DO CLUSTERS AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT FOSTER NATIONAL COMPETITIVENESS IN BULGARIA? A COMPARATIVE STUDY WITH EU COUNTRIES
The business environment and cluster development in given economy have a defining role for the development, maintenance and enhancement of national competitiveness and this has been proven repeatedly in theory and in practice. Cluster development in Bulgaria started with some delay compared to the other European countries. In Bulgaria, companies even though being a member of a cluster, they do not fully realize their advantages in terms of competition and joint efforts. The reason is that clusters in Bulgaria are still in a process of building efficient internal interactions between their members. The study focuses on the way and the extent the state of business environment and cluster development foster national competitiveness in the case of Bulgaria and selected Central and Eastern European EU member states countries. For the purposes of the study of business environment the Diamond Model of Michael Porter is employed and it is carried out through the World Economic Forum’s indicators of Global Competitiveness Reports. Both, business environment and the level of cluster development in Bulgaria are evaluated in a comparative context with selected Central and Eastern European EU member states countries. The results of the study show domination of limitations and obstacles to enhancing national competitiveness. We may conclude that the state of the business environment, the level of cluster development, and their interaction are not very favourable for more intensive competitive development of Bulgarian economy.