|With the partnership of the Center for the Study of Democracy this year Bulgaria was included for the first time in the world's oldest and most comprehensive annual report on competitiveness. The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2006 is issued since 1989 by the Swiss think-tank IMD (International Institute for Management Development). The report analyzes how the environment in 61 selected economies creates and sustains the competitiveness of enterprises. It places Bulgaria 47th among 61 leading economies, ahead of Italy, Romania, Poland and Croatia.
The competitiveness of the economies is assessed by 312 indicators, classified in four major groups:
Bulgaria’s highest score in these four groups is in government efficiency, where it takes 43rd place among the 61 participating economies. The business efficiency is ranked 49th, and the other two factors, economic performance and infrastructure, both take the 45th place.
The inclusion of Bulgaria in this competitiveness ranking is a good signal in itself for the investment opportunities it offers. The areas, where Bulgaria is ranked in the first quintile represent the economy’s competitive advantages. These are most important for international investors and can be summarized in:
stable macroeconomic environment;
relatively high economic growth per capita;
export of services;
remuneration of labor and unit labor cost;
investments in telecommunications as percent of GDP.
More importantly, the 2006 ranking highlights the areas which put Bulgarian enterprises at competitive disadvantage. These are the indicators, in which Bulgaria’s economy is ranked in the lowest quintile. They outline the policy priorities that call for most urgent intervention by policy makers. These are:
bureaucracy as a barrier to business;
personal security and private property protection;
quality of corporate governance;
energy efficiency of the economy;
share of high-technology export and business R&D expenditures.
For more information: www.imd.ch/wcc
Press conference: International Competitiveness of Bulgaria: Trends and Challenges, 11 May 2006