ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT IMAGES IN SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE: THE CASE OF VARNA, BULGARIA
Attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) constitutes one of the primary aims of the regions and cities of Southeastern Europe after the fall of communist regimes in 1989. In order to satisfy this aim, cities are characterized by a plurality of efforts to create their images based on their distinctive characteristics and in this way attract investments and specialized human resources. Factors such as agglomeration economies, access to European markets, urban infrastructure, as well as qualitative 'soft' factors such as the quality of life and urban aesthetic, are considered as location criteria for business establishment in potential locations. The aim of the paper is to examine the attractiveness of the city of Varna as an investment destination by using primary data derived from empirical research on Varna's firms. The firms evaluate a variety of factors (urban characteristics), defining Varna's advantages as an investment destination. These advantages were then used to create the proposed 'nvestment image' of the city.
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