Bulgaria: Country and Foreign Investment
The standard of Bulgaria’s transport infrastructure falls behind many other European countries. Sofia has important rail links to other neighbouring countries, including Greece, Romania and Turkey. The rail network still suffers from under-investment, although the Plovdiv rail line to the Greek and Turkish borders has been upgraded in recent years. The quality of the country’s roads still leaves much to be desired with barely 200 miles of high-speed motorways in use. However, plans are under way to upgrade roads and build new links. The Trakiya motorway to the Turkish border was due for completion in 2009, although problems with funding have delayed completion. There is also a major motorway route that runs from Sofia to the Black Sea.
Sofia Airport is by far the largest and most important in the country, carrying passengers and freight to many European destinations. The airport serviced nearly 1.7m passengers in the first six months of 2012. Provincial airports at Varna and Burgas deal primarily with non-commercial traffic and internal flights.
Internet usage in Bulgaria is low by comparison with other European countries. The cost of purchasing a computer and the connections required are still out of the reach of the budget of many Bulgarians. The infrastructure is growing and there are a number of ISPs operating in the country. Just under 3.4m people have Internet access.
Take-up of mobile telephony is as prolific as other countries. There are now around 10m mobile phones in Bulgaria and over 2.3m fixed landlines.