The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector provides 8.4 per cent of Bulgaria's GDP, and is the second fastest growing sector after tourism, the head of the State Agency for IT and Communications (SAITC) Plamen Vachkov said on Tuesday during a round table on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in ICT.
The 6.2 per cent increase of the economy provides potential for the development of ICT, however legal obstacles hinder this. The limited funding for the development of such projects has led to the need for PPPs, Vachkov said. The Electronic Government Act comes into force on June 12, and the State Administration Ministry and SAITC need to ensure the security and stability of IT systems and the problem of administrative compatibility.
Deputy Economy Minister Yavor Kuyumdjiev said that Bulgaria had the fifth largest economic growth in Europe, with total stock turnover of 56,500 million leva (29,000 million euro). Bulgaria needs alternatives such as PPPs to achieve more effective public investment of public funds.
UNDP Resident Representative to Bulgaria Henry Jackelen said that the most important thing is to have constant dialog between government and businesses. The PPPs need a long-term vision, and the ICT sector might lead the way for PPPs in Bulgaria as a whole.
The National Program for the Accelerated Development of Information Society will be approved by government and begin to function this month, Neli Stoyanova of SAITC said. Its budget has been drastically reduced, so optimal spending will be needed, BTA reported.