GDP of the South Central Region (2011): 9 924 million BGN


The economic development of the South Central region is fairly stable. Contributions come primarily from the services sector with its 54.51% share in the region’s GVA, which is 10 percentage points less than the national average of 64.50%. Industry has a key role and contributes greatly to the regional (and national) economy with its 38% share compared with the national average of 30.66%. Agriculture contributes 7.47% of the region’s GVA, which is significantly higher than the national average of 4.83%. Tourism in this region is on the upswing and its importance for the local economy and employment grows.

Svilengrad Area: 79, 6 km²


Population of Svilengrad22 807



Labour Market

  • Employees under labour contract in the Region of Haskovo as of 2011: 54 243
  • Average annual wages and salaries of the employees under labour contract in the Region of Haskovo as of 2011: 5 999 BGN
  • Employed population of 15 – 64 years of age in the Region of Haskovo as of 2012: 88 400
  • Employment rates of population of 15 – 64 years of age in the Region of Haskovo as of 2012: 55 %
  • Total unemployment in the Region of Haskovo: 15 600
  • Total unemployment rate in the Region of Haskovo: 15,6 %



Regional Specialization

  • food industry (304 companies; 2727 employees as of 2012)
  • beverages (51 companies; 498 employees as of 2012)
  • textiles (87 companies; 516 employees as of 2012)
  • clothing (723 companies; 6099 employees as of 2012)
  • leather processing, production of shoes and other articles of leather (18 companies; 540 employees as of 2012)
  • chemical products (18 companies; 1299 employees as of 2012)
  • machinery and equipment (38 companies; 1038 employees as of 2012)
  • movies, television, sound recording and music production


Development Potential

  • This region has a border with Greece and Turkey enabling active crossborder cooperation. The availability of border checkpoints enables the physical link between neighbouring countries. The opening of the Makaza border checkpoint and the planned opening of the Eledzhe border checkpoint are associated with prospects for future growth. This helps the region develop as a gateway to the Southern Balkans and Asia.
  • The relatively well developed transport infrastructure represented by Pan-European transport corridors 4, 8, and 9, railroads, and the international airport in Plovdiv, gives access to the region and makes it attractive for businesses, foreign investors and tourists.
  • One of the priorities for Bulgaria 2020 in terms of road infrastructure is to build the so-called Southern Parallel connecting Petrich and Bourgas, which will have a tangible positive impact on local development potentials. It will boost the local economy and will improve the access for tourists. Motorways and roads that are part of Pan-European transport corridors play a key role to ensuring the region’s integration in the Pan-European road network and access to international goods and raw materials markets. Many towns and villages located close to motorways under construction will become more attractive for economic operators and new manufacturing and logistics centres are expected to move in as a result.
  • Plovdiv has national/transnational importance according to the European classification of Functional Urban Areas (FUAs) and has the potential to develop actively in the future thanks to the rich cultural heritage.
  • Biodiversity is preserved and the largest number of Natura 2000 areas are located in this region, such as a large portion of the Central Balkan National Park, part of the Rila National Park and the Rhodope mountains in their entirety. There are also 11 reserves, 9 maintained reserves, 155 protected areas and 98 natural sights. All of the above create potential for the development of tourism (seasonal and other, such as spa, environmental, sports, rural, hunting, congress tourism among others). The rich cultural and historical heritage in this region and more specifically in the city of Plovdiv is another possibility to develop cultural tourism.
  • This region has significant potential to expand the use of renewables. The location is also good for photovoltaic power generation and it is possible to deploy solar and PV installations.



Transport Corridors

  • Road E-80, which is part of Pan-European transport corridor 4
  • Road E 773, which is part of Pan-European transport corridor 8
  • Pan – European transport corridor 9
  • The Maritza and Trakia motorways



The Educational System

The level of educational services and availability of highly professional and specialized education for the needs of the local economy is close to the national average. The region has five universities (in Plovdiv) and three colleges (also in Plovdiv).


Cultural Heritage

  • the Thracian tomb and Byzantine fort in the village of Mezek



  • 2 km to the border with Greece
  • 50 m to railway connections with Turkey and Greece
  • Access to the Pan-European transport corridor № IV, connecting Europe with Turkey
  • Imminent construction of a new transport connection





Total area: 70 000 m²

  • Built-up area: 4 130 m²
  • Open-air warehouses: 2 500 m²




  • Well-developed road network
  • Electricity
  • Water and sewerage






  • Open-air and indoor industrial and warehousing premises
  • Customs warehouse storage, customs representation, and customs documents
  • Loading, unloading and transport handling of imported untaxed goods intended for export
  • Processing of untaxed goods intended for export (sorting, labeling, packing, etc.)
  • Re-issuing and attestation of Certificates of Origin, need-based representation
  • 32-ton crane with capacity to handle containers
  • Filling station
  • Car reloading ramp
  • 60-ton car scales with axis weighing
  • A container truck terminal (loading and reloading) is currently being built
  • Need-based consultations
  • 24-hour professional security services




Free Zone Svilengrad

Svilengrad 6500

Haskovo district, Svilengrad Municipality

  1. tel.: +359 897 479 407
  2. tel.: +359 885 614 922

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