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  2. COMPETITIVENESS IMD’ World Competitiveness Yearbook 2007 World's oldest and most comprehensive annual report on competitiveness Source: IMD, Center for the Study of Democracy

  3. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE • By economic performance Bulgaria ranks 31st on the scoreboard and 15th in the EU Source: IMD, Center for the Study of Democracy

  4. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE Real economic growth, % Source: NSI, 2007 data are estimates • High real GDP growth at 13,4% for the past two years on 2005 Q2 basis. • Sustainable growth at 6,6 % in 2007 Q2. • Bulgaria is among the CEE leaders by GDP growth, ranking 7th • 10,5% growth in industry in 2007 Q2 – a record-high value for the transition period • According to Eurostat data, Bulgaria ranks 1st in Europe by industrial growth, with annual value of 14,6% for the past one year • Average ЕU-27 growth is 2,5% • Growth in Bulgaria is 9,4 percentage points up on growth in Romania

  5. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE ACCELERATED DECREASE OF UNEMPLOYMENT RATE Source: Employment Agency • Accelerated decrease of unemployment, down 5,38 percentage points on end 2004 • Number of registered unemployed down by 140 thousand people in the past two years.

  6. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE Grossed fixed capital formation, % of GDP Target – 25% of GDP Source: NSI • Total real growth in investment at 51% in the past two years on first half of 2005 basis. • Bulgaria ranks 4th in Europe by total investment as a percentage of GDP while in Eurostat’s 2004 ranking it was 19th among 33 European countries. • Growth in investment – total 29,6% in 2007 Q2; investment accounts for 29,6% of GDP

  7. BUSINESS CONFIDENCE 2007 Bulgaria takes 5-th place among 27 EU countries. Bulgaria is among the leaders in terms of business confidence. Ministry of Economy and Energy, February 2007

  8. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE EXPORTS GROWTH Source: BNB • In 2006, for the first time exports growth (26,9%) was higher than imports growth (26%) • In 2007, exports growth is slower than imports growth.

  9. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT • Growth in the number of tourists visiting Bulgaria at 6,6 per cent in 2006 and another 6,9% in the period January – August 2007. • Growth in the number of tourists at 11,4% in the past 2 years • 5,2 m foreign tourists in 2006 against 4,8 m in 2005. • EUR 2,06 b of tourism receipts (EUR 1,95 b in 2005) which largely offsets the negative current account balance • Growth in tourism receipts at 16% in the period January – August 2007.

  10. ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE • In 2006, the current account deficit is 15,7% of GDP. In the period January – September 2007 the current account deficit is 13,8% of GDP • The current account deficit is covered by FDI flows at 103% • In 2006 accumulated inflation is 6,5%, and in the first nine months of 2007 - 8,9% Source: BNB, NSI

  11. MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT • Accelerated implementation of the Development Bank project • The bank will perform the following TASKS: • Carry out EXIM activity • Provide: • а. guarantees • b. loans • c. insurance • d. development capital • Attract and manage mid-term and long-term local and foreign resources and grants towards implementation of the economic development goals • Target – issued guarantees and extended loans of BGN 600 m total at end 2008.

  12. MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT PROMOTION OF EXPORTS • Export insurance – expanding the activity of BEIA and increasing insured export volumes • Improve the work of the Trade and Economic Relation Offices (TERO) – objective: support the activity of employer and business organizations and of BSMEPA • Accelerate the development of a National Exports Strategy • Institutionalize and finance national advertisement as well as trade exhibitions of Bulgarian products – increasing the available budget resource of BGN 2,5 m, including with resources from the structural funds • Efficient measures to adapt Bulgarian producers and traders to EU requirements and standards • Build up a public access database for the opportunities to export goods and services to foreign markets and provide a system for its continuous update

  13. MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE CURRENT ACCOUNT DEFICIT ENCOURAGE THE EXPORT OF ENERGY PRODUCTS • Implement large energy products • Promote investment in new generating capacities, including in renewable energy sources (RES) • Encourage investment in energy efficiency • Rehabilitate and modernize existing energy generating capacities • Promote investment in co-generation capacities

  14. GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY • In terms of government efficiency Bulgaria ranks 38th on the scoreboard and 17th in the EU Source: IMD, Center for the Study of Democracy

  15. GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY • 10% corporate tax – down 33% • 0% capital gains tax • 5% dividend tax from 1-st of January 2008 • 7% VAT in tourism • Lower social security burden by 6 percentage points in 2006 and by another 3 percentage points since 1 October 2007. • 0% on reinvested profit in 138 municipalities where unemployment is by 35% higher than the country average. • 10 % “flat tax” on incomes of physical persons since 2008.

  16. GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY MAINTAINING FINANCIAL STABILITY Consolidated government debt, % of GDP Source: MF • In this government’s mandate the consolidated government debt decreased by EUR 1,22 b to 20,6% of GDP, down by 10,6percentage points • Since the end of August 2005, fiscal reserves have increased by EUR 2,17 b to EUR 4,35 b in September 2007. • Since the end of August 2005, international foreign exchange reserves have increased by EUR 4,7 b to EUR 11,8 b in September 2007. • The budget surplus moved up from 3,2% of GDP in 2005 to 3,6% in 2006 аnd the forecast for 2008 is for surplus of 3% of GDP

  17. MEASURES TO IMPROVE GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY • Introduce 10% flat tax since 1 January 2008. • Introduce 5% dividend tax • Lower social security burden by 3 percentage points • Optimize the regulatory environment: - develop a program and schedule (in cooperation with employer organizations) for optimization and cutting down by some 20% of the regulatory regimes by the end of this government’s mandate (to date, there are 113 licensing regimes total for the local and central government) - building an integrated public register of regulatory regimes and procedures - building public-private partnerships – delegating functions for the administration of some regimes to branch organizations • Accelerated building up of integrated centralized information systems and cadastres in order to relieve physical persons from the obligation to prove before the administration data from these systems • Make the commercial register operational by the end of 2007. • Legislative initiative securing attraction of Bulgarians of foreign citizenship in support of the national labor market

  18. MEASURES IN SUPPORT OF THE BUSINESS • Encourage investment in priority sectors according to EIA: manufacturing, generation of electricity from renewable energy sources, high-tech activities in the field of computer technologies, research and development, as well as education and human healthcare • Encourage underdeveloped regions through twice lower thresholds of encouraged investment in these regions • Encourage high-tech activities through three times lower thresholds of encouraged investment • Finance an industrial zone establishment project under PHARE at the amount of EUR 18 m; additional funds are expected later under Operational Program “Regional Development”, to the amount of up to EUR 100 m • Implement the new measure for “Financial support for professional qualification training” for persons up to 29 years of age , called for by the condition of the labor market • Implement investment marketing with funds allocated under Operational Program “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy” within the budget for Priority Axis 4, to the amount of EUR 17 m for the first three years • Support innovative enterprises in the design, research and development of new products, technologies and services through the National Innovation Fund • Encourage the cooperation and partnership of the innovation system elements by building an Innovation and Entrepreneurship network.

  19. Operational Program “Competitiveness” – target: maximum absorption of funds MEASURES IN SUPPORT OF THE BUSINESS Program budget – EUR 1.2 b Managing Authority - MEE • Priority 1: Develop a knowledge- and innovation-based economy (budget EUR 246 mil., 21%) • Priority 2: Improve the efficiency of enterprises and creating favorable business environment (budget EUR 593 mil., 51%) • Priority 3: Financial resources for the development of enterprises (budgetEUR 200 mil., 17%) • Priority 4: Strengthen the international market positions of the Bulgarian economy (budgetEUR 87 mil., 7,5%) • Technical assistance (budget EUR 34 mil., 3%)

  20. MEASURES IN SUPPORT OF THE BUSINESS Support the development of BSE and the access to risk finance • Approve a strategy for the state share in the capital of BSE – Sofia (integration with a leading European stock exchange) • Refocus from privatization to attracting “green” investors and investment through BSE • Improve the public offering of securities legislation towards capital market development, by: • Promoting issuers and not only brokers • Developing an implementing a system for promotion of good practices and voluntary execution in addition to the existing mechanism of sanctions • Creating conditions for the development of new areas of the capital markets • Approving a Risk Investment Act • Accelerating the use of issued compensatory instruments through privatization of state property and stopping the issuance of such instruments through passing by the National Assembly of the introduced Bill amending and supplementing the Transactions with Compensatory Instruments Act

  21. “SECOND GENERATION” OF REFORMS ARE NEEDED ”First generation” targets: • Make Bulgaria attractive • Implement quick privatization • Maximum attraction of all types of foreign investment • “New” targets: • Select and retain “quality” investors • Make Bulgaria a leader • “Skipping” development phases (overtaking and not catching up) • Priorities: • ICT • Energy sector • Education