Back Lovech - Next 
Europe is close - Copyright © by ESI
"Europe is close"

Lovech is the capital of Lovech district in the North Central Region of Bulgaria. With slightly less than 60,000 inhabitants Lovech was never a major Bulgarian city, but it was once famous for the company "Balkan" which assembled Russian Moskvich cars and employed thousands of people. The end of communism had turned this huge company into an industrial ruin and Lovech into a depressed backwater.

Starting from the late 1990s, however, investments have again started to flow to the district, both local and foreign. The city's tools manufacturer was bought by the Sparky Group and today employs some 1,400 people in the development and manufacturing of power tools. A local furniture company has started to produce for the Swedish furniture house IKEA. Overall the furniture industry is doing well, driven by demand from tourist locations in the Bulgarian mountains and the Black Sea coast. Some local agricultural exports, like raspberries, have started to grow. A series of agricultural companies as well as village tourism has benefited from the SAPARD programme.

Bulgaria's economic growth is not focused only on the capital Sofia and the growth areas at the Black sea cost, but reaches also places like Lovech. A clear sign for this is that since 2001 unemployment is consistently decreasing.

Unemployment rates (2001-2004)

Area

2001

2002

2003

2004

Bulgaria

17.50

17.71

14.26

12.67

Lovech district

19.92

20.18

16.52

14.58

Lovech municipality

18.66

17.86

14.39

12.77

On 11 May 2003, Europe Day, a wooden monument was erected in Lovech, indicating the direction to many European capitals (see picture). The text reads: "Europe is close."

September 2007

 Back Lovech - Next 
Share: What are these?