ESC PRESIDENT: WE ARE TALKING ABOUT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION NOW, BUT SOON WE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT DIGITAL COHESION
“The digitalization of the Bulgarian economy and Bulgarian companies, as well as the digital skills not only of the working people, but also of all groups in the society, will be the key topics in the future work of the Economic and Social Council (ESC)”, said Zornitsa Roussinova, the newly elected President by the National Assembly. She participated in a World Bank webinar dedicated to the recently published World Bank report “Europe 4.0: Addressing the Digital Dilemma”. “We are talking about digital transformation now, but soon we will have to talk about digital cohesion”, the ESC President stated.
“The discussion organized by the World Bank office in Bulgaria is a step towards the decisions that Bulgaria has to make in order to accelerate the digitalization process”, Mrs. Roussinova said. She highlighted that within the global digitalization process, which was even more accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bulgaria is still not well positioned.
According to the World Bank report, comparisons between different countries about the speed of the economy digitalization are not in favour of our country. “Bulgaria has its highly skilled specialists in the field of advanced technologies and they will help in the processes of catching up with the others”, the ESC President expressed her hope. “The upcoming changes do not only affect the economy, but they affect the whole society in many aspects”, Zornitsa Roussinova commented. According to her, one of the main challenges that Bulgaria is facing is need of basic digital skills in the society to operate with the new technologies, as well as special attention to be paid to the consumer rights and their protection from possible risks. “We also have the obligation to inform consumers about their opportunities provided by the digital environment and how they can properly take advantage of them”, she added.
The ESC President underlined that the World Bank discussion on accelerating the digitalization in Bulgaria will continue in the Economic and Social Council through discussions between employers, trade unions, third sector and the academic community representatives in search of new ways to achieve the set goals and Bulgaria could have leading indicators in the economy digitalization and in the new skills of people.
The webinar was also attended by the Deputy Minister of Economy Stamen Yanev, representatives of the World Bank, of the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, economists and other experts. Fabrizio Zarcone, World Bank Permanent Representative for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Europe and Central Asia, presented the Industry 4.0 report and highlighted the main points.