Bulgaria Shoots for R&D Spending of 1.5% of GDP in 2020

Finance | March 28, 2011, Monday // 18:29|  views

(R-L) Bulgarian EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev and Deputy Finance Minister Boryana Pencheva at the presentation of "National Program for Reforms 2015". Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Finance Ministry has unveiled a "National Program for Reforms 2015" designed to boost economic and labor competitiveness with a variety of measures within EU's "Europe 2020" strategy.

The National Reform Program was presented Monday by Deputy Finance Minister Boryana Pencheva at a public discussion at the Council of Ministers in Sofia, including EU Funds Minister Tomislav Donchev as well as employers' associations, syndicates, and independent economists.

The Reform Program specifies Bulgaria's major goals within the application of the Europe 2020, including reaching a 76% employment by 2020, and spending on research and development amounting to 1.5% of the GDP.

While the goal for the entire EU is 2.8%, Bulgaria's lower goal has been based on the fact that its current R&D spending is much smaller than the EU average.

By 2020, Bulgaria's energy efficiency is supposed to increase by 25%, while the renewable energy sources as calculated in the end consumption of energy are supposed to reach 1.5% of the GDP.

In the next 10 years, the government plans to lift 260 000 Bulgarians out of poverty, to reduce the number of school dropouts by 11%, and see 36% of the Bulgarians aged 30-34 with university education.

Deputy Finance Minister Boryana Pencheva has stressed investments in road and environmental infrastructure as Bulgaria's priorities, which are supposed to lead to accelerated economic growth in the medium run.

Pencheva said Bulgaria's National Program for Reforms 2015 incorporated recommendations of the European Commission in its annual economic growth review, which focus on fiscal consolidartion and policies for stimulating the labor market and national reforms.

She pointed out that Bulgaria's specific priorities provide for a stable financial sector, improving infrastructure, boosting youth competitiveness, betting the business environment, and generating more trust for state institutions.

Bulgaria's Finance Ministry is supposed to submit the final version of the National Reform Program to the European Commission by April 30, 2011, once it has been approved by the Cabinet.

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Tags: Boryana Pencheva, Finance Ministry, National Program for Reforms 2015, Europe 2020 strategy, research and development, R&D, labor market, Energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, employment


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