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Sofia and Bulgaria in the Rankings

Bulgarian is the top Digital Riser for Europe and North America in the Digital Riser Report 2020 by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness by ESCP Business School in Berlin. The report analyses and ranks the changes that 140 countries around the globe have seen in their digital competitiveness over the last three years. It measures the two core dimensions of digital competitiveness, i.e. the country’s ecosystem and its mindset, and uses data from the Global Competitiveness Report issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the report, Bulgaria and Montenegro improved the most in the ecosystem and mindset dimensions, respectively. Bulgaria’s outperformance is explained by its “Digital Bulgaria 2025” lighthouse initiative by the Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, which was launched in 2018 as a continuation of the national programme “Digital Bulgaria 2015”. Its goal was to modernise and implement intelligent IT solutions in all areas of economic and social life.


Bulgaria ranks 3rd and above expectations for level of development in the upper middle-income group of the Global Innovation Index (GII) by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Our country ranks 37th in the overall ranking. 

China, Malaysia, and Bulgaria are still the only middle-income economies in the GII top 40; otherwise, the gap across income groups and regions largely perseveres. In the upper-middle income group, China (14th), Malaysia (33rd, up from 35th), and Bulgaria (37th, up from 40th) had held the top three positions since 2016. Aside from China, Malaysia and Bulgaria remain the only other middle-income economies that are close to the top 25. In addition to these three economies, there are only seven other middle-income economies in the top 50 of the GII 2020. 

The Global Innovation Index 2020 provides detailed metrics about the innovation performance of 131 countries and economies around the world. Its 80 indicators explore a broad vision of innovation, including political environment, education, infrastructure and business sophistication. 

The 2020 edition sheds light on the state of innovation financing by investigating the evolution of financing mechanisms for entrepreneurs and other innovators, and by pointing to progress and remaining challenges – including in the context of the economic slowdown induced by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

Europe continues to host a large number of innovative economies. Sixteen of the innovation leaders in the top 25 are European countries, with seven of them ranking in the top 10. The Czech Republic rejoins the top 25 this year. Seventeen economies rank in the top 50. Seven of them climb up the ranks: Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria, Poland, Croatia, Ukraine and Romania.


Bulgaria ranks 32nd among 162 countries globally in the Fraser Institute’s “Economic Freedom of the World” index. Our country shows the highest results in the Freedom to Trade Internationally and Sound Money indices, an improvement in Regulation. while the sub-indices Size of Government and Legal System and Property Rights remain problematic. Read more in the report of the Institute of Market Economy (in Bulgarian) or visit the webpage of the “Economic Freedom of the World” index.