Vassileva, A. et al., UNWE Publishing House, Sofia, 2012
This publication presents the main results of the scientific research project entitled International Competitiveness of Export-Oriented Sectors in Bulgaria, elaborated by a team from the International Economic Relations and Business Department under the leadership of Professor Antoaneta Vassileva, Ph.D., and implemented during the period December 2009 – December 2011.
The current stage of increasing international economic globalization, characterized by intense competitive pressures and rapid technological changes, brings to the forefront the need of a study of the state and opportunities for improvement of the export performance of Bulgarian business entities.
The aim of this study is to analyze and assess the international competitiveness of Bulgaria’s export-oriented sectors and to give recommendations for its enhancement at macro-, mezzo- and micro level.
The following research tasks have been assigned in order to achieve this goal:
- Summary of the theoretical statements in the field of international competitiveness at national, sectoral, and company level as well as the already existing practices in measuring the latter;
- Collection, processing, and analysis of the statistical data about output, export, import, prices etc. for the studied sectors;
- Conduct of empirical studies (a survey among leading companies in the sectors and collection of expert opinions); analysis and presentation of the results; formulation of assessments, conclusions, and recommendations.
The studies executed within the project are thorough and detailed as regards the assessment of the international competitiveness of selected sectors of Bulgarian economy, characterized by high export specialization and orientation, such as metallurgy, engineering, chemical industry, clothing and textile manufacture, furniture manufacture, wine production, tobacco, and food industry. These sectors are of considerable significance for the domestic market and to a great extent determine the state of the country’s export.
The authors of the study have used an array of general scientific and specific methods of assessing the international competitiveness of Bulgarian export-oriented sectors. SWOT analysis is the general approach used to present the main competitive advantages and disadvantages of the sectors under consideration and the challenges they face.
The main sources of statistical information are the Bulgarian National Statistics Institute and the Eurostat Directorate-General of the European Commission. For the purposes of the project a special questionnaire was drafted and spread in the six planning regions among the managers of the companies pertaining to the identified export-oriented sectors.