The fashion, textile and clothing industry appears to be historically the first industrial sector in Bulgaria. Currently, it provides jobs to almost 100 000 people and is a key exporting industry accounting for over 6% of the national merchandise export. Major drivers of national growth include a thriving private sector and growth in investments.
Furthermore, it consistently records positive trade balance bringing in foreign exchange in the country. In 2020, for instance, the positive trade balance in the industry had a value of about 264 million euro.
Here are some more key details about the textile industry in Bulgaria:
- Production: Bulgaria has a well-established textile industry with a wide range of products, including clothing, textiles for home use, technical textiles, and yarns. The industry comprises both large-scale production facilities and smaller enterprises and a mix of local and foreign companies.
- Employment: The textile industry in Bulgaria is a significant source of employment, providing jobs to a substantial workforce. Many Bulgarians are employed in textile factories, especially in regions with a tradition of textile production such as Sofia, Plovdiv, and Ruse.
- Export-oriented: The Bulgarian textile industry is largely export-oriented, with a significant portion of its products being sold to international markets. The main export destinations for Bulgarian textiles include European Union countries, such as Germany, Italy, and France, as well as other countries in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
- Specialization: The Bulgarian textile industry has developed expertise in certain segments, such as technical textiles, including products used in automotive, aerospace, and construction applications. The production of cotton woven fabrics is well-developed, as well as apparel
- Investments: The textile industry has attracted foreign investments in recent years, particularly from countries such as Germany, Italy, and Turkey. These investments have contributed to the modernization and upgrading of production facilities, as well as the introduction of new technologies and know-how.
- Challenges: Like many other textile industries around the world, the Bulgarian textile industry faces challenges such as rising labor costs, increasing competition from low-cost countries, and changing consumer preferences. However, efforts are being made to address these challenges through technological advancements, innovation, and diversification into higher value-added products. Even though, it still lacks sustainability, governmental protection and IPR support.
In summary, the textile industry in Bulgaria is an important sector of the economy, providing employment and generating exports. It is attracting foreign investments and is export-oriented, while also facing challenges that require ongoing efforts to maintain competitiveness in the global market.