However, the main branches that were initiated at the dawn of its modern development have been preserved. Ruse still is Bulgaria's "northern gateway" – a key centre of transport, trade, industry and culture.
Today Ruse has a special place in the national economy based on the existing good infrastructure and on its strategic location, as Danube Bridge has turned the town into a crossways of important commercial routes and the Danube River enables cargo transport. The existing big companies: The Bulgarian River Shipping, Rubiships, Ruse Port and Ruse Shipyard - are an evidence of the big possibilities the river provides.
The political system transformation after 1989 and the transition from a planned to a free market economy that followed made the former economic structures inadequate to the new environment. Many of the big socialist companies faced severe problems and went bankrupt. They were replaced though by more flexile and market-adapted businesses. Machine engineering, chemical industry, textile and clothing industries have made a noteworthy progress recently. Many of the local companies are export-oriented and have good foreign markets. New technologies are implemented while the existing industrial facilities are upgraded. Ruse Free Zone for duty-free businesses was established after the changes; it occupies an area of 180 ha, of which over 50 000 square metres are open and indoors warehouses; it features a railway station and all possible conditions to promote export-oriented industries and services.
The local chemical companies are leading both in the Central North Region and countrywide. Prista Oil, Orgachim, Megachim, Lubrica produce motor and industrial oil, paints, lacquers and plastic items that have success on the world market.
If any industry is illustrative for Ruse, that is textile and clothing industry. Notwithstanding the depression, the town has been experiencing an unprecedented growth of industrial businesses and shopping centers. After the opening of METRO, BILLA and KAUFLAND, two other chains - CARREFOUR and LIDL - also opened shops in Ruse. Two of the big shopping centers that are currently in progress: MOL RUSE and MEGAMOL - will open by the end of 2010. Furthermore, the share of foreign investors in machine engineering is also growing. The French company MONTUPET and the Spanish company KEROS have enlaged their production facilities and have expanded their produktion programs.
The good infrastructure, the variety of facilities and the technical capabilities augment the possibilities for Ruse to have cross-border relations with neighbouring and EU countries in the context of the modern European regional policy. Ruse is awaiting its predestined and inevitable revival as it is returning to Europe.