SME Digitization Supports Bulgarian Exports, Deputy Economy Minister Says
108 ECONOMY - DIGITAL CHALLENGES - FORUM
SME Digitization Supports
Deputy Economy Minister Says
Sofia, November 30 (BTA) - Deputy Economy Minister Alexander Manolev Friday unveiled a discussion on the digital challenges facing businesses, his ministry reported. Manolev said there is no easier and more accessible instrument to support Bulgarian exports than the digitization of SMEs and increasing the share of digital trade.
The Economy Ministry strives to be an active partner of businesses and global leaders in the sphere of ICT, Manolev said. As an example, he cited joint courses organized with Google which have taught digital skills to 26,000 people.
The Deputy Economy Minister said that in the first eight months of 2018 Bulgaria exported 18 billion euro worth of products. Over the past 10 years, more than 1 billion euro was invested in support of SMEs under Operational Programme Competitiveness and Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness. A large portion of these funds were intended for the introduction of innovative and technological solutions.
Manolev also drew attention to Bulgaria's advantages, underscoring that the added value of the country's ICT sector, covering anything from components to software products, amounts to over 1.4 billion euro annually, rising by 22 per cent in 2016. According to Eurostat, about 65,000 Bulgarians are employed as specialists in the field and each year over 4,000 students graduate in such specialties from Bulgarian higher educational establishments.
The forum was organized by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and the National Business Network Association (NBNA). Its opening was attended by European Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, BCCI Board Chair Tsvetan Simeonov and NBNA Board Chair Dessislava Ivanova./LI/BR