The South-East Region produces 12% of the economic value added in the country and its GDP amounts to around 10 billion BGN per year. That puts him in second place in the country rankings in terms of GDP per capita, immediately after the South-West region, whose GDP is nearly 18 billion BGN per year.
The Region occupies a leading position in several industries, including textiles and textile products (except clothing), production of general and special purpose machinery and equipment, and furniture. It is also among the leaders in the production of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers.
The economic activity rate of the population in the South-East Region by 31.12.2012 was 52.9%, while the national average in 2012 was 51.3%.
The employment rate of the population in the region is 46.6%, which is higher than the national average (45.6%).
The unemployment rate in the South-East Region is 11.9%.
The greatest contribution among the economic sectors is that of the tertiary sector.
The second largest contribution is that of the industry which is very important for the regional economy. It is followed by the agricultural sector.
Tourism occupies a leading position in the economy of the region owing to the favorable natural factors, the existing tourist facilities and infrastructure and the traditional experience in providing seasonal tourist services.
The following sectors are particularly well developed in the Region:
• Manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products
• Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semitrailers (4 companies, 2070 employees in 2012)
• Manufacture of vehicles except cars (7 companies 640 employees in 2012)
• Food processing and wine making
• Mining and quarrying
• Woodworking Industry
• Manufacture of chemical products
• Manufacture of plastic products
The strategic geographical location of the Region, the well developed transport infrastructure – roads, railways, the international port of Burgas and the six smaller ports, Bourgas International Airport and the several smaller airports, create opportunities for the businesses to settle in and for the further development of the seaside tourism. The construction of Cherno More (Black Sea) highway will facilitate the access to the Black Sea coast, will connect our country with the neighboring countries along the Black Sea coast, and will create adequate conditions for the development of combined transport through the international ports of Burgas and Ruse, i.e. using the European transport corridors № 7 and № 8. The construction of the sections of Trakia and Cherno More highways will help tap into the local development potential more fully and efficiently. There are possibilities for intermodal air, sea and land transport.
This region has the potential to develop crossborder, interregional, and transnational cooperation and to create better conditions for communication with the countries in Central and Western Europe and Asia. The further development of the Trans-European transport corridor №8 and its extension to the east where it turns into TRACECA (the transport corridor connecting Europe, the Caucasus, and Asia) creates opportunities for penetrating the emerging markets on the east coast.
The well preserved and attractive nature with lots of protected areas and large biodiversity, as well as the rich cultural and historic heritage create the conditions for a strong tourism sector – seaside holidaymaking, yachting, cultural, rural, and eco tourism. The region possesses unique features and resources, such as the Strandzha Nature Park, underwater archaeology, winemaking and traditional agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, sea water and mineral water, sea salt, lye and therapeutic mud, that may help go beyond the seasonal, recreational seaside holidaymaking and ensure the year-round occupancy of the hospitality venues.
This region has a fairly good demographic potential. It is in a favourable position in terms of demographic development and population structure compared with the other regions.
The urban hub of the region, Burgas, has the potential to continue to be an important commercial, economic and administrative centre. It belongs to the category of cities with national/transnational importance according to the European classification of Functional Urban Areas (FUAs). Alongside Varna, it plays a counterbalancing role in relation to Sofia and gives weight to the eastern part of the country.
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