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Fandakova: Information technologies are among the fastest growing industries in Sofia

This year in June, Sofia will be hosting international innovation events within the Digital Week

In the recent years, more and more convincingly Sofia has proved to be an attractive place to invest. The capital continues to be the largest regional economy in the country, providing the highest living standard in the country. The international rating agency Standard & Poor's also noted the financial stability of the city by granting it an investment grade for this year. At the end of 2015, Sofia had attracted more than half of the foreign investment in the country. It amounts to over EUR 12 billion, or over EUR 9 thousand per capita, which is three times the country's average. “Sofia produces 40% of the country's GDP”, said the mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova at the opening of the innovation forum Innovation Starter in the presence of the Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Sofia, Ognyan Zlatev and the Director of the Bulgarian Investment Agency, Stamen Yanev.

The Deputy Mayor of Sofia, Doncho Barbalov and the Director of the Municipal Investment Agency, Vladimir Danailov were also present at the event.

Innovation Starter is organiser of "Innovation Explorer" (http://innovationexplorer.bg).

According to MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index, the capital of Bulgaria is in the top three of European cities with the highest growth of foreign tourists in the period 2009-2016 - 9.4%.

Our efforts are focused on implementing innovative solutions in the city governance and its development projects. “Information technologies are among the fastest growing industries in Sofia”, also pointed Fandakova. They amount to 5.7% of the municipal economy, generating an increasing share of Bulgarian exports. In 2015, the export revenues of IT companies reached BGN 1.2 billion, or about 9% of the total exports of services from the country.

Sofia has become one of the most dynamic start-up environments in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2015, Forbes magazine ranked Sofia among the top 10 best places for business start-ups.

In June this year, Sofia will host also other major international events for innovations such as Digital Week, organized together with EU commissioner, Maria Gabriel.