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President Rumen Radev Emphasizes Schengen, Eurozone, and OECD Membership as Key to Bulgaria’s Prosperity

Sofia, Bulgaria: President Rumen Radev outlined the significance of Bulgaria's membership in the Schengen Area, the eurozone, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as crucial steps towards ensuring a secure and improved standard of living for Bulgarians. Speaking at The Economist magazine's The World Ahead 2024 forum, Radev highlighted the necessity of setting clear goals and priorities to navigate the country through its strategic national ambitions.

According to Philippines News Agency, achieving these objectives requires more than mere meetings; it demands the implementation of sustainable social and economic measures. He stressed the importance of political continuity, leveraging successes, and addressing deficits in the face of global challenges, including upcoming European and national elections, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and tensions across various regions.

Radev pointed out Bulgaria's position in a dynamically changing global landscape, emphasizing the country's open economy and its integration within European and worldwide economic spaces. Amidst significant economic, political, and social transformations, predictability remains a vital factor for successful business and investment ventures. The President expressed satisfaction with the growth of Bulgarian businesses, noting the development of innovative, high-value enterprises and the increasing industrialization of the country.

He lauded the Trakia Economic Zone for its role as a regional leader and a successful example of cooperation between business, local government, and education. Radev acknowledged the flexibility of Bulgarian businesses in complex environments and credited the caretaker government for laying solid foundations for economic development within just ten months.

However, Radev also addressed challenges facing Bulgaria, including demographic issues, regional disparities, connectivity, education quality, and workforce shortages. He called attention to Bulgaria's low rankings in digitalization, innovation, and various global indexes, urging the nation to aim for improvement in these areas to attract more investments and enhance institutional trust and competitiveness.

For 2024, Radev envisages a year of adaptation for Bulgaria, focusing on leveraging its competitive advantages amid global geopolitical shifts. He highlighted the potential of Bulgaria's youth, emphasizing the importance of transforming this talent into an innovative economy to secure the nation's future prosperity.