largest outflows were to Germany (€63.7mn) and Greece (€21.4mn).
The equity investment was €104.1mn in January-March, compared to -€175.8mn a year ago. The reinvestment of earnings was €805.6mn, while a year earlier it totalled €638.5mn. The debt instruments component was €146.1mn, versus -€218.6bn a year ago.