This is already second edition of the outsourcing monthly updates presented on OutsourcingPortal pages. The cycle of short interviews is run by Pro Progressio Foundation.
The answers below are provided by Anna-Marie Vilamovska, the Executive Director of Bulgarian Outsourcing Association. Anna-Marie talked to Wiktor Doktór, the CEO of Pro Progressio.
Wiktor Doktór: What were the main business and economy trends last month in Bulgaria?
Anna-Marie Vilamovska: Quite a few good news lately when it comes to the economy. One significant positive trend, relevant to Bulgaria’s outsourcing sector growth, is that an increasing share of Bulgarian professionals working abroad, including IT and engineering specialists, are now open to a move back. According to a recent survey by the Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASSCOM) out of 4,000 responding Bulgarian IT experts living abroad, 31% are ready to return to Bulgaria in the immediate future, while another 21% indicated considering a relocation back.
Wiktor Doktór: Let’s take a look at the general business and economic situation in Bulgaria – is there something interesting happening for foreign investors who’d like to open Operation Centres in Bulgaria or start to use services of existing companies?
Anna-Marie Vilamovska: As said – positive news. Here it’s important to point out that Bulgaria’s economy is growing well and S&P Global Ratings affirmed its 'BBB-/A-3' long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Bulgaria. There’s a significant likelihood that our country will join the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) over the upcoming 12-18 months. 2019 GDP growth forecasts are also good with a 3.6% forecast rate by S&P as of Q3.
Wiktor Doktór: What was the biggest success of Bulgarian outsourcing industry in November 2018?
Anna-Marie Vilamovska: The outsourcing sector in Bulgaria continues to grow well too. The Bulgarian Outsourcing Association has taken the leading coordinator role for a national IT education-related project, which will focus on early IT and knowledge sector career counselling, upskilling technology teachers and bringing current sector knowledge to schools and teachers. The project is co-developed with the Ministry of Education and other leading IT&T organizations in Bulgaria. Another success in the outsourcing industry is the SELFIE project, a tool piloted by the EC also in Poland, that evaluates whether a school is making the most of digital technologies for teaching and learning. I am leading this project in Bulgaria as national coordinator.