First let me say that probably by living in Bulgaria you have been NEGATIVLY influenced by the pessimistic press. Too much bad news I guess.
Then you are right that Bulgaria and Eastern Europe would not go so low on their wages like China but still they will probably work for around one third of the wage their Western European neighbors will receive. Then it's also true that there are better places for investment in the emerging markets than Bulgaria. And of course you are right about the very twisted and corrupted political mentality of the Bulgarian politicians (one of the reasons I left Bulgaria) something I REALLY hate.
But then again Bulgaria is very close and conveniently located to Western Europe and as you can see yourself some of the companies are choosing to invest.
About the corrupted politicians.....
Time, EU and the many immigrants like me will have the reshuffling influence effect in probably 5 to 10 years. ( No more old narrow-minded country boys will run that country)
The fact about Russia is that the economy is growing rapidly (GDP), many American economists are calling it AN EXPLOSION OF WEALTH. Today for example Ford just announced double and triple profits in Russia on car sales for the first two quarters of the year.
And lastly about China, India and other attractive emerging markets (and my analysis of the world). You are talking about engineering done in Germany, France, USA and other places and it's all good but for NOW! China has 30 million engineers (tremendous brain power) and all the manufacturing technologies done in China are been closely observed and copied by those very same engineers and their own technologies and products are being designed based on the World engineering (Germany, France, USA....). Very soon China will have super capabilities for competitiveness in not only manufacturing but in design and engineering! As you probably know they already manufacture their own car models, which are expected to hit US in one or two years on a very low price ($6000 to $8000 US). So the same goes for India, they are making the $3000 car. How can you compete and for how long?
Are you a Mulsim or a Muslim?
Anyways Russia will newer be a country with Muslim majority but this is a whole another topic.
About the decreasing population which is mostly based on the immigrating Russians, is actually a good event because the majority of all those immigrants will come back to Russia in a few years and inject in the local economy lots of money!
Yes, the number of manufacturing jobs is not the only measure, but the point here was where the potential for growth is, which is the emerging markets.
Check some of the folowing links for some of the world stats.
Robin and other pessimists.
Well guys you keep on forgetting that the world economy is changing rapidly and that it's a different world out there right now, A GLOBAL WORLD. To cut to the chase (like they say in Hollywood), THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THE EMERGING MARKETS! And what this means is that the higher standards (western world) will be going in a certain level of decline while the lower standards (eastern world) will be getting richer. For example the average American wage has not been razed since year 2000, millions of manufacturing jobs were lost in US and most of them were moved to the emerging markets because of the lower labor costs. Well guess what, this will continue to happen all over the World and balances will continue to shift from west to east. Any western economy which chooses protectionism politics and chooses not to allow it's businesses to invest in the emerging markets will be doomed to fail behind because of the higher labor/manufacturing costs and lower productivity. Example: an average unionized US car manufacturing employee makes $35 US per hour, and an average Chinese employee makes $ 100 US a MONTH. Well no wonder all of the big three car manufacturers in US are warning the government that they will invest overseas if something is not being done. So in other words this will continue to happen until the world gets more or less some wealth balance. The major detail here is that the emerging markets have monster sizes markets (China, India and so on...) and they will tremendously surpass economically the existing leaders like USA, Europe and Japan.
So like I said in my previous posting wealth is shifting and for Bulgaria this is in a form of foreign investments utilizing the cheaper labor and the relatively well educated work force.
Things are changing make no mistake, look at Russia for example, Moscow is the most expensive city in the world with the most billionaires per capita than any other city in the world and this is only 15 years of capitalism!
The strategic location, climate, nature and the amazing adaptability capabilities of the Bulgarian people will cut that nonsense "Survey" period to max 25 years!
It's not the Bulgarians only who will do the catching up; it's the western investors who will do most of the job by utilizing the tremendous investment opportunities!
Needles to say is that the Bulgarian Government MUST do everything possible (cut taxes, cut bureaucracy, stimulate financing and so on...) in order to attract foreign investment. And of course I can't stress this enough, KEEP THE EDUCATION ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY!
EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION is the only bright future for Bulgaria.
Knowledge is the most precious commodity today!
Small market (people, territory, natural resources) like Bulgaria should try to provide university degree to almost everybody. Science, Medicine, Technology, Economics and Engineering are the FUTURE! (China has 30 million engineers!)
Knowledge is POWER make no mistake. But knowledge without action is of no use. The Bulgarian Government should make all efforts to provide a stimulating, encouraging and supporting environment for innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and scientist, making sure they are fully utilized and NOT DRIVING A TAXI SOMEWHERE! Hopefully Rumen Ovcharov is reading this. How about we invent the next вЂњIntelвЂќ chip or make some better вЂњWindowsвЂќ operating system and so on and so onвЂ¦. ThatвЂ™s the way of thinking we need. The Government should also cut business taxes in order to make the country attractive for foreign investors and to help local businesses. It's naive to try to base an economy these days only on tourism (like some people think). There is a very stiff competition from all over the world and many attractive places for tourism!
Bulgaria and Eastern Europe are an emerging market, but in order to fully utilize the coming opportunities and be competitive, and not only follow but in some ways to lead the world Bulgaria must create the appropriate business climate and environment!
To all Bulgarian entrepreneurs out there, KEEP ON TRYING, after all Thomas Edison had to make around 1500 experiments in order to perfect the light bulb. But just imagine what would we be today without a light bulb and so MANY OTHER inventions and hard work.
It's better to try and fail over and over again than to never try!
First let me say IвЂ™m Bulgarian, and then....
HEY WAKE UP, enough of that little nationalistic game. Let me refresh your mind "Alexander the great is DEAD!". So wake up and see the reality. There are many other "GREAT" powers now and neither Macedonia or Bulgaria happens to be one of them!
Don't fight like some narrow-minded little losers over the history; we all have lots of common heritage! In fact there are around 300 MILLION SLAVIC PEOPLE in Europe which also happens to be the largest language group in Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and many more spread in different countries), but by being so narrow minded I bet you don't even know or care about it. Look at the disastrous economic state we are in, MOVE YOUR BUTS and cooperate, help yourself and Europe!
The Americans (a country with one of the shortest histories and the strongest economy) have a sentence "YOU ARE HISTORY" when something is not in good use anymore!
So stop living so much with the history and try to improve your present quality of life (the 200 euros a month if you know what I mean....).
Education, Education, Education is what you need, neither Macedonia nor Bulgaria have the potential to be the world leader in something (based on the limited size of the market and geographic/natural resources), so only information and knowledge can keep that area prosperous. The very nearest future will require almost everybody in a small market to have some university degree and science and engineering will be HIGHLY preferred! Did you know that China has 30 MILLION ENGINEERS? How about the rest of the world, India, South America, North America and so on. I don't want to even talk about their natural resources and markets.
Macedonia and Bulgaria barely amount to 10 million people but sure they will find just so many reasons to fight for.
Unite you losers and work together or YOU ARE HISTORY!
In order to reiterate what I meant in more detail I will have to start with the fact that the Balkans are a major part of Europe and many local historians will have a pretty solid argument that the European civilization and cultural evolution in some way "STARTED" from the Balkans. But based on the many political, religious and nationalistic events in the history, the Balkan evolution somehow got stagnated around that "START". Even though the political and religious events had a devastating effect on the local development, we should not ignore the stubborn self-destructing nationalistic factor (the Balkan wars for example). We the "Balkanians" if I may express myself in that way (I'm Bulgarian) rather stay in the past and constantly dig into the history instead of trying to improve tomorrow by working on it hard today. All of this is based on the wrongfully underlined and stressed historical/cultural heritage education in early childhood.
One would assume that the logical possibility of Bulgaria and Macedonia to be close allies is pretty obvious based on the common heritage (which by me is de facto the same people), but as you see the "rocks and pipes" fights will prove him wrong.
The narrow-minded self-centered nationalism in many ways is preventing the development of the region, and the rest of Europe has to rescue us again( EU). While the rest of Europe, France, UK, Italy, Germany and so on gave the world and Europe so much in the form of arts, culture, science, technology (fast trains, Concord and Airbus plains, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, space explorations and so on.... just to mention few) we the Balkanians are still fighting over who invented the Cyrillic alphabet, the feta cheese and the yogurt!
Well no wonder the average monthly pay is 200 euro.
Cooperation and mutual respect is needed, not stone/rocks fights, and the sooner we understand it the more significant the contribution to humanity and EU will be.
Speaking of European Union and 21 century... What a sad picture those Balkans are. A pre historical, uncivilized, caveman behavior (stones and pipes)... Well it's sad that the people in the Balkans are still so narrow minded and with such limited and nationalistic minds when Europe is trying to expand and unify the roots of civilization. For sure with a behavior like this we have a long way to go!
50% more Chinese Tourists in Bulgaria
Potentially Defective Aluminum was used by All Car Manufacturers in Japan