September 2021 / Bulgaria

September 30 2021

Bulgarian IT Industry Competitive Globally, Boasts Revenue Growth

Bulgaria’s software industry is among the few left unaffected by the world pandemic. Quite the opposite – the crisis born of the global spread of coronavirus actually gave an impetus to one of the few Bulgarian industries that are competitive globally.

According to data of the Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASSCOM), in 2020 the sector marked a 10% growth in revenues, compared to the 5.5% drop in GDP in the country. Almost 38,000 people were employed in the software sector during this period, their numbers expected to reach 41,667 by the end of 2021. More than 60 software brands have offices on the Bulgarian market, and entrepreneurs from more than 20 different nationalities have been setting up new companies and opening offices in the country despite the crisis, a BASSCOM study shows.

“The most in-demand experts on the market now are Java or JavaScript, as well as PHP specialists,” says Petya Tsvetanova from an HR company working for the IT sector. She says it is the most dynamic sector in the country during this last year of epidemic restrictions.

Almost half of the vacancies now available are for distance work. Not to mention the fact that, on average, the pay is more than three times higher than in any other sector in the country. What are the salaries of IT specialists in this country?

“They vary. Let us say – for junior positions, i.e. for someone who is yet to graduate, the monthly pay may start at 1,700-1,800 Leva but then climbs steeply very quickly. Two years later they could earn a monthly salary of 5,000, depending on the projects and the technologies they are working with. People with plenty of experience over many years – for example, with more than 10 years in the branch – could earn 8,000-10,000 Leva a month.”

The Bulgarian IT market displays a curious feature – around 35% of all people employed in it are women.  This puts the country top of the list of EU countries in this indicator which is double the average percentage for the Union. And one more thing – more and more Bulgarians living abroad have been coming back to the country to work in IT. According to BASSCOM data, in some companies their number has reached 10% of all staff.

“Our experts are highly educated and well trained. They are more reliable than the Indian market, for example, where people are finding it more difficult to get the hang of things, and there is prejudice against such markets. Bulgarian experts have one more advantage – we are a member of the EU and they do not need special permits to work in Europe. So that we have a huge potential, and not just because of the country’s geographic location but also because of the level of education and skills obtained,” Petya Tsvetanova says.

Leading international IT companies, which have opened regional offices in Bulgaria, are hiring mostly Bulgarian staff in managerial positions. They are people who have studied here, in this country. i.e. their skills are the result of the Bulgarian system of education.

“They have graduated from Bulgarian universities like the Kliment Ohridski University, or the Technical University of Sofia. These universities train excellent specialists in the sector who readily find employment in this country or abroad,” says Petya Tsvetanova in conclusion.

Source: Novinite

September 20 2021

Bulgaria Ranks 85th in Digital Quality of Life Globally

Bulgaria ranked 85th, according to a study assessing the digital quality of life worldwide. This year the survey covers 90% of the world's population and rates 110 countries, looking at five main pillars of digital life: accessibility and quality of the Internet, e-infrastructure, e-security and e-government, according to BGNES.

The DQL (Digital Quality of Life Index) study is conducted by cybersecurity company Surfshark and evaluates countries based on a set of five main digital wellbeing pillars.

Bulgaria is 22nd in terms of internet access, 34th in internet quality, 64th by indicator "Electronic Infrastructure", 51st in terms of electronic security and 49th in section "E-Government

The Bulgarian must work 596 seconds to afford the cheapest mobile Internet, and 82 minutes to afford the cheapest broadband internet.

The report shows that 6 out of 10 countries with the highest scores are in Europe, following last year's trend. Denmark is first in the DQL for the second year in a row and is closely followed by South Korea and Finland. Israel and the United States are in the top five out of 110 rated countries. The last 5 places are Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala and Angola.

Regionally, the US stands out as the  country with the highest digital quality of life in America, while South Korea holds the leading position in Asia. Among countries in Africa, South Africans enjoy the highest quality of their digital lives, while Australia leads in Oceania, surpassing New Zealand in various digital areas.

Other findings of the study suggest that broadband is globally less affordable this year. Comparing countries included in both DQL20 and DQL21, in 2021 people need to work 11% more (25 minutes more) to afford broadband internet. The worst internet in the world is the least accessible. Residents of some countries such as Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Mali have to work roughly a week of work to afford the internet.

The 2021 DQL survey covers a population of more than 6.9 billion rating five main pillars and 14 support indicators that provide a comprehensive measure. The research is based on open source information provided by the UN, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union and other sources.

Source: Novinite

September 17 2021

Bulgarian Energy Ministry Set to Help Businesses Affected by High Electricity Prices

The Energy Ministry and other government departments will prepare measures in support of businesses that have been put in a tight corner by the high electricity prices in recent months. This transpired after a meeting of Energy Minister Andrei Zhivkov with businesses representatives Friday. The current daily electricity consumption in Bulgaria is 4,000 MWh and another 2,000 MWh are exported from this country. The Minister said that there is panic on the energy markets across the EU and Bulgaria is not spared. The price of electricity on September 17 reached 330 leva/MWh. Zhivkov also said that from the beginning of September, the price of electricity in Bulgaria is among the lowest in the EU but that is no reason for consolation as prices are going up across the EU. The Maritsa East 2 coal-fuelled power plant, which produces cheap electricity normally sold on the regulated market but now also going to the free market to ease prices, works at near-full capacity with only two of its eight power units off for scheduled maintenance. "It is important for us that industry remains competitive and make sure there are no bankruptcies and shocks in the economy," said Zhivkov. According to Konstantin Simeonov, President of the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Capital, said that industry will need "several hundred million of euro until the end of 2021 to mitigate the shocks in the economy.

Source: Novinite