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Bulgaria ranked 79th in a Global Competitiveness Report

Date: 02.11.2007

Bulgaria dropped five places, from 74 to 79, in the ranking of the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2007-2008, issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Centre for Economic Development (CED) said on October 31.

The report was one of the world’s deepest and most substantial research pieces dealing with the countries’ potential for economic growth, said CED, which had been Bulgaria’s partner to the WEF since 1999 (the year Bulgaria first made it to the report) and was this time supported in its contribution to the report by the Open Society foundation.

Bulgaria lost its better 2006 position because of some negative assessments of business representatives over the efficiency of the country’s institutions. The problems were related to impartiality and efficiency of the judicial system in settling trade disputes; spread of corruptionpractises ; ineffective fight against organised crime; insufficient copyright protection; sluggish legal environment; lack of transparency in public orders and others.

Other important things that brought the country’s overall ranking down were its weak performance in the sphere of technological progress, where Bulgaria was ranked 65th, and the potential for innovations, 88th.

Bulgaria was scoring negative points on a number of issues, like public spending on scientific research, which was 0.38 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), when the average level for the EU member countries was 0.65 per cent of GDP (excluding Bulgaria and Romania). Bulgarian businesses were directing 0.11 per cent of all its cost towards research and development, while the average EU level was 1.2 per cent, CED said.

Bulgaria lagged behind also in terms of the quality of its basic infrastructure, ranked 84th, but was showing good macroeconomic development results, 47th. The best performers among the countries of Central and eastern Europe, according to the Global Competitiveness Report were Estonia, the Czech republic and Slovenia.

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