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Bulgaria’s International Competitiveness 2008
 
With the cooperation of the Center for the Study of Democracy Bulgaria was included for a third time in this most prestigious annual competitiveness ranking – IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008. The Center for the Study of Democracy is official partner for Bulgaria of the World Competitiveness Center at IMD (International Institute for Management Development). The previous two issues of the Yearbook for 2006 and 2007 had a direct impact on Bulgarian competitiveness policy-making, and were quoted in strategic policy documents of the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy.

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008 assesses Bulgaria’s competitiveness in comparison to the 55 leading country and regional economies. This year Bulgaria takes 39th place, notching up two places higher than 2007, and outperforming countries such as Italy, Romania, Greece, Ukraine, Turkey, Poland and Croatia.

This year’s higher rank of Bulgaria compared to the 41st place in 2007 is undoubtedly a positive sign to the international investor community regarding the possibilities, which the Bulgarian economy presents in comparison to the other countries in the region. There are still some major obstacles remaining in front of the country’s competitiveness, especially regarding the rule of law, fair competition, the grey economy and corruption in medium term, but also the lack of qualified labor force, and strategic government policy on innovation, technology and science in the long run.

Bulgaria has the highest rank regarding government efficiency (29th place compared to 38-th place in 2007), in contrast to last year when the country ranked best in economy efficiency (decline from 31st place in 2007 to 38th place in 2008). Business efficiency is assessed higher in comparison to the previous year (at 48th place compared to the next to last 54th place in 2007). In regard to the infrastructure there is no change – Bulgaria is ranked 41st among the 55 participating economies – the same place as last year. According to CSD economists these results have to be interpreted in context and with care as they are an aggregation of some 330 indicators and mask some important caveats. For example, though on the count of government efficiency Bulgaria is ranked highest on consistently running a high budget surplus, the country comes last concerning fair and equal acces to public resources by the private sector.

Press-conference: Bulgaria’s International Competitiveness 2008, 14 May 2008
Press release in Bulgarian (Adobe PDF, 388 KB)
Competitive Trends. Profile of Bulgaria from the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2008 (Adobe PDF, 67 KB)
Seminar: Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy, 14 November 2007
Press-conference: International Competitiveness of Bulgaria 2007, 9 May 2007
CSD Brief No 12: The Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007
 
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