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. The region is an industrial centre, with one of the country's fastest growing economies and an average GDP growth of 12-13%.


Karlovo Area: 102 km²

Population: 24 000


Labour Market

  • Employees under labour contract in Plovdiv District as of 2011: 207 599
  • Average annual wages and salaries of the employees under labour contract in the District of Plovdiv as of 2011: 6 889 BGN
  • Employed population of 15 – 64 years of age in Plovdiv District for the second quarter of 2013: 272 600
  • Employment rates of population of 15 – 64 years of age in Plovdiv District for the second quarter of 2013: 60,2 %
  • Total unemployed in Plovdiv District as of 2012: 35 100
  • Total unemployment rate in in Plovdiv District: 11,4 %
  • Highly skilled workforce at a competitive price, available due to historical concentration of military and machine building industries in Sopot, Karlovo and Kazanlak
  • The area is known for its qualified and abundant labor in metal processing. There have been 2 large military industries in the area, which had specialized in military machine and arms building.


Regional  Specialization

Advantages of the agricultural sector:

  • Unique natural conditions for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops, fruits, and vegetables
  • 50% of the country's territory is farming land
  • Ecologically clean and fertile soils
  • Very high quality of organic products (ban on GMOs)
  • Established local producers and a strong tradition in the sector
  • Long-standing distribution channels in the former Eastern Bloc
  • The EU acquis on food has been transposed into Bulgarian legislation
  • Very high health and environmental protection standards make Bulgarian food products fully prepared to meet even the highest and most complex consumer requirements
  • Major foreign investments by multinational companies account for a large - even dominant - market share in several key sectors such as confectionery, dairy products, and food & beverage
  • The growing demand for new and local food and beverages in Western Europe and beyond will boost the demand for traditional Bulgarian products


Crops grown:

  • corn, beans, lentils, potatoes, sunflower, sugar beet
  • a number of oil-bearing, fragrant plants: oil-bearing rose, lavender and peppermint
  • excellent conditions for growing vine and different kinds of fruit-trees among which almond, chestnut, fig etc.



Development potential of the region:

  • 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

  • The region is located in the very centre of Bulgaria, linking three of the ten Pan-European corridors (Corridor IV – Dresden-Bucharest-Sofia-Plovdiv-Istanbul; Corridor VIII – Durrës-Sofia-Plovdiv-Varna/Burgas and Corridor X – Salzburg-Belgrade-Plovdiv-Instanbul)


Educational System

  • Karlovo is situated 56 km North of the second biggest university center in Bulgaria – Plovdiv
  • There are 5 universities – Plovdiv university, Agriculture university – Plovdiv, Academy of music, Medical university – Plovdiv, University of Food Technology, and a branch of Technical university – Sofia
  • The annual reception in these universities is over 8000 students
  • There are also several professional high schools and colleges in the town – Medical college, Agriculture college, European business and technology college, Technical university



Cultural Heritage

  • Rose Valley
  • Ancient Plovdiv
  • Perperikon

Индустриална зона Карлово


Total area: 580 000 m²



  • In the geographical center of Bulgaria
  • 45 km to a highway bound to Turkey
  • 56 km North of the second biggest city in Bulgaria - Plovdiv
  • 60 km to Plovdiv Airport


Full access to:

  • International road
  • Network railway
  • Water supply and sewage
  • Electricity supply
  • Telecommunication networks
  • Coverage by all wireless providers