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Bulgaria

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Bulgaria is the oldest surviving European country to retain its original name. Much
of the country is an open-air museum of Balkan culture, with churches, mosques,
rustic villages, and enduring folklore, proverbs and superstitions.

Since the end of the Communist regime, Bulgaria has struggled to develop a
market economy. The country continues to have one of the lowest standards of
living in the EU. Although it has experienced strong economic growth since 1996
and now attracts foreign direct capital investment, it struggles to overcome a high
crime rate, corruption and organized crime.

Business is plagued by a shortage of qualified workers, heavy bureaucracy and
corruption.

Culture Overview

Cultural Essentials

Respect for Hierarchy
Bulgarians demonstrate respect and deference to others based on age and
position. Older people are viewed as wise and are granted respect. The
oldest person in a group is revered and honored. In a social situation, they
are served first and their drinks may be poured for them. Elders are
introduced first, are served first at meals and in general are treated much
like royalty.

Bulgarians expect the most senior person to make decisions that are in the
best interest of the group. Titles are very important and denote respect,
although they are used more frequently in business than in social
situations. It is expected that you will use a person's title and their surname
until invited to use their first name.

If you inadvertently do not demonstrate sufficient respect and deference to
someone older than you, Bulgarians will not hesitate to criticize your
behavior.

Personal Relationships
The family is the foundation of the social structure and ensures stability for
its members. Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite
close. The individual derives a social network and assistance in times of
need from the family. It is still common to have several generations living in

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the same house. Young people live at home or with a relative until they
marry. Elderly relatives are kept at home, not put in a nursing home.

It is quite common for family relationships to carry over into business.
Nepotism is accepted because people believe that family members are
among the most trustworthy. In smaller firms, positions are often filled by
family members first and by close friends of the family second.

Since they strive for group consensus, Bulgarians are willing to subjugate
their personal wishes in order to maintain group harmony and achieve what
is in the best interest of the group. As such, they see personal relationships
as the foundation of business success.

Given the impact of Communism and the difficulties that ensued after its
demise, Bulgarians often categorize people as part of or outside their inner
circle. They will do whatever they can for someone who is classified as part
of their inner circle. Establishing a rapport is the first step towards building
the trust that is the cornerstone of business relationships. This is slowly
changing with as Millennials, who are more interested in what someone
can do than who they know or to whom they are related.

Communication
Although Bulgarians may seem superficially to be direct communicators, it
is important to pay attention to non-verbal language. Bulgarians use a
great deal of body language and facial expressions to convey additional
information. Unless you are part of their inner circle, Bulgarians may tell
you what they think you want to hear. Therefore, it is important to learn to
ask the same question in different ways to ensure you have received an
accurate response.

Bulgarians use different head gestures to indicate no and yes. They shake
their head from side to side to indicate an affirmative response and make
an up and down movement to indicate a negative. However, may
Bulgarians adopt the Western actions when dealing with foreigners, so it is
a good idea to confirm the meaning of the gesture by asking a question.

Impact of Generations
Like most former Communist countries, Bulgarian generations are often
described in terms of the political events happening during birth years.

• Post-War Generation (born 1945 – 1965) were born during the post-
war communist period and, as such, tend to embrace collectivist
behaviors.
• Communist Generation (born 1965-1980) born and raised during
Communism have difficulties adopting to the new world order and
many cling to their collective behaviors.
• Democracy Generation (born 1980 – 2000) are one of Europe’s most
online countries given the large investment in high-speed broadband.
As such, they have a greater awareness of the rest of the world.

Millennials are acting as catalysts to transform Bulgarian's proto-totalitaran
regime that serves a small oligarchy to a more genuine form of democracy.

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The differences between these three generations are highlighted below:

Communist
Post-War Generation Millennials
Generation

Born 1945 – 1965 Born 1965 – 1980 Born 1980 – 2000

Strong professional Like to be their own Extremely
knowledge boss nationalistic

Lack business skills to More interested in Will sacrifice work-
succeed in a gaining wealth than life balance to move
liberalized economy developing a career up quickly

Focus on
Collectivist/group- No organizational
professional
focused loyalty
development

Want international
Wait for instruction Work-life balance
exposure

Do not share ideas Dedicated Confident

Telephone over Technologically
-
social media savvy

Religion

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church was a vital force in retaining Bulgarian
culture during the Ottoman occupation and the Communist regime. In fact,
baptism is such a large part of establishing individual identity that the
Communists introduced the concept of "civil baptism" to replace the
religious ritual. The regime could not entirely rid the people of their religious
beliefs. When Communism fell, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
experienced a revival. Church rituals such as baptisms and church
weddings have gained renewed popularity.

The constitution promulgates freedom of religion, although nearly 80% of
the population belongs to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

The role of religion is seen in the respect for hierarchy and the many
holydays that are also public holidays. Religion plays an important role in
cultural traditions.

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Role of Women

The Communists introduced a notional concept of equality in order to
industrialize the economy. At the same time, women were solely
responsible for domestic arrangements and childcare. With the fall of
Communism, long-held traditional beliefs about the role of women bubbled
to the surface. Certain industries became female ghettos, particularly
education, health care, social services, public administration, retail sales,
and accounting. This lowered the pay levels in these industries.

Equality is enshrined in the Constitution. A large proportion of women
attend university. In the 1970s, Bulgaria had the highest percentage of
women in business in the world. Since then, the country has built on its
reputation to be considered one of the most significant countries for
powerful female executives.

Although some industries have had powerful female executives for years, it
is only in the last decade that women have taken on leadership positions in
male-dominated professions such as automotive, engineering and
technology industries. In addition to executive-level positions within
established companies, there is also an increase in the numbers of women
starting their own companies in these fields.

One-third of company owners and top managers are women with women
under 30 holding about half of those positions. In addition, the national
television, national radio channel, top private television station and five
leading national newspapers are all run by women. Women also run most
of the public relations and marketing businesses in the country.

Women comprise about 25% of the parliament; however, they chair 40% of
the committees. Women have achieved success in the public arena, such
as the justice minister, the mayor of Sofia, the speaker of Parliament, the
nominee to lead the European Union’s humanitarian aid and the head of
the prime minister’s office. This is not a result of formal quotas or any
positive discrimination. Women have to fight through prejudice and sexism
at every level. Women often face sexual harassment at work. Although
technically illegal, there is not a clear definition of harassment or a process
to seek redress.

Even when women work outside the home, they retain primary
responsibility for domestic arrangements and childcare.

Pay parity is not a reality, with women earning about 85% of men in
comparable positions.

View of Foreign Women
Since Bulgarian women are soft-spoken, foreign women may be thought to
be aggressive if they do not emulate that behavior. Although women are
well-entrenched in business, they do not have decision-making positions in

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even if they are at the same level. Bulgarians are often initially reserved when dealing with foreigners. Bulgarians generally treat a foreign businesswoman with the same respect they would a businessman if she has the qualifications and credentials for her position. She should avoid wearing loud colors.. Appearances matter—dressing well and in a manner befitting their status. business remains very much male dominated.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. have a higher-ranking person in your company to send a letter outlining your title. Bulgarian businessmen who are not accustomed to working for women may have difficulty accepting instructions from them. Tips for Businesswomen Businesswomen are expected to dress conservatively. However. In some. confident. a businesswoman should dress for the job she has or one or two levels above it. Bulgarians are private people who do not discuss personal matters in business. male chauvinism is entrenched in the culture and it is important for a businesswoman to establish the right tone at the beginning of the business relationship. and professional. It is important not to appear fussed or bothered by what may feel like an interrogation. 8. this should be done by the person handling the introduction. yet with a feminine flair. If this is not possible. Appearing overly friendly may be misinterpreted as a desire to have a more intimate relationship. It is best not to ask personal questions or relay too much information about yourself. It is important that a foreign businesswoman maintain a professional demeanor so that there is no confusion about her intentions.2017. . Even with this. A businesswoman should present herself as sincere.culturewizard.2. expect businessmen to ask questions that they might not ask of a businessman. she should have a male colleague do most of the speaking. have a higher-ranking person in your company who knows the people with whom you will be working introduce you when you will be doing business with a company for the first time. which http://kpmg. To be taken seriously. responsibilities.PrintView Page 5 of 44 all companies.aspx. Bulgarians view raised or sharp voices from a woman negatively. A businesswoman should be assertive at meetings without raising her voice. If a businesswoman comes in contact with a Bulgarian businessman who refuses to conduct business with her. It is a good idea to mention company policy or directives when giving directions.. If at all possible. Establishing Credibility It is a good idea to establish your credentials at the outset. Even then she may be asked repeated questions about her credentials and experience until her Bulgarian colleagues are comfortable that she is a subject matter expert. and background. Ideally.

PrintView Page 6 of 44 are seen as frivolous.and relative to the hierarchy. A businesswoman should be authorized to make decisions. Without a title of manager or above.. Since the country has always been somewhat isolated from its neighbors. The country wants foreign investment. the people are more rugged individualists than is typical in this region.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. View of Foreigners Bulgarians are somewhat reserved and standoffish when dealing with foreigners until they get to know them. http://kpmg. the more attention they will draw and the harder they will need to work to establish connections. Anyone applying for permanent residence must provide a certificate that they are proficient in the local language. If you are a business traveler. Saying she is not may cause her to lose credibility. Bulgarians are more comfortable with Caucasians. Avoid taking the minutes of a meeting as this immediately reduces you to the role of secretary. it is a good idea to arrange with your team to have certain questions deferred to you or arrange the seating so you are in a position of authority.. There is a tendency to defer to the men on a team. Any non-verbal sign that a woman is less than confident in herself will be interpreted as the businesswoman is uncertain of her technical competence. Titles are important in Bulgaria since they tell others how to behave towards you and where to place you relative to themselves -. lead the business discussion when you are part of a team. this visible taking charge enhances your credibility. Older Bulgarians are often suspicious of foreigners. Be prepared to invest time and energy into building personal relationships.aspx. To avoid this. It is especially important for a foreign businesswoman to offer a firm handshake during the greeting process. although those under the age of 35 have fewer negative preconceived ideas. Even if all team members are equal. The more different a foreigner’s appearance. you may wish to invent a "business card title" to facilitate smoother working relationships.2. which necessitates an influx of foreigners into the country. When possible.culturewizard. 8. Bulgarians may assume that the businesswoman does not have a position of authority.2017. Such professionalism makes a good impression. .

which may not apply in some cases.2. explicit directions regarding responsibilities and decisions.. Informal The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The importance of appearance and demeanor as an indicator of status • The importance of protocol and etiquette • The appropriate use of titles.2017. you will find following tips helpful: • People expect structure in protocol. • Be aware that people from different socio-economic backgrounds or different levels of the organization may feel uneasy being invited to the same social or business function. 8. to the more senior members of the organization. surnames and honorifics http://kpmg. Perhaps the most important tip we can provide is that when interacting across cultures. Hierarchical vs. you will want to demonstrate a somewhat authoritative leadership style.. • Show the appropriate level of respect. • If you are on a global team or managing a corporate group or household help.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. but in order to describe cultural traits. Please keep in mind that not all people from any given culture act the same. behavior and planning. you will want to give clear. Cultural Model. .culturewizard. through language and behavior. you need to approach every situation with an understanding of the basic tenets of a given culture and yet remain alert to the specific cultural signals you receive in each situation and adjust your behavior and expectations accordingly. Egalitarian The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • How society is structured • How power is allocated or earned • Tolerance for social mobility • How organizations are structured and run • The amount of responsibility and control employees are given Bulgaria is relatively hierarchical. • As a manager or employer. Formal vs.PrintView Page 7 of 44 Cross Culture Tips The following cultural observations are based on the dimensions in the ICAM169.aspx. we had to make generalizations. When working with Bulgarians. • Expect to encounter some bureaucracy in organizations and government. They are designed to help you work and understand people from other cultural backgrounds.

2. be prepared for considerable discussion and debate and other actions that demonstrate resistance. Management is often paternalistic and care-taking towards employees. • Be careful not to be overly friendly with household staff or subordinates at first. • Be sure to check with a colleague or local national about rules of protocol and etiquette about specific circumstances since using proper etiquette is important.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Before using social functions to network... Therefore when you interact with people from Bulgaria: • Learn how it is best to address people. don’t be surprised if they don’t show much initiative. • While employees and colleagues in Bulgaria may show a great deal of competence. These include clothes you wear. 8. Being too friendly and informal may confuse them and introduce ambiguity into the relationship.2017. your demeanor. the car you drive. • Don't expect changes to be readily embraced and be prepared for considerable resistance even after you’ve been able to demonstrate the value of a proposed change. • As a manager or employer.culturewizard. you should remember the following tips: • People in this society look for strong. be sure it is appropriate. don’t assume you can use first names. and where you live. • Avoid asking personal questions in a social or business setting unless you have developed a close relationship with someone. • When introducing initiatives. directive leadership. When interacting with people from Bulgaria.PrintView Page 8 of 44 • The appropriateness of discussing personal matters at work • Appropriate ways of meeting people. be aware that accoutrements and the trappings of status may enhance your credibility.aspx. and allow failure Bulgaria is a highly External Control society. • Employees are less likely to take charge of their own career management. and will probably assume that their career http://kpmg. External vs. building relationships and entertaining Bulgaria is a relatively formal culture. and find out about appropriate use of surnames. Internal The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The degree to which people feel they control their environment and destiny-or the degree to which they feel their environment and destiny control them • Openness to change and innovation • The preference for rules and structure • Willingness to take risks • The degree to which organizational practices encourage and reward initiative and risk taking. . and honorifics.

aspx. and length of tenure with the company than job performance. seniority. will respond best to explicit rules. teamwork in accomplishing and rewarding business goals • The roles and responsibilities of individuals to other family members • The appropriate levels of self-assertion and self-promotion within a society Bulgaria is a relatively group-oriented society. Transactional The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • What constitutes a relationship • What are the expectations • Whether trust is deemed critical to building social or business relationships • What takes precedence in making a business decision: the people involved or other more objective business criteria • The pace and degree of formalized rituals in building new relationships • The appropriateness of mixing business and pleasure. as well as the individual..2. guidelines and instructions. Instead.culturewizard.. Interpersonal vs.2017. whether it is in your household or in your office. or professional and personal lives http://kpmg. As you interact with people from Bulgaria. • Individuals feel a strong sense of responsibility for family members. • Staff. • People in these societies are typically quite risk averse and the society is not readily forgiving of failure. • Promotions will be based on a mixture of group and individual performance and achievement. Individual The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The source of an individual's identity and loyalties • The relative importance of the individual versus the group • Whether legal systems will protect the rights of the individual or focus on the group as a whole • Whether individuals prefer to work alone or be part of a group • Whether work teams operate as a seamless entity or as cooperating individuals • The value of individual contributions vs. • Individuals do not always feel comfortable taking sole credit for accomplishments. be sensitive to the role of the group. Group vs. They will often identify themselves first as part of a group. even when credit is primarily due to them. it will be helpful to remember the following tips: • People value their role as a family or team member.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. 8. They may be uncomfortable if too much focus is placed on them individually. • Decision making may require a good deal of consensus building.PrintView Page 9 of 44 advancement is more contingent on connections. then as an individual. .

When you have business or social interactions with the Bulgarians.aspx. The following tips will give you clues about how you might handle communication with Bulgarian colleagues: • Non-verbal gestures enhance the meaning of the spoken word. you will want to remember these points: • Relationship building is important and tends to be somewhat formal and ritualized. • In general. • In a business situation. trust and familiarity will likely take precedence over price and perhaps even efficiency. • Employing or giving favorable treatment to family members and friends may be good business. • There are expectations that people have of relationship-based behavior. Direct vs. • Take care when making introductions to have a respectful.PrintView Page 10 of 44 Bulgaria is an interpersonal. entertaining at one’s home or even inviting someone for the weekend and while these may be seen as casual in your culture. which may include going out after work to socialize. personal relationships.culturewizard.. relationships are long lived.2017. relationship building takes time and attention. In return. Controlled The defining characteristics of this dimension are: http://kpmg. relationship-oriented culture. Indirect The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The relative importance of verbal vs. they carry an underlying assumption of friendship. 8.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Expect to be asked personal questions. This is how locals learn more about you as a person so that they can be learn if the type of person with whom they want a relationship. • Verbal eloquence is highly valued. • Show you are considering the subject thoroughly when a topic is presented. . • Since the entire message is not contained in the words. Fluid vs. and what may be considered to be "nepotism" in your culture may be openly accepted. even deferential demeanor.2. non-verbal communication • The degree of directness or subtlety in the language • The relative importance of contextual versus tactical information in conveying a message • The need to maintain harmony and dignity when communicating • The degree to which a society uses conciseness and clarity versus eloquent language when communicating Bulgaria is a relatively indirect communication culture. once developed. people need context and background information to confirm a shared understanding..

When interacting with people from Bulgaria. and brevity to maintain time schedules is not considered a virtue. personal lives • How status and success are defined by a society • The presence or absence of government-sponsored initiatives relating to family welfare benefits • The source of an individual's identity and self-esteem • Tolerance for blurring the lines between professional and personal lives Bulgaria is a Balance-Motivation culture. • Given their exposure to global business standards. .PrintView Page 11 of 44 • The degree to which people feel that they can control time • The relative importance of relationships vs..aspx. you should remember the following tips: • Individuals value their personal and family time. • People are reluctant to permanently relocate and leave family and friends. people generally know that foreigners value promptness and they may strive to comply. longer term planning • The feasibility / appropriateness of assigning set times for social functions or business meetings to start and finish Bulgaria is a Fluid Time culture. status and sense of personal accomplishment are derived from family. • Personal identity. • It may be rude to interrupt a colleague who is taking a long time to deliver a message. • There is generally a large window of accepted lateness for social events in someone’s house. 8. Balance vs. education and pursuits outside of the workplace. Status The defining characteristics of this dimension are: • The importance and value attached to professional vs.2017..com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. schedules • Attitudes towards timekeeping and punctuality • Comfort level with short range vs. • Employees see a clear distinction between work time and personal time and rarely blur those lines. Country Overview http://kpmg. Tending to relationships may be more important.2. The following tips will give you clues about how you may best interact with Bulgarian colleagues around time issues: • Time schedules and deadlines are not necessarily considered final. • Family obligations will take precedence over professional loyalties or advancement.culturewizard. This may be less pronounced when meeting with government officials.

At the western end of these mountains. live in the northeast and in the eastern Rhodope Mountains region. . Roma 3. the highest point in the Balkans.8%. and Jewish) 1. Turkish 8%.8%. Gypsies and Macedonians are two other sizable minorities and there are a few thousand Armenians. unspecified 27.culturewizard.. other (unknown) 10% (2011 est. are the Rila Mountains.83% (2014 est.4%. which ends at the Danube.PrintView Page 12 of 44 The People The population is fairly homogeneous with Bulgarians making up about 85%. Russians. Nationality: Noun: Bulgarian(s) Adjective: Bulgarian Population: 7. Turkish 8. Armenian.2.144. other 0.8%. Greeks. Protestant. other (including Catholic. which delineate the boundary with Greece. none 3.7%.. Muslim 7. other unspecified 10. the Turks.) Ethnic groups: Bulgarian 76.) Languages: Bulgarian (official) 76.) Religions: Eastern Orthodox 59.2%.5% (2011 census) Source: The World Factbook Cities & Regions Bulgaria in Eastern Europe is bounded to the north by Romania. Romanians. and Vlach). Armenian Apostolic Orthodox.7%. Roma 4. which culminate in Musala Peak.aspx.4%. In the southern part of the country are the broad and irregular Rhodope Mountains. The largest minority.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.) Population growth rate: -0.7% (including Russian. in southwest Bulgaria. More than half the country is hilly or mountainous. 8. other 0.653 (July 2016 est.7%. to the south by Turkey and Greece and to the west by Serbia and Macedonia. Several smaller http://kpmg. and Tatars. The Balkan Mountains cross the country from the northwest corner to the Black Sea and form the watershed between the Danube River and the Aegean Sea.9%. to the east by the Black Sea. The northern side of the Balkan Mountains slopes gradually to form the northern Bulgarian plateau.4% (2011 est.2017. The central portion of the southern side of the range is fringed by a series of narrow plains.

the Struma and Mesta..aspx. and Gypsies selling flowers on street corners. which has among its Bulgarian tributaries the Iskur and the Yantra. The city has a typical Balkan mix of Orthodox and Muslim cultures with an educated population and a strong desire to see justice and democracy.2. one functioning mosque is all that remains of 500 years of Ottoman domination. Sofia Sofia’s motto. The street life depicts the character of the city: open-air cafés. which empties into the Black Sea. vast bazaars offering an array of farm produce. The principal river draining Bulgaria is the Danube.culturewizard. is as true today as when it was first written. however. 8. which flow south to the Aegean Sea. Other important rivers are the Kamchiya.. "Ever growing. Standing among a cluster of ancient and neo- Byzantine Orthodox churches.2017.PrintView Page 13 of 44 ranges lie along the western boundaries. The town center is dominated by neo-classical Stalinist architecture. and in the southwest. Government Country name: • Conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria • Conventional short form: Bulgaria • Local long form: Republika Balgariya • local short form: Balgariya Government type: Parliamentary republic Capital: Sofia Independence: 3 March 1878 (as an autonomous principality within the Ottoman Empire). never old". 22 September 1908 (complete independence from the Ottoman Empire) Legal system: Civil law Source: The World Factbook More Government Information Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members in Bulgaria http://kpmg. . a peek through the side streets reveals a very European city of tree-lined boulevards and balconied buildings by 19th century Russian and Viennese architects.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.

food. Links to Government Web Sites http://www.S. Background Note: Bulgaria http://www. including low. water. and the presence of organized crime continue to hamper the country's investment climate and economic prospects.com/ A comprehensive directory to Bulgarian government web sites. significant challenges remain.partners: Germany 12. a weak judiciary.culturewizard. but the global downturn sharply reduced domestic demand. driven by significant amounts of bank lending. Economy Currency: Lev (BGN) Economy . Department of State.. averaged more than 6% annual growth from 2004 to 2008.state. Corruption in public administration. capital inflows.PrintView Page 14 of 44 https://www.2017. Turkey 8. refined petroleum. chemical products. GDP contracted by 5. and industrial production.. Greece 6. exports.overview: Bulgaria. gas.2% (2015) Source: The World Factbook http://kpmg. 8. consumption. nuclear fuel Exports .gksoft. .gov/ An online directory of leaders updated weekly by the Central Intelligence Agency.cia.5% in 2009. and foreign direct investment.2%.gov/ An overview of government and political conditions published by the U.aspx. tobacco. Romania 8. Successive governments have demonstrated a commitment to economic reforms and responsible fiscal planning. Italy 9.5%.5%. and has been slow to recover in the years since. base metals. Despite a favorable investment regime. coke. France 4. a former communist country that entered the EU on 1 January 2007.5%.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.2%. machinery and equipment. Industries: Electricity. beverages. flat corporate income taxes.2.

Turkey 223 km Coastline: 354 km Climate: Temperate. rivers polluted from raw sewage. hot.2.925 m Natural hazards: Earthquakes.note: Strategic location near Turkish Straits. http://kpmg. damp winters.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. cold. forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain.PrintView Page 15 of 44 Geography & Climate Location: Southeastern Europe. 8. Macedonia 162 km.879 sq km Land: 108.current issues: Air pollution from industrial emissions.390 sq km Land boundaries: Total: 1. Romania 605 km.culturewizard. bordering the Black Sea. .489 sq km Water: 2. landslides Environment . detergents. soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes Geography . Serbia 344 km.. dry summers Terrain: Mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Black Sea 0 m Highest point: Musala 2.aspx.2017. heavy metals.806 km Border countries: Greece 472 km. deforestation. between Romania and Turkey Area: Total: 110. The period between the 8th and 9th centuries brought about territorial expansion.. controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia Source: The World Factbook History Overview • Turkish Bulgar tribes led by Khan Asparukh conquered the area south of the Danube in 681.

Bulgaria’s dominant political figure was Todor Zhivkov. In December.. bringing Bulgaria under Ottoman rule. It joined the EU in January 2007. . • Bulgaria entered World War II on the side of the Axis of Powers against Yugoslavia and Greece. the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria. The ruling communists became known as the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and won an absolute majority in the National Assembly. instituted a Soviet-style constitution and abolished all opposition parties.2017. 1944. This period of national revival began with "The Slav- Bulgarian History". Byzantine rule was established from 1018 to 1185. Boris I embraced Christianity in 864.aspx. The BSP’s Georgi Parvanov won the presidential election in 2001. In June 2001. 8. The Agrarian Party ruled Bulgaria from 1919 – 1923. • After exhaustive wars with the Byzantine Empire. which made north Bulgaria a principality while southern Bulgaria (Eastern Rumelia) remained an Ottoman province with the Kresna-Razlog uprising of 1878 – 1879. former King Simeon II returned after 50 years in exile. the Movement was victorious in the National Assembly elections where they governed in alliance with the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms. On September 9th. it declared war against the UK and the USA. Bulgaria lost eastern Thrace to Greece and Strumica to Serbia. Tsar Ivan-Alexander divided the country between his sons in 1371.culturewizard. The first multi-party elections in 44 years were held in June 1990. • Bulgaria fought in World War I on the side of the Central Powers. • In 2001. the Fatherland Front overthrew the government and seized power.. http://kpmg. In 1947. the Communist Party had taken over the country. Tsar Kaloyan restored the power of Bulgaria when he defeated the Latin emperor Baldwin I.2.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • The Russian-Turkish War of Liberation (1877 – 1878) ended Ottoman rule and restored a portion of the Bulgarian state under the terms of the Treaty of San Stefano in 1878. the Peace Treaty confirmed the 1940 borders of Bulgaria. written by Paisil of Hilendat in 1762. Eastern Rumelia was untied with the Principality of Bulgaria in 1885. under whose leadership Bulgaria became the staunchest of Moscow’s allies. he set up a political party called Simeon The Second National Movement. Soviet forces invaded the country. • In 1187 the Second Bulgarian Kingdom was established with Turnovo as its capital. Bulgaria became a republic with Georgi Dimitrov as head of government. The Bulgarian people reacted negatively to the decision of the Congress of Berlin. • On September 5. Petur II was pronounced tsar of the Bulgarians. Five governments held office during the next six years. The 18th century brought about the beginning of the Bulgarian National Revival and the formation of the Bulgarian nation. • Zhivkov resigned in 1989 under intense domestic and international pressure. • The Ottoman Turks attacked the Balkan Peninsula in 1396. • By the end of 1947.PrintView Page 16 of 44 • The Slavic missionaries Cyril and Methodius created the Cyrillic alphabet and introduced the language into the church liturgy in 855. At the Treaty of Neuilly in 1919. • Bulgaria was admitted to NATO in March 2004.

8. .2017. In September. • Bulgaria joined France in banning fracking in January 2012. The following month. Country Information Embassies History Public Holidays Tourist Information Social Etiquette http://kpmg. the European Commission removed half of the aid frozen in July over the same issues. • In July 2008. • Russia cut gas supplies causing a severe energy shortage in January 2009. the EU voiced their concern over the reliability of the country’s national statistics..com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • A January 2013 referendum on building a second nuclear plant was invalidated due to poor voter turnout. • There remain periodic skirmishes with police and the government over official corruption. • In June 2010. the EU demanded Bulgaria tackle crime and corruption..culturewizard. In September.PrintView Page 17 of 44 • The European Commission’s interim February 2008 report claimed that Bulgaria had not shown good results in slowing down graft and corruption. the European Commission froze EU aid when a series of reports reinforced the government’s inability to end corruption and organized crime. the EU froze some infrastructure subsidies due to corruption.2.aspx.

you may greet people by saying "Kat ste?" (How are you?) or "Zdraveite" (Hello). dessert. • Gifts are generally opened when received. In fact. Most greetings include a firm handshake. • It is not necessary to wrap gifts of food since they will generally be used that evening. 8. and "Gospozha" for Mrs.. At parties or other social gatherings your hosts will introduce you. When meeting friends. The thought behind the gift is more important than the cost.2017.aspx. or gladiolas because they are used at funerals. make sure there are an odd number of stems. Greet and say goodbye to each person individually.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Bulgarians exchange gifts among close friends and family on birthdays and Christmas or Orthodox Christmas. bring flowers for the hostess and a bottle of good spirits for the host. People are addressed by their honorific title ("Gospodin" for Mr. lilies. Here are some general gift giving guidelines (but also check to be sure they are permitted under company policy): • If invited to a Bulgarian's house. • When giving flowers. • Do not give imported wine since Bulgarians are proud of their wines. . Alternately. • A gift for the children would be appreciated.) and their surname. Close friends and family may address each other using the honorific title and first name. or nicely packaged fruit. usually starting with the eldest. giving something expensive could embarrass the recipient. make sure it is an odd number of presents. http://kpmg. • Do not give chrysanthemums. Other gifts that might be appreciated include a box of chocolates. Gift Giving In general.PrintView Page 18 of 44 Meeting People Initial greetings are formal and reserved. and the appropriate greeting for the time of day.2.. Allow your Bulgarian friends determine when your relationship has reached this level of intimacy.culturewizard. direct eye contact. Bulgarians may kiss each other on the cheek. Even numbers are used at funerals. • When giving gifts to a newborn.

Asking "are you sure?" allows the hostess to accept your offer. • Expect to be treated with great honor and respect. • Do not discuss business unless the host initiates the discussion. • If you finish what is in your glass. the napkin may be unfolded and put on your lap. they may invite guests there for the weekend. The more formal the occasion. • Reciprocate the hospitality at a later time. leave at least one mouthful in your glass. • Do not rest your elbows on the table. • Wait to be told where to sit. • If there is sauce or gravy left on your plate. yet follow established protocols of good behavior. using your fork to dunk a piece of bread into it indicates that you liked the food. When in doubt. They also meet friends in cafes. • Even if you are the guest of honor. If they have a country house. • Do not begin eating until your hostess starts... it is polite to invite the eldest person to take food before you. You will be shown the public areas. the stricter the protocol. . raise your glass and clink it against the glass of everyone else at the table while looking the person in the eye. At formal meals. Toasting • Toasts are given at both formal and informal social events. • If you do not want to drink more.culturewizard. • Arrive between 15 and 30 minutes late if invited to a party.2. • Offer to help the hostess with the preparation or clearing up after a meal is served.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Bulgarians are suspicious of people who are "all business". watch what others do and emulate their behavior. • When proposing a toast. This may be turned down out of politeness. • Leaving a small amount of food on your plate indicates that you are finished eating. • Take small servings so you may accept second helpings. http://kpmg.PrintView Page 19 of 44 Entertaining How Bulgarians Entertain Bulgarians are hospitable people who enjoy entertaining in their homes for coffee and pastry as well as dinners. Table Manners Table manners are casual. 8. • Do not ask for a tour of the house. it will be re-filled. • Expect lively conversation during the meal.2017.aspx. there may be a seating plan. the napkin should remain folded next to the plate. although your hands should be visible at all times. • Unless the meal is formal. • Send a handwritten thank you note to the hosts the following day. If you are invited to a Bulgarian's house: • Arrive on time if invited to dinner.

the country is rapidly becoming more time conscious. you may round up the bill by leaving loose change. In some establishments you may have to ask for the bill ("smetkata"). 8. • Restaurants: 10% • Porters: $1 per bag • Taxis: Round Up Approach to Time Bulgaria is a country in transition and the way people view time is changing. There may still be situations where people do not appear promptly for business engagements. You can find more explicit information on restaurant tipping in the Dining Out section above.PrintView Page 20 of 44 • The most common toast is "Nazdrave" (to your health). they appreciate being invited out by people who can afford to do so. Do not leave the tip on the table.culturewizard. hand it to the waiter. If there is a service charge. people are becoming more conscious that time is a commodity to be spent wisely. Under Communist rule. ..2.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.2017. however.. In better restaurants. time was not important since individual productivity did not matter. Now that the country is attempting to attract international business. tipping 10-15% is appropriate. while in others it may be placed on the table when your meal is served. it will be relatively small and you may still be surrounded by smokers. especially those frequented by tourists. Since Bulgarian salaries are quite. Conversation Topics http://kpmg. the person extending the invitation generally intends to pay. Some restaurants may have a non-smoking section. Social punctuality remains somewhat lax among many. however. If invited to a meal at a restaurant. even in restaurants that include a service charge.aspx. Tipping The following tipping hints are guidelines. Smoking is prevalent. Dining Out Tipping is becoming more common.

PrintView Page 21 of 44 Bulgarians are reserved with people whom they do not know. . While it is fine to be proud of your country. however an evasive response such as "I paid too much" or "I don't earn enough" usually suffices. Do not discuss Communism. It is polite to respond. To add to the confusion.2017. it is usually best to ask for a verbal response if you cannot interpret their body language.culturewizard. This happens much less frequently in urban areas. it is polite to greet strangers when you pass on the street. Asking a thoughtful question about these subjects will initiate a long conversation. Faux Pas Avoid public displays of affection. do not intimate that your country has more to offer than Bulgaria does. some younger Bulgarians have adopted the more Western gestures. Therefore. Many apartments house several generations of family and it may not be convenient to meet there.aspx.. If you telephone in advance and the person suggests meeting in a café. If you want to make a good impression. Nodding the head means "No" and shaking the head indicates an affirmative response. They prefer to give a roundabout http://kpmg. In rural areas. and heroes. Other Situations Bulgarians enjoy entertaining in their home. it is rude to drop by uninvited. read up on Bulgarian history. or Bulgaria's difficulty entering the world market.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. it is not an insult. 8. Many Bulgarians are curious about life outside their country and may ask what you may feel are intrusive personal questions. Bulgarians often touch people when speaking with them. World War II. art.2. Nonetheless. Communication Communication Essentials Bulgarians generally have an indirect communication style when dealing with people whom they do not know well.. They may inquire about how much you earn or how much certain items cost in your country.

culturewizard. do not jump into the conversation. Direct eye contact is the norm. Bulgarians dispense with social niceties such as “please” or “thank you”.PrintView Page 22 of 44 answer rather than offer a negative response.. Key Words/Phrases Bulgarian is the official language of Bulgaria. Remind yourself that from a Bulgarian. . they will generally proceed cautiously rather than hurt another person’s feelings. this behavior indicates respect. 8.aspx. This means that even when giving a straightforward response. they slowly become less formal and reserved. Passive silence is common. They may simply be organizing their thoughts or mentally rehearsing what they want to say. Bulgarians prefer non-confrontational business dealings if possible.. Although somewhat more blunt than their neighbors. Bulgarian is the language of business. but it is not done in anger. If someone pauses when asked a question or while conversing. Older Bulgarians can be suspicious towards outsiders. Many Bulgarians think that speaking forcefully indicates that the person is overcompensating for the fact that they have nothing of importance to say. This should not be misinterpreted as a lack of etiquette. • Yes: Da • No: Ne • Good morning: Dobró útro • Good day: Dóbar dén • Good evening: Dóbar vécher • Good night: Léka nósht • Hello: Zdravéi • Hello (informal): Zdrásti http://kpmg. you may be uncomfortable with the penetrating gaze of many Bulgarians. you may wish to moderate your tone somewhat so that your words are given credence. Bulgarians do not interrupt other speakers and expect the same courtesy.2017. If you have a booming voice. While a small population speaks Turkish or Roma. There is often an almost Italian-style gesticulating when people are conversing with people they know well. Like many other southern Slavs. when among friends. There is generally more touching between speakers than in many other countries in the region. Despite the preference for well-modulated speaking voices. Bulgaria is a high-contact culture.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Surprisingly. After the introduction and sufficient time for them to see the other person as an individual rather than a foreigner. Friends can argue quite loudly. Speaking tones are usually well-modulated. conversations can become extremely loud and animated. which is displayed in being overly reserved and cool.2. If you are from a culture where eye contact is intermittent.

culturewizard.2017. they mean “no” and when they shake their head from side to side they mean “yes”. pronunciation guide.youtube. Bulgarians speak softly and often remain silent for longer than many other cultures before responding to questions. rather than what the translator thinks each party wants to hear.. Developing a thorough relationship with your translator enables them to argue your points with a level of confidence they might not otherwise have. When someone nods their head.com A short video featuring key Bulgarian phrases.PrintView Page 23 of 44 • Goodbye: Dovizhdane • Goodbye (informal): Chao • Please: Mólia • Thank you: Blagodarya • Thank you (informal): Mersi • You’re welcome: Nyama zashto • How are you? Kak ste? Spoken Key Phrases http://www. Language Related Videos http://www. http://kpmg. the translation must be exact. . To be on the safe side you may want to meet with the translator prior to your appointments so that the person learns your accent and can be exposed to any technical or non-familiar terms that may be used.omniglot.com A video featuring key phrases in Bulgarian.com The Bulgarian alphabet. you may want to confirm verbally what the action meant. Some younger Bulgarians have adopted the Western approach to head nodding and shaking. Using Translators Take care in selecting a translator and develop an early understanding of what you expect--specifically. http://www. Have your translator explain to you the most elementary of basic courtesies..com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.2. 8.youtube. attentive body posture gives the impression of confidence and seriousness.aspx. spoken phrases and links to more information. It is a good idea to refrain from jumping into the conversation and allow your Bulgarian counterparts sufficient time to frame a response. Non-Verbal Language An alert.

Looking away may be interpreted as lack of interest or rudeness. and jokes. Even in an international company. . Depending upon the person. wave the hand backwards. it is a good idea to avoid using hyperbole in written communication. Think of written communication as a formal representation of you and your professional image. you may have to go through a secretary. and their surname. slang. Telephone Address businesspeople using their honorific title. the secretary may not speak English. Email may be used once a relationship has been developed. Avoid using idioms.culturewizard.aspx. http://kpmg.. Some younger Bulgarians may use first names in business after a personal relationship develops. it is a good idea to know a few phrases in Bulgarian.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.PrintView Page 24 of 44 Eye contact can be very direct because it is a sign of respect. Since personal relationships are the cornerstone of business.2017. Mail & Telephone Letters/Email Written communication is formal and adheres to strict rules of protocol. It is not the proper medium to use to make your initial contact with a company. they should be brief and to the point. To beckon someone. it is a good idea to engage in a modicum of small talk before raising the business purpose of your call. academic or professional title. Therefore. therefore..2. 8. Business is serious until a personal relationship is developed. you may be able to use it to convey brief information such as confirming the time and date of your visit. If you are from a culture where intermittent eye contact is more prevalent. Therefore. When contacting some senior level executives. Making eye contact during conversation adds to the credibility of the message. Business letters are used to convey or provide information. Letters should be addressed using the person’s honorific title. and their surname. Treat the secretary with utmost respect as she functions as a gatekeeper. academic or professional title. you may initially feel uncomfortable. It is important to use the entire hand and not simply one finger. Bulgarians are suspicious of something that sounds too good to be true.

. • Handouts should include background data or charts as well as testimonials and references from clients who have successfully used the product/service. or double negatives. • Detailed handouts are generally given at the end of the presentation although copies of the slides may be given at the start. Presentation Slides/PowerPoint • To emphasize a point. such statements may be misinterpreted. http://kpmg. • It is important that you know the subject matter thoroughly.2. original and captivating.culturewizard. Audience • May not arrive on time. • Do not make exaggerated claims or engage in hyperbole. intersperse charts and graphs to substantiate what is said. • Relay information in a subdued. • Graphics may be used if they are aesthetically pleasing. • Speak slowly and enunciate your words carefully so they can be understood. yet friendly manner.PrintView Page 25 of 44 Presentations Handouts • It is a good idea to have technical materials available in both Bulgarian and English. • Avoid slang or jargon. • Avoid fancy gimmicks in visual presentations as they detract from the material.aspx. Presenter • Learn basic greeting phrases in Bulgarian. • Slides must include detailed data. as they are not always understood. since they may not be understood. • Avoid sounding over-zealous..2017. • The decision maker may not be in the room. • Expect presentations to go beyond superficial information and to provide supporting facts for business decisions. acronyms or jargon. this shows sincerity. Bulgarians are suspicious. • Make eye contact with your audience.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Minimize slang. • You may ask the audience to turn off their mobile phones. • Moderate expressive hand gestures if possible. 8. • Use diagrams when possible but avoid cartoon-like graphics. . even if presenting in English. • Strive to appear formal and professional.

2011. • Include implementation plans that cover all eventualities. • Begin with a brief history of your company and your products or services if your company is not familiar to the audience. • When presenting a solution.culturewizard. • When presenting a technical product. http://kpmg. you may want to spell out the name of the month. 2011 could be written 09. • Mention your professional background but do not digress into personal topics. • Leave time for a Q&A session at the end of your presentation. month and year format with a period between each number. • Give the audience an estimate of the duration of the presentation.aspx. • If you are attempting to sell a product. dates are generally written in the day. Example: July 9. To ensure there is no confusion. • Thank the audience.. include historical context and success stories or testimonials. Body of the Presentation • Presentations should be thorough. Leading zeroes are used if the day or month is less than 10. For example. include references and testimonials. begin with a very clear and thorough analysis of the problem. clear. include pictures of the product. • Provide comprehensive details. • Explain how your idea has worked elsewhere. • When presenting a new concept.07. • Most questions will be pertinent to the discussion at hand. 8. the phrase "I feel" is better stated as "I think" or "I believe". Date/Time Date In Bulgaria.2017.2.. This leaves no ambiguity as to what is the day and what is the month. Opening the Presentation • Greet the audience individually as they enter and spend some time relationship building. . The year is written in four digits. Closing the Presentation • There is no need to provide a summary of what was discussed. and concise and include back-up analysis to support your position.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. especially when presenting to a technical audience.PrintView Page 26 of 44 • Avoid phrases that imply the speaker has an emotional tie to the information being conveyed.

2017. The 12-hour clock divides the day into two periods (midnight to noon and noon to midnight).aspx.. • Maintain eye contact during the greeting. 8.culturewizard. Bulgarians generally communicate in writing using the 24-hour clock..2. often with a period rather than a colon separating hours and minutes.PrintView Page 27 of 44 Time The 24-hour clock is a timekeeping convention where the time of a day is the number of hours since midnight. Thus.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Wait for a woman to extend her hand. 2 o'clock in the afternoon would be 14:00 in the 24-hour clock. They may use the 12-hour clock when speaking if there is no possibility that the time could be misconstrued. • Shake hands at the start and end of business meetings. . Internet Language & Phrasebook Newspapers Postal Services Radio & Television Business Protocol Meeting & Greeting • The handshake is the common business greeting. http://kpmg. each with 12 hours.

Bulgarians are impressed by stability. • Do not immediately put away a card you receive. • Address business colleagues by their professional title and their honorific title ("Gospodin" for Mr. Bulgarians are slow to move to a first-name basis. As such. • Business dress is conservative. • Have one side of your business card translated into Bulgarian. • If your company has been in business for more than 50 years. • Men wear dark-colored business suits. event. 8. • Include any advanced academic degrees or honors.). It is best to avoid bright colors.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Although not a business necessity. with or without their surname.. and "Gospozha" for Mrs. • Present your business card so the Bulgarian side is readable to the recipient. Make a point of studying it. it is generally a good idea to check with the local office to determine what the appropriate dress code is in a specific location.2017.. and individual organization culture. http://kpmg.PrintView Page 28 of 44 • Professional titles are important as you might expect in a country where hierarchy and rank are important. Before embarking on an international trip. Some industries and companies may have less stringent requirements. what we report is the conservative approach to business attire for a country. • If someone does not have a professional title. include the founding date on your business card. Business Attire The way a businessperson dresses conveys their professional image and their respect for the people with whom they conduct business. • Women wear stylist yet conservative business suits or dresses.aspx. . • Wait until invited before using someone's first name. it demonstrates an interest in a long-term relationship. use the honorific title and their surname. Appropriate attire varies within countries based on location. Business Cards • Business cards are exchanged without formal ritual.2.culturewizard.

• Maintain eye contact during the toast and until you return your glass to the table. Business Hours • Offices and Ministries: 8:45am or 9:00am—12:30pm and 1:00pm—5:30pm or 6:00pm Monday to Friday • Banks: 8:00am—12:00 noon Monday to Friday Business Meetings http://kpmg. 8.2. If they do. • Do not try to keep pace with the drinking habits of your Bulgarian colleagues.PrintView Page 29 of 44 Gifts Here are some general gift giving guidelines (but also check to be sure they comply with company policy): • Gifts are not part of the local business culture. Business Entertaining • Business lunches and dinners are used to further the personal relationship that allows business to be conducted. • Giving a small gift at Christmas is appreciated. • A gift may be given to celebrate the signing of an agreement. • You may give something with your company logo on it. invite them.culturewizard. it will most likely be over coffee rather than during the meal. • Business meals are often arranged at the end of meetings or negotiations..2017. • Allow your business colleagues to raise a business topic. it will be refilled. • If you finish everything in your glass. • Expensive foreign whiskey makes an excellent gift. ..aspx.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • If your colleagues do not invite you to a meal. • The person who extends the invitation is expected to pay. • Toasting is common.

. • Purpose: Depends upon the importance of the decision. Although a hierarchical culture where important decisions are made at the top of the company. Bulgarians seek to have a consensus of all stakeholders.aspx. Meetings are formal. and facilitate the discussion.culturewizard. Bulgarians often combine social activities with business.2017.2. Therefore. This time can be used to present your business case on a more informal basis and develop a shared understanding or general agreement. set the pace. 8. Bulgarians prefer to analyze and discuss each item. . You may attend several pre-business dinners or other functions before meeting with the decision maker. Expect it to take several meetings to establish a sense of rapport and relaxed attitude between people. Statements should be brief and to the point. leaders are strong. This helps foster a deeper personal relationship and may dispel initial reluctance to trust a foreigner..com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. and ensures that the discussions move along at the appropriate pace. convene the meeting. • Who attends: Various levels of people who are affected by the subject matter or who will have to take action based on what has been decided. Address Bulgarians using their title and surname. The first meeting with a Bulgarian company is usually for getting to know each other rather than discussing business. makes an opening statement. He opens the meeting. • Role of Leader: As in most hierarchical cultures. meetings generally begin with some social chitchat.PrintView Page 30 of 44 Meeting Essentials • Structure: Agendas are generally used when dealing with executives. the meeting will be to discuss what has already been decided. It is a good idea to resolve disagreements one-on-one rather than in the meeting itself. It is a good business practice to invite your Bulgarian colleagues to a meal. Even after this. They agree to the agenda. If not. Meetings proceed slowly and may take a great deal of time. The most senior Bulgarian will set the groundwork for how the meeting will proceed. meetings can be extremely protracted since everyone must have the opportunity to present their case. If the decision is important. there will be an attempt to reach a consensus of stakeholders. especially if what you have to say could threaten the http://kpmg. • Who participates/speaks: All participants are expected to add to the discussions if they have something to say.

com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. which may be seen in a rejection of products or ideas that do not emanate from within Bulgaria. It is a good idea to have testimonials and case studies to demonstrate how this solution has worked well in other countries. Instead.aspx.2. so it may be difficult to schedule a meeting. you may wish to speak privately with the decision maker to determine what the concern is. Scheduling Meetings Appointments are necessary and should be made 2 to 3 weeks in advance. Business often slows down considerably from the week before Christmas until after the New Year.2017. . it may be that he is uncomfortable with it. • There is little discussion of items not on the agenda. especially in the summer. Avoid Friday meetings. If you will be delayed more than 10 minutes. because many people leave work early. • If you want to include something on the agenda. it is important to telephone.. If this occurs. http://kpmg. 8. they may change the topic or recommend delaying the decision until a later time. • Items are generally addressed point-by-point in a linear fashion. The optimal times for meetings are 10 am or 2 pm. send the item and backup material in advance of the meeting. There is a natural reluctance to foreign influences. They may be used when meeting with others.culturewizard. meetings may be even more protracted due to the extreme bureaucracy. Businesspeople often take vacations during July and August. Bulgarians are often hesitant to reject a proposal. You may need even more lead time to meet with senior level executives. The best approach is to speak with him privately at the end of the meeting rather than attempt to re-focus the discussion. • If an agenda item is skipped over by the Bulgarian leader. Arrive on time even though you may be kept waiting.PrintView Page 31 of 44 leader’s authority. When dealing with the government. Agendas • Agendas are used when meeting with executives..

It is important to establish a personal relationship to successfully conduct business.PrintView Page 32 of 44 Conducting Meetings Bulgarians prefer face-to-face meetings rather than written communication. which is viewed as impersonal.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Many businesspeople remain suspicious of an outsider’s intentions until proper introductions and contacts have been made.aspx. Bulgarians often have a roundabout way of speaking since they are concerned with not saying anything that could hurt someone else or that might be used against them later. it is a good idea to make frequent visits to Bulgaria to maintain the relationship since they prefer face-to-face communication. Relationships are developed in after-hours socializing. it is best to ask the same question in several different ways do that you can be certain of the response. Eye contact is important since it demonstrates sincerity.culturewizard.. because this might be viewed with suspicion since friendships develop over time. when dealing with large companies. Patience is essential. It is only the Millennials who believe that technology can replace personal contact. http://kpmg. use meals and social events to demonstrate that you are a person of trust and integrity. The bureaucracy tends to be slow and complicated. formal introductions are imperative. Younger Bulgarians or those working in entrepreneurial companies may speak more directly. 8.2. Bulgarians do not use hyperbole and are suspicious of people who make exaggerated claims and promises. however. It is often difficult to be certain if you are meeting with someone who has the authority to make a decision. Management Styles Relationships It may be possible to meet with more entrepreneurial businesspeople without a letter of introduction. When dealing with the older generations.. To gather information. Since older Bulgarians do not trust people who are "all business".2017. . It is important not to appear overly friendly.

Bulgaria has a group-focused culture. 8. Before meeting with a company. they would be: • Interpersonal relationships • Hierarchical structures • Somewhat time-focused Many Bulgarians remain somewhat suspicious of foreigners and those with whom they do not have a personal relationship.culturewizard.2.PrintView Page 33 of 44 Expect your first meeting with a Bulgarians to be used primarily as a time to get to know you as a person and determine if you can be trusted. They take time to develop and the process cannot be rushed. Relationships are developed based on trust and mutual understanding. In general.. Impact of Generations on Relationships Since Millennials have not lived under the Communist regime. Do not attempt to discuss business until the personal relationship is developed. Bulgarians are proud of their IT development and many have state-of-the- art web sites.2017.aspx. As such. Relationships often have built into them the need to exchange reciprocal favors. In many ways. they do not necessarily need to develop strong personal relationships to the same degree as older generations. Management Essentials If you were to think about the most important cultural attributes that you will see operating in business in Bulgaria. people under the age of 40 may be more open to different ideas than older businesspeople who worked during the Communist regime. . it is a good idea to review their web site so that you do not ask unnecessary questions. so relationships are crucial to long-term success. Risk Tolerance http://kpmg.. it is a good idea to be introduced by a third-party when attempting to conduct business for the first time. Free enterprise is a relatively new concept and not all Bulgarians are comfortable with international business practices. They do not differentiate between people in their inner circle and are more likely to use social media as a way to develop and maintain personal relationships. This may be less important when dealing with Millennials. This is not a culture where cold calls are generally successful.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.

This may be more pronounced among younger workers. If they see a financial reason for doing so. New ideas are not generally received with enthusiasm when dealing the Post-War Generation.culturewizard. Government-owned companies tend to be more lax than companies that do business in the international arena. Ideas and projects will be carefully analyzed to assure that whatever risk they represent is thoroughly understood and addressed.aspx. although there is often a need to get group consensus. their attitude toward risk may be impacted by the negative ramifications of failure under Communism. With older workers.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Although not quite up to Western standards. Although there are many rules and regulations. there has http://kpmg.. When recommending a new concept. Decision Making Company Structure The basic culture of most organizations remains hierarchical. many Bulgarians are willing to work additional hours to complete a project by a reasonable deadline. Bulgarians have adopted relatively strict standards of adhering to schedules. since they are willing to respond to changes in the environment.2. In general. Many Bulgarians are successful entrepreneurs. although this appears to be changing as the country becomes more experienced with a free market economy. case studies and testimonials. This information will be used to determine if the reward-risk ratio is sufficient to warrant consideration. Generation Y employees are not as entrepreneurial and prefer to mitigate personal risk by developing a consensus.PrintView Page 34 of 44 Bulgaria is a low risk and low change tolerant culture. provide background material. 8. Impact of Generations on Risk Tolerance Generation X employees are generally more entrepreneurial and more willing to accept risks. Schedules & Deadlines Bulgaria is a moderate time culture where the view of schedules depends upon the type of organization. The culture is slowly adapting from years of totalitarian rule.2017. these rules are rarely respected. Since joining the EU. The Bulgarian business environment has experienced rapid improvement in recent years. . Bulgarians only obey those rules that benefit themselves and ignore the ones that do not..

com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Allow them to ignore hierarchy when they want to make a suggestion or ask a question. it is often done after building a consensus with subordinates. If an error is brought to their attention. They expect their subordinates to follow accepted procedures and not question them. but may seek consensus or he may decide on his own. When managing employees Millennials consider the following: • Offer a variety of tasks and projects and increasing responsibility.culturewizard.. 8. getting things accomplished may depend upon knowing someone who can help to circumvent the bureaucracy. If the company is owned by one person and managed by another. joint ventures. Managing Employees In hierarchical companies. • Create opportunities to work on teams. Younger employees are more willing to accept individual responsibility. Impact of Generations on Managing Employees The age of employees can materially impact the best way to manage them. perhaps as a holdover from the communist era. In these organizations. may avoid admitting mistakes.aspx. Older workers. The highest-ranking person generally has such authority. • Provide ample training and development. older managers continue to be autocratic. this has not happened..2. In more entrepreneurial companies. the owners may be consulted for when the decision could impact the organization in a major way. Large organizations tend to be highly centralized. it is generally the case that the Managing Board will be consulted. In the cases of mergers. Impact of Generations on Decision Making Although it was thought that the hierarchical decision making that was the trademark of the Communist regime would lessen as the country entered a market economy. • Provide opportunities to try new skills and take on new assignments in a protected environment. although this is starting to change. they often blame it on outside influences. individual initiative is prized and managers expect subordinates to work out for themselves how to structure their work. Even when decision making is solely the manager’s prerogative. or investments. .PrintView Page 35 of 44 been a concerted effort to improve regulations to make business more transparent. Decision Making How decision making is handled may depend upon the type of organization. • Listen to their ideas and give them a chance to test new ideas. As more Millennials enter the http://kpmg. • Provide clear deadlines and expectations.2017.

To create a successful team. As such. it is important to select a strong team leader who can work with the team members to create a feeling of trust. the teams they worked on seldom developed plans that were implemented. who were trained during the communist regime. However. It is important to be patient. are accustomed to working in teams. the time frame is much longer than in many countries. . Most Bulgarian companies have one negotiator rather than a team. 8.PrintView Page 36 of 44 workforce and demand less corruption and greater transparency. Negotiations Expect negotiations to be protracted and take several meetings. they can be apathetic or even cynical about teamwork.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. Managing the age differences and expectations can be time consuming. Developing a personal relationship takes precedence over business matters. Decisions take a long time since Bulgarians are extremely analytical and want to review each detail and consult with others in the organization.. Price is often more important than quality when negotiating. The Post-War Generation. Expect a good deal of bureaucracy and red tape. Team Focus There is a clear generation gap as far as working in teams. Such efforts tend to be counterproductive. On the opposite end of the spectrum. They expect concessions so it is a good idea to make an initial reasonable offer that includes some wriggle-room. Many Bulgarians are suspicious of foreigners. especially when dealing with government agencies or government-owned companies. Hence. The leader must be able to deal effectively with diverse personalities and opinions in such a way that each person feels appreciated.2. Since the next item can only be discussed after the resolution of the previous item. Do not adopt adversarial negotiating tactics or attempt to use time as a weapon. Negotiations generally take place with the most senior Bulgarian in the organization. the Millennials have been trained in Western business practices and believe teams can be successful. it is expected that they will change the way decisions are reached.culturewizard.2017. it is important to invest time in getting-to-know-you conversations.aspx. Bulgarians are tough negotiators. Many http://kpmg..

.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView.2. since you will not generally be successful in changing the somewhat fatalistic mindset. Continue in the same fashion that brought you to this stage of the negotiation.. Once signed. Moving There Advice and Tips for Moving Customs Regulations Entry Requirements Getting Around Getting There Safety & Security Emergency Numbers Emergency Telephone Numbers To reach emergency services from a local phone.PrintView Page 37 of 44 Bulgarians purposely slow down negotiations when discussing price to see how strongly the other side is to their offer. 8.culturewizard. .aspx. Many older Bulgarians retain a somewhat pessimistic attitude and may make statements to the effect that something will not work.2017. dial: http://kpmg. expect requests to change or modify the contract.

dial: • Fire: 160 • Police: 166 • Ambulance: 150 Safety Precautions Today.PrintView Page 38 of 44 • Fire: 160 • Police: 166 • Ambulance: 150 Emergency Numbers Emergency Telephone Numbers To reach emergency services from a local phone.. Before You Go • Take time to get all of your financial and personal records in order. • Be sure someone knows where you will be and how to contact you in emergencies at all times. including preparing a will. pickpockets and spontaneous political demonstrations. • Think about the small (and large) disasters that could occur at home during your absence and be sure there is someone prepared to assist you. . and what to do in those events. • Talk with a trusted family member or friend about what types of emergencies might arise in your absence. 8..2.2017. • Find out the services your company offers to you in case of emergency. With the exception of the emergency telephone numbers. • Do the same with crucial health documentation. Terrorist attacks and kidnappings have simply brought all security concerns to our awareness. this information is compiled for travelers in general and will apply in varying degrees to your destination and personal situation. The wise traveler is cautious about hurricanes and earthquakes along with hotel fires.aspx. but ordinary crime. weather and geographic problems also pose risks.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. • Make copies of all of your travel documents (including detailed itinerary with contact numbers) and be sure two people have easy access to them. http://kpmg. obtain and make several copies of important emergency company contact numbers to keep and give to all members of your family who might need them.culturewizard. we think of political situations as causing safety concerns.

When in comes to your safety. (Remember to safeguard your passport. • Use the room safe or hotel safe deposit box..) • Read the fire safety information and know what you would do if you need to evacuate. • Lock your door and do not answer it until you feel comfortable that you know who it is. Hotel Safety • Know how to call for help AND what to say.aspx. ◦ Find out all the gender-based restrictions and abide by them. and who to be watchful of. .how to dress. • In the event that you might need to leave your room quickly. The following websites offer specific advice for women: • Travel Tips for Women • Best Women's Travel Tips • Her Own Way: A Woman's Safe Travel Tips • Tips for Solo Women Travelers Women Travelers Travel Tips Crowded Situations http://kpmg. where you can go and where to avoid. a pair of shoes and some money by your bedside. ◦ As a rule. your glasses (if necessary). In-Country So many variables go into being safe. Know exactly where the nearest fire exits are. Seek information from cultural experts and local nationals whom you have confidence in. keep your room key. (They will also arrange for you to have help. how to act in public. be extremely cautious and circumspect. it is reliable and safe. and many of them revolve around understanding the specifics of where you are. 8.PrintView Page 39 of 44 • Be sure you have enough of your prescription medication so you are all right if you cannot get a refill right away. ◦ Ask hotel concierge or front desk manager to assist you whenever you have questions about your safety. ◦ Use a hotel known for its security and be sure that whatever type of transportation you use.2.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. take an extra pair of glasses if you wear them. • Don’t let strangers into your room.2017.. if you wish walking you to your room very late at night or escorting you from a parking lot to the hotel lobby). • Hide personal documents. valuables and other important items. • Women traveling alone will have different issues depending upon the morés of the society you’re visiting. • Travel with a flashlight. • Do not display your guest room key unnecessarily.culturewizard. don’t be afraid to ask. Be sure to learn details of your location -. how to carry yourself.

. • Carry as few valuable items with you as possible when you know you’re going to a crowded area. Emergencies • In an emergency that requires help by your government. reading local papers and telling your local friends to keep you informed. Keeping yourself and your family safe anywhere you go—whether it is an extended trip within hours of your home or a long-term assignment halfway around the world—requires planning and active follow-through. This is not only wise for business and social purposes. expensive cameras. Keep informed—not only with your country’s published data and warnings. your company should have guidelines for your safety. • For helpful information: Helpful Tips • If you are living in a high-risk location. • Use your Embassy.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. and you never know when a potentially dangerous situation can develop. but by identifying sources of local news. contact: Embassies Around the World • Make sure you know the name of the firm your company has selected for medical emergencies and evacuation services. • Embassies Around the World • Even if you are living in a relatively safe country. such as a lost passport or the need for money because yours has been stolen.2. be very careful to guard your property at all times. You might want to contact: International SOS to see if you qualify for some of their services. http://kpmg.PrintView Page 40 of 44 • When you’re in crowded places. Be sure you have 24-hour hotline numbers and appropriate contacts who can assist you. • No matter where you live—high risk or low risk countries—today’s world is volatile. PDAs and cash are easy targets. but is extremely important so you can understand what may be offensive or negligent behavior. • The more you know about your location..aspx. always be sure that close family or friends have accurate contact information so they can find you quickly. These people are here to help you. certainly understand written and unwritten laws and codes of conduct. For example. Safety in Your New Home City • Learn about your host country and culture. . nor is it a stroke of luck.2017. Even groups of children can be working together to divert your attention while one will steal your money. Security Issues Security is not simply a state-of-mind. 8.culturewizard. the safer you’ll be. International SOS provides emergency medical and evacuation services for individuals and companies. • Watch out for pickpockets who will try to distract you in many different ways while taking your money.

contact: Embassies Around the World • Make sure you know the name of the firm your company has selected for medical emergencies and evacuation services. fire and other emergency personnel. • Be sure you know how to contact (and get to) your country’s Embassy and Consulate wherever you are traveling—you need the location details. Be sure you know how to call for help in an emergency. . practicing common sense based upon knowledge of your location will help you. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has in- depth information regarding all regions of the world.culturewizard. phone and hours of operation. International SOS provides emergency medical and evacuation services for individuals and companies. With the exception of the emergency telephone numbers. such as a lost passport or the need for money because yours has been stolen. this information is compiled for travelers in general and will apply in varying degrees to your destination and personal situation. 8. You may need to reach the police. You might want to contact: International SOS to see if you qualify for some of their services. keep enough cash on hand so you will be all right if there are power failures and ATM machines don’t work. En Route http://kpmg. Prepare For Your Destination • Read about security and safety issues in the countries you’ll be traveling to or living in.. Be sure you know the words to use in the local language. Emergencies • In an emergency that requires help by your government. • For the most current. up-dated information.PrintView Page 41 of 44 Clearly the length of time you spend and the geographic and political profile of the countries you’re living in--or traveling to--will make a difference in your level of preparedness.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. we recommend the following government sites as quite comprehensive and easy-to- understand: Australian Travel Advisories Canadian Travel Advisories UK Travel Advice US Travel Warnings • Read about other precautions you should take for weather.and geographic-related concerns.2. Always check to see what services your company may offer to you.S.2017.. Embassies Around the World • See if there are any health-related issues in the countries to which you’re traveling.aspx. Nonetheless. For example. Don’t underplay the importance of understanding what is culturally appropriate—it may help you avoid some difficult situations. The U.

S. • For general information when you are en route.2.aspx. it is one of the most valuable items you possess--so protect it as you would cash. Attire you may think is perfectly acceptable. Contact your Embassy for detailed information. you could run the risk of being misinterpreted and perhaps becoming a target if your clothing is provocative or offensive. Get off if someone suspicious gets on. independent taxi cabs may pose specific problems. do not pack valuables in your checked luggage.PrintView Page 42 of 44 • Protect your passport. the U. If it is lost or stolen. 8. • When you’re on the plane or train. alleys. • If you drive. Trains. • Use your business address on your luggage tags. Otherwise. report it immediately to the nearest appropriate Embassy or consulate. offers a wide-range of information to travelers of all nationalities: http://www. buses. • Avoid calling attention to yourself by wearing fancy jewelry or carrying other expensive items. Your interpretation of this guideline needs to be based on local practices and customs. computer bags or other luggage unattended at any time. may not be so you’ll be well served to learn what is appropriate.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. http://kpmg. • Ostentatious jewelry will also draw attention to you. Find out before you go if it is preferable to hire a private driver and car. if possible. and never pick up hitchhikers. you may feel safer moving to an occupied car. • Dress conservatively.state. quickly walk the other way. give them your valuables—money and passport—and do not fight back.gov/travel/ Moving Around Safely • Always remain alert.. • Be sure to respond completely to requests by security officials and avoid comments about security that could be misinterpreted. • Learn about transportation in your location—what’s safe and what can be problematic and when. keep your doors locked and windows closed.. • Be able to answer questions about your luggage and be able to open all suitcases and packages immediately. • If you find yourself alone in a train car or compartment after everyone else leaves. • Experts say that if someone does attack you. • Whenever possible carry valuables and important prescription medications in your carry-on luggage. such as poorly- lit streets.2017. if asked. • You should also ask your company about specific transportation guidelines they’ve established for your safety. and deserted train stations.culturewizard. • Do not leave laptops. subways. . • Avoid areas where you can become a victim of crime. When they occur. Identify the location of the emergency alarm system. • Be wary when you are alone in lifts. credit cards and other valuables. State Dept. read safety literature and be sure you know where emergency exits are located. • Avoid disturbances and loud arguments.

. Transportation Security Administration Settling In Accommodation Arrival Procedures Conversions Eating Out http://kpmg. • If you cannot speak the local language. carry the card of your hotel or your address with you at all times--as well as your destination address.S. • When you have a specific location you’re going to.. • Make others aware of your specific whereabouts.2.com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. even when you’re going to business appointments.2017.aspx.culturewizard.PrintView Page 43 of 44 • Be sure to know enough of the language to call for help. 8. *Sources: U. Consider marking and tagging the pages of a phrase book with these types of important phrases. learn to use the local pay phones and keep change with you. • Even when you have a mobile phone. ask colleagues or people who work in the hotel if there are things you should know about that area. Know Where You’re Going • Ask people in the hotel what areas you should avoid. .

.2017.culturewizard..com/DesktopModules/RW3Modules/CP2014/PrintView. 8.PrintView Page 44 of 44 Entertainment Family Corner Health and Safety Media Money and Banking Nightlife Shopping Social Clubs Sports http://kpmg. .2.aspx.