On 1 June 2012 the Center for the Study of Democracy presented the results of the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012. 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 six issues of the Yearbook had a direct impact on the Bulgarian competitiveness policy-making, and were quoted in strategic policy documents of the Bulgarian government. International investors monitor very closely the IMD competitiveness ranking, which makes its 2012 results even more relevant. The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012 assesses Bulgaria’s competitiveness in comparison to 59 leading national and regional economies.
Ms. Daniela Mineva, Research Fellow to the Economic Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy presented the main results and conclusions of the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012. In the overall ranking, the country takes 54th place, while in the region of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Bulgaria ranks 34th among 37 economies. On the one hand, Bulgaria has increased its performance in the areas of public finance, fiscal policy and international trade. On the other hand, however, the country’s competitiveness profile continues to be characterized by notable disparities and lack of harmonization between the various indicators.
Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Director of the Economic Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy, identified five key challenges facing the Bulgarian competitiveness, including:
• Raising the professional qualification with a strong focus on long-term unemployed and youth unemployment;
• Curbing corruption and tax evasion;
• Reducing bureaucracy and promoting quality of administrative services, including the development of comprehensive e-government;
• Creating an adequate framework for science, technology and innovation activity – most notably a transition from price competitiveness to innovation competitiveness;
• Diversifying gas supply, improving energy grids and energy efficiency, as well as adequately regulating the development renewable energy sources (RES) in the country.