Bulgaria’s outsourcing industry share of GDP on the rise

Outsourcing sector continues to grow for a seventh consecutive year

Bulgarian outsourcing sector registered a 3.6% share of GDP for 2016 and shows a continuous double-digit growth for seven years in a row, according to Bulgarian Outsourcing Association (BOA) annual industry report “Bulgarian Outsourcing Industry Report 2017”, prepared by SeeNews.

Outsourcing industry share in GDP grows steadily in the recent years figures show. The sector’s share in GDP in 2015 was 3.4% and 2.8% in 2014. The positive growth trend is fueled by the availability of skilled labour force in the country, the close cooperation between the businesses, education institutions and the government, as well as the maintained favourable tax policies and the country’s foreign investment incentives, said Svetoslav Ivanov, CEO of BOA in an interview for Bloomberg TV.

"I encourage all colleagues the business sector and education institutions to be proactive and work for the development of the country’s educational system and the business environments in general. BOA has already developed two master degree programs in partnership with the universities in Plovdiv and Burgas. The university tutors at at the "Prof. D-r. Asen Zlatarov” University – Burgas together with acting managers in outsourcing companies worked out the content of the “Information Technologies in Management and Transformation of Business Processes" program. The latter and our joint program "English language and Business Management" with “Paisii Hilendarski” University, Plovdiv are a proof that businesses and educational institutions when willing make such projects possible”, added Svetoslav Ivanov.

Bulgaria’s BPO sector remains the leading segment with a share of 53% of the total turnover of the outsourcing industry in 2016. The ITO sector accounts for 47% of the sector turnover but stands out with the higher profitability. The BPO sector share in 2015 stood at 58% versus 42% ITO share. HRO and FAO segments are also growing with great potential for growth in the future, the report showed.

The largest cities in the country – Plovdiv, Burgas and Varna – together with Sofia have developed into a leading outsourcing destinations. Main factors influencing the attractiveness of the cities remain the availability of human resources and educational institutions, well-developed infrastructure, high-class office buildings and strategic geographic location.

Bulgaria is a leading outsourcing destination in Europe and worldwide and is among the top 10 most attractive countries on a global level. “A number of international companies have set up offices in Bulgaria and continue to expand their businesses. New investors are also entering the Bulgarian market”, added Svetoslav Ivanov. “Bulgaria’s main advantages remain its geographical location, the flat tax, which is appreciated by the investors and, last but not least, the well-developed human resources with knowledge in language and IT training”.