Bulgaria and Romania were ranked in 51st and 52nd place respectively out of 140 countries in the Global Competitiveness Report 2018 compiled by the World Economic Forum
The index put the two Southeast European countries below all fellow EU member states except for Greece (57th place). However, they were saved from an even lower position by their relatively good performance in the ICT sector.
Romania’s overall score in the 2018 report was 63.5, 1.3 points up on the year. Romania followed Bulgaria in the ranking (a score of 63.6) and was followed by Uruguay (62.7). With a score of 85.6, the US is the country closest to the frontier of competitiveness. It is followed by Singapore (with a score of 83.5) and Germany (82.8).
Romania ranked best in terms of ICT adoption (36th place), market size (41st place) and institutions (46th place) while it ranked worst in terms of the financial system (101st), health (72nd), and skills (69th).
Within the ICT adoption pillar, Romania ranked 17th in terms of fibre internet subscriptions and and 41st in terms of fixed-broadband internet suscriptions. Within the financial system pillar, the components which ranked worst are venture capital availability (114th) and financing of SMEs (112th).
Bulgaria, meanwhile, improved its score on the 1 to 100 scale to 63.6 from 62.4 last year.
Bulgaria also scored best in terms of ICT adoption, taking 30th place with a score of 69.6 points, up from 69.4 in 2017, and in innovation capability (48th place with a score of 43.9 points, up from 42.5 in 2017).
The country’s worst rankings were for the financial system (71st place with a score of 58.2 points), institutions and health (70th place in each category with scores of 53.6 and 80 points) and market size (64th place with a score of 54.6 points).
The WEF’s 2018 report uses a brand new methodology to present the competitiveness landscape of 140 economies through 98 indicators organised into 12 pillars. For each indicator, using a scale from 0 to 100, it indicates how close an economy is to the ideal state or “frontier” of competitiveness.