More than 60,000 Greek firms have relocated their businesses to Bulgaria since the summer of 2015. Some of the firms have relocated their businesses, while others have obtained tax registration or opened bank accounts in Bulgarian banks. This is stated in the figures of the National Confederation of Hellenic Commerce (ESEE).
Even though this is not a brand new development, over the last months it has intensified due to the temporary closure of banks in Greece during the summer, the introduction of capital controls and other restrictions in Greece, which considerably hampered businesses.
Firms are trying to avoid heavy bureaucracy and the continuing economic uncertainty in Greece by requesting to obtain tax registration in Bulgaria.
Entrepreneurs state that although Bulgaria is not the ideal place for doing business, it is a preferred destination in view of the continuing problems in Greece. A total of 2500 new Greek-owned firms were created in 2014, as Bulgaria has a more favorable tax regime than Greece. These Greek firms mainly operate in the sectors of tourism, commerce, real estate and financial services.
A total of 40,000 Bulgarians are employed in enterprises realized by direct Greek investments, while the same number are employed in Bulgarian firms exporting to Greece.