This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Bulgaria, with an external EU border, hoped to join the EU Schengen area before 2022. This is one of the reasons why safety and security remains an important agenda issue for the Bulgarian government and businesses in 2022, and into the future. The Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, Border Police, together with the Ministry of Finance, the Customs Agency are looking for ways to improve and strengthen management and information sharing of the borders – both internal and external for EU. This trend has been further exacerbated by the war in Ukraine and has delayed the process of Schengen acceptance, whilst necessitating more security improvements and cooperation with the EU.
For the new EU program period 2021-2027 Bulgaria is expected to receive nearly USD 34.6 billion for various programs and around USD 600 million will be dedicated to security and homeland infrastructure projects to strengthen the functionality of the borders and EU exchange information. Bulgaria will also have to maintain and upgrade the completed fence on the Turkish border (a project for USD 100 million – 240 km) as this infrastructure project is of a crucial importance for both Bulgarian and European security. The upgrade of the border with Turkey projects became really important in the second half of 2021 with the latest changes with the Afghan Government and the follow up migration crisis.
Since 2017, US Embassy Sofia has had a Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection agent in Sofia working closely with Bulgarian Border Police structures. They are focusing on optimizing the border checking process and providing high level intelligence in cooperation with Interpol, FBI and Bulgarian authorities.
For 2020 the Bulgarian Security market is estimated at USD 122.5 million, with revenue projected to reach 11.3 million USD in just the security sector in 2022. That revenue is expected to grow by around 17 percent on an annual basis, reaching 20.7 million USD in 2026.The three biggest market shares are: 44% is for the First Responders; 32.5 % Security infrastructure and 13.3% Border Security. Followed by Critical National Infrastructure (6.1%), Transport Security (1.7%) Major events (1.5%) and Central Government Security (0.9 %). In 2030 the Bulgarian Security Market is expected to reach USD 1.61 billion.
The Bulgarian Security Sector revenue shares for 2020 by technology: Surveillance USD 31.28 million, Communication Equipment – USD 20,78 million, Managed Services – USD 17.6 million, Command & Control – USD 12.24 million, Fire Equipment – USD 10.83 million, Vehicles & Platforms – USD 8,88 million and others – such as Access Control and Identity Management, Screening and Detection, Data Analytics and Storage, Personal Protection Gear, Disaster Management and Risk Averse Security.
Bulgaria has 3,200 registered security companies and around 130,000 people are currently employed in the Security sector.
Europe, and more specifically Bulgaria, is a key target for cybercrime because of its advanced Internet infrastructure, high number of users, and payment systems. In addition - several cities in Bulgaria, such as Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas, host a great number of R&D centers, Centers of Excellence, Software Development hubs, service and shared centers for leading global companies and manage 24/7 international operations. In 2020 Bulgaria (the capital Sofia) was selected to host one of the 5 US Petascale Super Computers (part of the EUROHPC program). Bulgarian rapid development in the latest IT, AI, Big data and communication also triggered the cyber crime interest. In 2021 Sofia hosted the Presidential 3 Seas Initiative – a 12-country cooperation initiative with main focus on connectivity and innovations and strong US interest in forming partnerships and support.
Bulgaria has signed a memorandum of understanding with NATO in reference to fostering international collaboration on counter cyber threats through information- and capability-sharing, as well as joint participation in cyber exercises. The legal framework, has been harmonized with EU legislation and provides numerous opportunities for foreign companies to invest in the country.
The Bulgarian government adopted a National Strategy for Cybersecurity called “Cyber Resilient Bulgaria 2020.” This strategy aims to provide better protection for citizens, businesses, governments and critical infrastructure. Cyber security is crucial for businesses, citizens and the government given the adoption of the E-Governance law and future implementation of e-services. Cybersecurity has become even more of a priority in 2022 with the evident attempts at cyberattacks against national institutions after the war in Ukraine began. The new Ministry of E-Government has increased their prevention efforts and has promised to collaborate with Western partners.
Current safety & security projects and opportunities include, but are not limited to, improvement and upgrade of public safety and traffic safety, timely response to disasters, and the further development of intelligent transport systems and UAV management.
Most large and middle-sized cities in Bulgaria now have a video surveillance system with more than 2,000 cameras in the whole country monitoring pedestrian areas, major crossings, and traffic safety. In general, the central areas in these cities are the most monitored zones, but sensitive zones, including for traffic safety and public safety will also be included in the future and will include all police vehicles being equipped with built-in video surveillance.
Improving IT security is a top investment priority for Bulgarian financial institutions. Some 67 percent of Bulgarian banks and insurance companies plan to increase their spending on security technology in the next years followed by an investment in automating key customer services.
Reports show that 99.9 percent of cyber-attacks in the country are due to a company’s poor information security. In response to increases in cyber threats, in 2020 the Bulgarian government, with the EC financial support, announced programs/initiatives to spend around USD 9 million for fighting Botnet and will spend close to USD 1 million for regulations of cyber threats.
Bulgaria is one of the 3 EU country with the most traffic incidents. The Government of Bulgaria created in 2019 the State Agency Road Safety to work on that issue and increase the public awareness. To stem this the Ministry of Interior –
Traffic police will also complete in 2020-2021 the following:
- Update its speed cameras with new modern ones.
- Acquire new generation laser speed cameras in approximately 30 cities which can check the speed of more than one vehicle at the same time and provide images processed by 4G computers to include fines generated and sent directly via mail.
- Purchase an additional 20 stationary speed radars costing USD 1.5 million
- Acquire 28 portable cameras costing USD 1.147 million.
- Acquire 100 new alcohol and drug testing apparatus costing USD 1.260 million.
- Invest in new road construction and repair efforts to increase safety.
The Industrial Cluster “Security” in Bulgaria announced an updated list with all existing security companies. According to the data, there are over 3200 companies licensed to carry out private security services – 1,090 have a national license and the remaining 2110 have regional licenses. Most of them are small and medium-sized companies and do not directly acquire security equipment but provide centralized security services by means of technical equipment via monitoring-centers and vehicle patrols, physical security, convoy of valuables and dangerous loads; delivery, installation and support of security systems.
NAFTSO (National Association of Trade Security and Security Companies) is a non-profit association of Bulgarian security companies. NAFSTO members employ over 22,400 people (37.1 percent of private security employees).
Local production of security equipment is limited to parts and accessories for optics and camera parts, telephones and installations, metal detectors, safe deposit boxes, intercoms, sirens, control panels, control alarm systems, electronic locking systems for elevators; electronic locking systems for external doors inputs, TV systems for day/night surveillance, systems for perimeter and outside perimeter guarding, cameras and lenses, communication cables, fire detectors, equipment and parts for access control, signaling devices and production of protective clothing with special purpose – fireproof, antistatic, water and oil-proof, wind-proof and aggressive- proof.
To join the Schengen Area, the Bulgarian government must develop projects to upgrade its EU’s external borders and to integrate into the Schengen Information System (SIS).
Best prospects include:
X-ray scanning equipment, MR type of equipment, infrared mobile and stationary equipment, IP video surveillance, on site field testing, access control equipment, CCTV, laboratory equipment, ID security application equipment, new IT and high tech equipment, programs and related services.
Some of the current and ongoing Government of Bulgaria projects:
- Ministry of Defense - USD 14 million project for 14 surveillance drones (12 Class I “Mini” and 2 Class I “Small” UAVs);
- Ministry of Finance – Customs project for installing 360 CCTV systems for tax warehouses including all cigarettes, liquids and petrol warehouses. The project also involves the related software for registration plates reading and reporting of the vehicles;
- Ministry of Interior – Traffic Safety project for the purchase and installation of high-tech road cameras and radars.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria, INTERNATIONAL DEFENCE EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES EXHIBITION „HEMUS 2022”
Ministry of Interior (http://www.mvr.bg)
Industrial Cluster Security
Bulgarian Chamber of Security and Protection
Frost & Sullivan Company
U.S. Commercial Service Sofia Contact Information:
Name: Peter Delin
Position: Commercial Specialist