SOFIA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said here on Thursday that his country's economy needs reforms to address internal and global challenges.
"Our economy faces a number of serious challenges at home and especially globally," Radev said at a roundtable meeting entitled "Towards a Competitive and Prosperous Bulgarian Economy."
There is a need to restructure the economy, and it is time for important strategic decisions, Radev said at the event, which was organized jointly by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and the Bulgarian Industrial Association.
Economies based on knowledge and innovation would take the lead globally, Radev said.
"Only investment in industry can ensure sustainable economic growth," he said.
However, he stressed that low taxes and low-paid labor -- advantages that had been significant until a few years ago -- would no longer be sufficient to attract investors, especially strategic ones.
"Today, the major topic is how the Bulgarian economy will be able to migrate to the next evolutionary stage," Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev said at the same event.
Low labor costs have been a major competitive advantage for the Bulgarian economy over the last 10-15 years, but this situation will radically change after only four or five years because the growth in labor costs is higher than economic growth, Donchev said.
Low labor costs "cannot and should not be a competitive advantage," he said.
"High added value, innovation, digitization, knowledge-based economy. These sound good as priorities," Donchev said. However, "their adequate implementation is a little more complicated," he added.