Northeastern Planning Region (NERP) - Economic

On the area of the NEPR are situated more than 15% of the enterprises from the non-financial sector in the country and it possesses 12.8% of the long term material assets. The number of those employed is 15.4% of the national total.11% of the manufactured products from the national industry and 11.5% of revenue from sales are produced in NEPR.
The value of GDP for NEPR is 3749 leva (2003) which is 15% below the national average. The value for Varna district is significantly higher (125% of the national average) and for the remaining five districts the per capita GDP is significantly lower than the regional average.
The NEPR ranks third in terms of the Gross Value Added. The services sector accounts for the biggest share of the GVA in the region (62.2%), followed by the agrarian sector (22.2%)-almost 2 times the respective national average and industry -15.6%.
The highest share of the agrarian sector in GVA possesses Silistra district-43.7%, followed by Razgrad and Targovishte districts.
Agriculture is one of the priority sectors in the region favored by the appropriate nature and climatic conditions. Agrarian sector accounts for 22.2% in the Gross Value Added structure (the national average is 11.4%).Thremmatology is well developed.
Plant-growing: NEPR possesses the highest share of arable land in the country-1113640ha, which represents 88.5% of the used farm land
Stock-breeding including breeding of sheep, goats, pigs, buffaloes. An increase in the number of cattle and buffaloes and decrease in the number of pigs and goats is observed.
Poultry breeding : the biggest poultry farm in the country is to be found in the village of Donchevo, municipality of Dobrich
Apiculture- Honey producing has become more popular recently.
Fishery-favorable conditions for fish-farms and development of fishery. It is popular along Danube river and in the Black sea littoral. Excellent conditions for clam-breeding in the region using under water pipe constructions.
Industry-share of production manufactured in NEPR-10.6% from that produced in the country. Share of production manufactured in the private enterprises-87.5%. Industry in NEPR is a mixture of big and small companies. The region is not excessively dependant on a small number of sectors and the mix of small and big enterprises improves the opportunities for renewal , expansion and growth. Food stuffs production, beverages, tobacco products, chemicals and fibre are of predominant importance. Machine-tools engineering including vehicle manufacture, textile and clothing industries and the construction sector are other important directions. The industrial sector is characterized by a high degree of concentration in the distant centers and in Varna-Devnya-Beloslav industrial agglomeration.
Mining industry is presented by caolin deposits, which satisfy the needs of ceramic industry in the country;salt field which is a precondition for the chemical industry in Devnya region; lime stones in same region necessary for cement production; quartz for glass production.
Manufacturing industry- NEPR provides 13% of the production in the same sector for the country.
Energy supply, gas supply provide 15.2% of the production in the sector for the region.
Varna Thermo-electric power station is the biggest of its kind in the country and operates with imported raw materials.
Favourable preconditions for emergence and development of clusters have been identified in the region. NEPR occupies leading position in establishing of cluster formations in the country.
Cluster “Devnya” where several big companies have been identified-“Agropolihim”, “Devnya Cement”, “Solvay-Sodi” all of them exploiting the mineral resources of the area.
Sea industry – combination of particular infrastructure, ship yard, ports, sea science and education all servicing the maritime business.
Potential for establishing the following clusters: shoe industry within the municipality of Dobrich, ”Glass” cluster on the territory of Targovishte distrct, “Food” and “Wine production” cluster.

Development of Active Business Environment:
Number of companies in NEPR for 2003-36956 (9% more than the registered companies in 2002).The number of micro and small companies predominates. On the area of the NEPR are situated more than 15% of the enterprises from the non-financial sector in the country and possesses 12.8% of the long-term material assets. The number of people employed is 15.4% of the national total. More than 81% of all companies operate in the service sector,14.5% in industry and some 4.4% are engaged in the agrarian sector.
Several decisive factors predetermine the leading position of Varna district - these are the location, climate, Black sea littoral ,quality and quantity of arable land, built-up infrastructure, human resources’ potential, tourism development, high rate of direct foreign investments, development of R&D and entrepreneurship.
The district ranks first in the country in terms of number of overnight stays, number of foreign tourists-27% of their total number.

Development of tourism
The North-Eastern Planning Region occupies a leading place among the planning regions in the country with respect to the development of tourism with:
- 39.7% of the accommodation capacity nationwide and
- 47.1% of the realized revenue from accommodation.
As compared to the other planning regions the North-Eastern Region stands out also for
- the highest average length of stay of visitors (7.1 days);
- the highest rate of occupation of the accommodation facilities (beds) (35.7%);
- the highest density of accommodation facilities (beds) (3.5/km2);
- number of accommodations (beds) per 100 inhabitants (5.1);
- number of night stays per 100 inhabitants (412).
This development defines the North-Eastern Planning Region as the region with the highest “pressure on the environment” and socio-economic impact of tourism, measured by the indicators density of accommodation and number of overnight stays, accommodation capacity (beds) per 100 inhabitants and overnight stays per 100 inhabitants.
Varna is centre of active cultural life, especially in summer. The Palace of Sports & Culture, the Festival & Congress Centre, the Summer Theatre host many events. Among others an International Ballet Competition since 1964, the first of its kind in the world; the International Varna Summer Music Festival, which first took place in 1967, and ever since attracts famous musical ensembles
To the North and South of Varna there is a cluster of seaside resorts all with fine-sandy beaches, but differing in size and style. The largest is Golden Sands set on well-wooded terraces, the last foothills of the Balkan range reaching down to the sea. Its four kilometre beach slopes gently fall into the water. There is a wealth of sport & leisure time facilities available, all very moderately priced. Water-skiing, wind-surfing, paraskung, snorkelling, tennis, volleyball, mini-golf and croquet fill the visitor's day, and a choice of restaurants, bars, discos and nightclubs provide evening entertainment. Many hotels have recently been refurbished and upgraded.
Albena Resort is the place where the sea meets the sand. Sports and recreation facilities, Spa and beauty facilities, numerous entertainment spots, nightlife in bars and discos, conference halls - Albena has it all. Albena -a world of quality, service and value. Albena - a delight for all ages -sandy beach, crystal sea, and, as much or as little action as you need, Albena has something for everyone.

Innovations and Technological R&D Centers
The NEPR ranks on the second place in the country after the Southwestern region with respect to the share of R&D costs in the regional GDP-0.2% in 2002 as compared to 0.4% national average, which is far below the objective laid down in the Lisbon strategy (4% of the GDP).The number of operating organizations in the field of R&D is quite small and concentrated mainly in Varna district respectively the city of Varna (4 on the subject of fish resources , sea research and oceanology , hydro-and aero-dynamics and metal processing). Research and production structures exist at the Research center on Agrarian Sciences in the city of General Toshevo and Shumen. In the field of agriculture it is worth mentioning also the branch of the Institute on Stock-rearing in Loznitza municipality, the Apricot Studies Experimental Station in the city of Silistra. A market-driven trend of partnership-building between the higher educational establishments and the R&D institutes is observed, however on a limited scale and hence commercial application of the developed research products is also negligent. In a process of establishment is the technology related infrastructure ,for example –high-tech parks, technology incubators, centers for technology transfer and other structures related to technological partnership with business.
Information and communication technologies
Introduction of new information and communication technologies both in business and public sector in NEPR. Varna district is the regional leader in using modern technologies .City of Varna ranks second on the market of information technologies (after the capital). Only a limited number of companies are using e-trade.

Direct Foreign Investments
The region ranks second in the country in terms of volume of accumulated direct foreign investments (12.8%).This volume demonstrates significant increase during the recent several years. The predominant share of direct foreign investments (above 65%) has been effected on the area of Varna District, while the rest of the districts lag significantly behind. The absence of key investments is an important challenge in the development of the region.
Prerequisites for investors’ activity.
- Stable economy and predictable political environment
- Membership in NATO and expected accession in the EU on January 1st 2007.
- Bulgarian companies are applying international accounting standards.
- Bulgaria is a party to 52 international agreements on promotion of investments and 55 agreements on avoidance of double taxation.