UNIDO and Bulgaria discuss enhancing competitiveness

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VIENNA, 7 December  – Today a seminar entitled “Competitiveness as One of the Priorities of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency and UNIDO’s Activities in this Area” kicked off at the Vienna International Centre.

The event was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association (BICA), with the support of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the Vienna Economic Forum. It aimed to reach a common understanding on possible actions to boost the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises and address critical issues including skills, connectivity, digitalization and Industry 4.0, in line with the priorities of Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU).

In the first half of 2018, Bulgaria will  hold presidency of the Council of the EU. The country has set out to achieve an ambitious agenda during its tenure and beyond. This envisages, among others, advancing economic competitiveness through enhancing digital connectivity, promoting entrepreneurship based on digital technology and innovation, including social innovation with a focus on youth, women, the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the development of skills and competences for the 21st century.

“The priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency resonate strongly with UNIDO’s mandate for accelerating inclusive and sustainable industrial development through our focused activities to unleash economic transformation for inclusive and sustainable growth,” noted Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, UNIDO Managing Director and Deputy to the Director General, at the opening of the seminar.

Svetoslav Spassov, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bulgaria welcomed policymakers, diplomats, private sector representatives, industry practitioners, experts, and non-governmental institutions to the event. He added “The seminar is very timely. It is not only held on the eve of Bulgaria’s first Presidency of the Council of the EU, but it is also the first spin-off initiative from the cooperation agreement between UNIDO and BICA, signed last year”.

Prior to the seminar, Kunioshi met with Lachezar Borisov, Deputy Minister of Economy of Bulgaria to discuss strategic aspects of joint cooperation and partnerships between UNIDO and Bulgaria. It was agreed that the seminar provides a strong momentum to work in areas of common interest, beyond the country’s Presidency of the Council of the EU.

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