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Bulgaria's export competitiveness before and after EU accession


  • Zhelev, Paskal
  • Tzanov, Tzvetomir


The paper gives an insight on Bulgaria’s export competitiveness in the framework of EU accession as the analysis covers the period 2002-2009. The results bear evidence of a low export performance in terms of diversification, factor intensity and technological sophistication and a significant lagging behind countries like Hungary, Slovakia, and in certain fields Romania. It is mostly attributed to low-grade sector specialization. The integration within the EU so far has not accelerated technological catch-up. For instance, recent evidence indicates unexpected export growth in traditional industries as Bulgaria overwhelmingly remains steadily anchored in low value-added competition on international markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhelev, Paskal & Tzanov, Tzvetomir, 2012. "Bulgaria's export competitiveness before and after EU accession," MPRA Paper 104698, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:104698

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. di Mauro, Filippo & Baumann, Ursel, 2007. "Globalisation and euro area trade - interactions and challenges," Occasional Paper Series 55, European Central Bank.
    2. Paskal Zhelev, 2009. "Export Specialisation of Bulgaria in the Relations with the European Union (1999-2007)," Nauchni trudove, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 1, pages 229-278, March.
    3. Krugman, Paul R, 1996. "Making Sense of the Competitiveness Debate," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press and Oxford Review of Economic Policy Limited, vol. 12(3), pages 17-25, Autumn.
    4. Michael Landesmann & Julia Wörz, 2006. "CEEC's Competitiveness in the Global Context," wiiw Research Reports 327, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    5. Dora Borbély, 2006. "Trade Specialization in the Enlarged European Union," Contributions to Economics, Springer, number 978-3-7908-1705-8, May.
    6. Karl Aiginger, 2006. "Competitiveness: From a Dangerous Obsession to a Welfare Creating Ability with Positive Externalities," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 161-177, June.
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    2. Klodian Muço & Emiljan Karma, 2023. "The Determining Factors of the Delocalization of Italian Companies to East European Countries," Economies, MDPI, vol. 11(11), pages 1-16, November.
    3. Jošić Hrvoje & Žmuk Berislav & Dumičić Ksenija, 2019. "Measurement of Export Market Concentration for the Largest European Economic Integrations," Business Systems Research, Sciendo, vol. 10(2), pages 61-72, September.
    4. Goran Nikolić, 2013. "Is There A Structural Improvement In The Merchandise Exports Of The Balkan Countries In The Period 2000-2012?," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Belgrade, vol. 58(196), pages 99-132, January –.

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    More about this item


    Export competitiveness; Revealed comparative advantage; Export sophistication; European integration; Industry studies: Manufacturing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology


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