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Bulgaria tops IBM 2008 report for foreign investments in service jobs

Date: 10.11.2008

Eastern European countries are quickly emerging as key locations for services investment, with Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary among the top 10 global destinations, according to data published in the IBM 2008 Global Location Trends report.

As investment into India and China declined significantly in absolute numbers and with India remaining the top location for services functions, the reports' data indicates that some Eastern European locations are improving sufficiently in skills to become strong location alternatives for services investment, while maintaining cost advantages.

According to the IBM 2008 Global Location Trends report, the improvement becomes particularly evident when taking account of differences in population size, with Bulgaria being the world's top performer and Hungary number three.

Serbia and the Balkans, the report explains, have become new major recipients of investment, as these locations are increasingly seen as alternatives to traditional Eastern European "hot spots" that are experiencing tighter labor markets and increased competition for skills. This is particularly evident when looking at jobs created from foreign investment compared to population size, where Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia are all ranked in the top 10 globally, and Macedonia is in the global top 20.

In Europe, the widening of the global economy manifested itself in increasing investment activity outside the European Union, with countries in South-East Europe (such as Serbia) emerging as locations for investment. While the UK is the greatest recipient of jobs from foreign investment in Europe, followed by a handful of Eastern European countries, these developments continue the trend towards South-East Europe, which was identified last year (when Romania and Bulgaria were both major new recipients of investment).

This year's Global Location Trends report by IBM Global Business Services shows that global investment activity continues to widen, penetrating deeper into more economies, and bringing the potential for new growth and prosperity to more people than ever before. This expansion has brought unprecedented levels of investment to countries previously on the periphery of the world economy. Companies are now actively seeking out and finding investment opportunities in Latin America and Africa, for example, capitalizing on the talents and assets that these vast regions have to offer.

IBM's Global Location Trends reports are based on analysis of data from IBM's proprietary Global Investment Locations Database (GILD). GILD records investment project announcements around the world on an ongoing basis. With currently information for over 70,000 investment projects recorded since 2003, GILD provides unrivalled insight into global trends in corporate location decision making.

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