Sofia is the major center of Bulgaria's economic and commercial life, increasingly attracting attention as an outsourcing location for Western European and American multinationals. The city is also the headquarters for major Bulgarian and international companies operating in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe.
The capital is also the cradle for trade fairs held in the country. Sofia organizes and hosts number of international business events every year in its well infrastructured venues like Inter Expo & Congress Center, National Palace of Culture and Festivalna Hall. Some of the renowned events of the city are Flora Bulgaria, Expolight Bulgaria and Immobilia Bulgaria.
The manufacturing sector of the citys economy is represented by over 800 large manufacturing plants including metal products, (75% of the total output in the country), textiles, rubber and leather goods, printing and electronics.
Also the financial hub of the country, Sofia is home to Bulgarian National Bank, Bulgarian Stock Exchange as well as some of the country's largest commercial banks such as HVB Bank Biochim, Bulbank, DSK Bank and United Bulgarian Bank.
Construction, trade and transport are the other important sectors of the city. The construction industry has exploded with new construction sites popping up everywhere around Sofia.
With the fall of communism in the country, major international companies previously not present have moved in Bulgaria and the majority of them are in Sofia. The real estate market in the city has skyrocketed as well in recent years.
Major Business Centers
The National Palace of Culture:
Opened in 1981, National Palace of Culture of Sofia is the largest multifunctional congress, conference, convention and exhibition center in Southeastern Europe. In 2005 it was proclaimed the best congress center in the world for the year by the International Organization of Congress Centers.
Located in very heart of the capital amidst a beautiful park, the venue is spread on the total area of 123,000 m² on eight floors and three underground levels including 13 halls, 15,000 m² of exhibition area, a trade center and a car park.
The center also houses a number of cafes, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, bowling and shops to facilitating guests.
Inter Expo & Congress Center:
Situated in the south-eastern part of Sofia only 3 km from airport, 6 km from city center and only 15 minutes from central railway station & international bus station, Inter Expo & Congress Center is spread on the area of 42 000 m2.
The complex includes four exhibition pavilions, seven congress halls and a large open exhibition area. The exhibition pavilions offer excellent conditions for organizing a wide spectrum of specialized exhibitions and are also suitable for congresses, seminars, cocktails, gala dinners, promotions, fashion shows and others.
There are also restaurants, cafeterias and car parks along with banking, insurance, hotel, ticket reservation and rent-a-car services at clients disposal.
Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE):
Bulgarian Stock Exchange in Sofia was originally founded in 1914 through a tsar's decree, but ceased to operate after World War II, as Bulgaria became a Communist state. Nevertheless, it was re-established in late 1991 and today run successful with SOFIX and BG40 being its main indices.