EC: Bulgaria Must Accelerate Competitiveness Reforms

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | October 10, 2012, Wednesday // 16:05
Bulgaria: EC: Bulgaria Must Accelerate Competitiveness Reforms Illustration Picture showing the EU flags in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 14 June 2012. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria is a country with a relatively low income level and a dominance of labor-intensive industries, according to the latest overview of competitiveness for the 27 Member States issued Wednesday by the European Commission.

"Bulgaria continues to reinforce its public institutions; its challenge is to make them stable and more efficient, while at the same time increasing their capacity to improve the business environment," the report says.

However, the EC concludes that important structural reforms to improve Bulgaria's competitiveness have been continuously postponed.

"Such reforms include cutting red tape at national and local levels, fostering innovation, creating a more integrated research and innovation system and improving energy efficiency across the economy," the EC notes.

According to the EC, Bulgarian research and innovation systems are of variable quality.

"The country has committed to double its current research and innovation spending by 2020, which requires the effective use of all existing policy instruments. This will mean a focus on key sectors and enhanced cooperation of industry and business in innovation," the EC document reads in its section on Bulgaria.

"The modernization of the transport and energy infrastructure is another major challenge. An improved capacity to use structural funds will be essential in facing these challenges," the EC comments.

According to the EC report, Member States have engaged in reforms to improve business prospects and strengthen their competitiveness.

"Member States have made good progress in strengthening the sustainability of industry, improving support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and reforming public administration. They show a continued shift to a more knowledge-based economy, with increased labor productivity and highly-skilled labor," the EC concludes.

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Tags: European Commission, Competitiveness, industry, business environment, knowledge-based, innovation, research and development, Energy efficiency
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