President: Quality Institutions Make the Difference in the Development of Countries and Are the Key to Competitiveness and High Quality of Life

2024-02-08 08:59:00

Quality institutions are the key to competitiveness and high quality of life. This is what Head of State Rumen Radev said during his participation in the forum "The World Ahead 2024" organised by The Economist. The President participated in a panel dedicated to the economy and energy 2023-2024. In the Head of State's words, it is the institutions that make the difference between the development of countries, because the independence of justice, freedom of the media, protection of business and property, improvement of the business environment, as well as the environment for the development of every citizen depend on them. This remains the biggest task -to fight so that we have quality institutions, he added.

Bulgaria is an open economy, part of the European and global economic space, and at a time of economic, political and social changes in the global context in a very complex security environment, President Radev said. He noted that business in Bulgaria manages to be flexible and adaptive against this background and to move the economy forward. The Head of State highlighted the development of new, increasingly innovative and high-tech enterprises in Bulgaria, which provide high added value, and underlined the growth in corporate social responsibility and dual training, as well as the investment in human potential.

In his speech Rumen Radev highlighted a number of challenges that affect the world: the war in Ukraine, the new crises in the Middle East, the ongoing tensions in the Far East. In his words, Bulgaria should look for ways to adapt to these dynamic changes and be aware, above all, of the challenges to the development of the country's economic potential. As the most significant he identified the demographic crisis, the severe regional, economic and social imbalances, the lack of connectivity - within the country and with our neighbours, the quality of education and the lack of sufficient workforce, the lag in the implementation of digitalisation and innovation in the economy and public life, the lack of an energy strategy.

The most important thing is to have clarity in the goals and priorities we set for ourselves, Rumen Radev said and stressed that membership in Schengen, the Eurozone and the OECD are defined as strategic national goals in the political space, but anyone who tries to achieve these goals not on the economic but on the political terrain will make a mistake. Rumen Radev pointed out that the way to achieve them is not meetings, foreign tourism, endless negotiations, but sustainable social and economic policies, because they are first of all a means to achieve the most important goal - the Bulgarians to live securely and better tomorrow than today.

The Head of State predicted that 2024 will be a year of Bulgaria's and the Bulgarian economy's adaptation to the great geopolitical dynamics and, above all, of making use of our competitive advantages and opportunities. He pointed out that our country has potential in many areas and questioned to what extent we manage to exploit it. As an example, he cited our geographical location, the importance of which is increasing against the background of the war in Ukraine. Land and air traffic through Bulgaria is growing exponentially, bringing a lot of revenue, prestige and influence. Much more can be done, the President urged and highlighted the achievements of the caretaker governments in just 10 months in terms of energy, transport and digital connectivity in our country and in the region. In his words, if the momentum of the achievements is continued, Bulgaria can be a real factor for the whole region, in terms of economic, transport, energy, digital connectivity and development.

The biggest stake for Bulgaria's success, in the President's words, is the creation of conditions for the development of the talents of our young people. Bulgarian schoolchildren and students have won prizes in all international science Olympiads. The challenge is how to transform this incredible capital we have into an innovative economy. How to transform our universities from education centres to research centres, he said, pointing to INSAIT as a good starting example.

Asked what expectations he has for the government's work, Rumen Radev said that it is important what its priorities are. If the government seeks to solve the challenges facing society and if its main goal is Bulgaria and Bulgarian prosperity, he would be their biggest supporter. If the government's goal is the good of a party and gaining more power within the coalition, this will not be productive.

Regarding his political future after the end of his term, Rumen Radev noted that he was brought up with a strong value system and has always been dedicated to the prosperity of the country and will continue to do so.

In response to a question about the possibilities of reaching a peaceful solution to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the President said that a sustainable solution to the military conflict lies not on the battlefield but in diplomacy.

The forum in Sofia was attended by representatives of business and institutions. President Rumen Radev was accompanied by his wife, Desislava Radeva.


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