Bulgaria's outsourcing sector is expected to generate 8.9% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2022, Bulgaria's Association for Innovation, Business Excellence, Services and Technology (AIBEST) said on Thursday.Bulgaria's sourcing industry contributed 5.5% to the country's GDP in 2019, up from 5.2% in the previous year, AIBEST said in its 2020 Annual Industry Report, citing data from an analysis prepared by SeeNews.
According to the report, the revenues of the companies operating in Bulgaria's outsourcing sector rose by an annual 19.6% to 2.9 billion euro ($3.5 billion) last year. The analysis comprises data for 610 local companies engaged in business process sourcing (BPO) and information technology sourcing (ITO).
Preliminary data shows that the outsourcing sector in Bulgaria will post double-digit growth in 2020 as well, AIBEST said.
The industry is also strengthening its position as a preferred employer, as evidenced by the growing number of people working in the sector, as well as the rising costs of employees and taxes paid by companies, AIBEST said, adding that the sourcing sector accounts for 3.5% of the Bulgarian labour market.
Outsourcing services providers in Bulgaria employed some 78,000 people at the end of 2019, or 5,000 more compared to 2018. At the end of August 2020, the number of employees reached 81,000, according to AIBEST data.
The unprecedented health crisis which hit the world in early 2020, naturally impacted the technology and business services sector, as well, but it also unlocked the digitalisation and innovation potential of the sector, llia Krustev, Chairman of the AIBEST Managing Board, said.
"Due to its membership in the EU, its well-developed digital infrastructure and extensive talent pool, Bulgaria is well poised to attract new investments as Western companies contemplate relocating operations to regions which are closer to their headquarters," Krustev added. "The extent to which we avail ourselves of this opportunity in the next year or two will be crucial with regard to how Bulgaria emerges from the crisis, how well it positions itself in respect to its global competitors and how quickly it catches up with the older members of the EU in terms of GDP levels."