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"Regional Investment Projects - the Way of Europe. Perspectives 2007" Investment Forum in Plovdiv in April

Bulgarian Investment Forum "Regional Investment Projects - the Way of Europe. Perspectives 2007" will take place April 5th and 6th, 2005, in the St. Petersburg Hotel in Plovdiv. Plovdiv is the centre of the South Central Region* according to the territorial division of Bulgaria.


The South Central region, covering 27,553 km?, represents approximately a quarter of the total surface of Bulgaria. The region has 2 million inhabitants and has borders with Greece and Turkey. Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Haskovo, Stara Zagora, Kurdjali, and Smolyan are the most important industrial and research centres in the region.

The transport infrastructure is unevenly distributed due to the diverse landscape and because of the economic development of the region. The road network is relatively well developed, as is the rail network which connects the Bulgarian capital Sofia and the Black Sea port of Bourgas. Plovdiv Airport is the major airport in the region.

The industrial sector accounts for 26% of regional GDP, while services represent 58% and agriculture 16%. Food, beverages and tobacco are the most prominent industries. Other important industries are those of metal processing, machine production, wood processing, textiles and footwear. Due to its beautiful scenery and natural forests, the district of Smolyan in the Rodopi mountains is a popular tourist destination especially for hunting and hiking activities.

The region hosts the University of Plovdiv (Paisiy Hilendarski), the Agricultural University of Plovdiv, the Medical University, and the Plovdiv branch of the Technical University of Sofia. There are also several higher education and research institutes, such as the Institute of Canning Industry, the Institute of Fresh Water Fishery and the Regional Institute of Veterinary and Medicine. With the support of the German government, two centres for providing additional qualifications to university graduates are situated in Stara Zagora and Pazardjik.

The main international co-operation partners of South Central Bulgaria in the field of innovation are Saxony-Ahnalt (Germany) and Thessaly (Greece). A meeting centre for the Saxony-Anhalt region has been established in Plovdiv.