Has Bulgaria's Export Bubble Burst?
The rusty scissors of Bulgaria's foreign trade, which had started to close – apparently, solely thanks to the global economic crisis that got perpetuated in Europe by the so called debt crises – have now started to open again.
The squeaking sound of their opening is drowning the boasting of a number of ministers of Bulgaria's Borisov Cabinet who've been thumping their chests with claims that Bulgaria's been seeing booming exports since 2009, which is what's going to help it become a "prosperous", "average" "European" "state".
Latest data are starting to refute these claims, though. The normalization (to the extent this term is permissible) of the international economy has exposed once again the striking flaws of the Bulgarian economy.
An uncompetitive Bulgaria exports primarily raw materials (such as ore), scrap, and unprocessed agricultural produce (such as grain). It does have a certain number of innovative enterprises but, unfortunately, these are too few to bring about a drastic change.
In order to be a prosperous export-oriented economy, one needs either to have large quantities of rare and expensive raw materials, or to produce industrial products with an emphasis on high value-added ones. The first one is beyond people's control but the second one is precisely generated by purpositive policies.
So even though the global economic crisis inadvertently fixed Bulgaria's trade balance (and some other macroeconomic indicators for that matter), this doesn't suggest in any way that the normalization of the situation won't send Bulgaria back to the rock bottom of the economic hole of which it was supposed to have almost climbed out.