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Artificial intelligence continues to enter more and more detail and practical areas that were discussed theoretically only months ago. The development is already more regulated and structured than the initial period of experimentation, as in Bulgaria there is a qualitative change in the attempts of companies to introduce the technology, and the IT business intensively shares experience and information. This will give Bulgaria a very serious advantage in the AI competition, said Dobroslav Dimitrov, Chairman of BASSCOM and BRAIT, on the air of the show "The World is Business" on Bloomberg TV Bulgaria.

Access to talent continues to remain vital to the IT industry, and this continues to be true with the advent of AI. The entire sector remains dependent on the availability of people and their willingness to work in Bulgaria, Dimitrov said.

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"If a regular programmer or expert has been useful to you about one thing before, in the age of artificial intelligence you need a very good expert who can benefit from this tool. If it cannot take advantage of it, its added value falls very significantly. Here education and the desire to build on yourself is very important - people like to be lazy, we have become experts in a certain field and we are happy. What's happening here is that we have to learn new things very quickly."

Such footage is mobile, which makes the IT business so mobile as it is entirely based on this human capital.

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"Our business looks very nice, with very high added value, but it is also very fragile - this is the part that the state does not understand... When the conditions in the country are not OK, a person gathers his family and moves somewhere else, "Dimitrov said, adding that pay is no longer the main reason for the departure of Bulgarian programmers, but things like children's education, healthcare or poor infrastructure.

"Over the past five or six years, IT specialists in Bulgaria have a higher standard of living than their colleagues in Germany. But we can't come up with the other conditions that are out of the money - it's about the environment in which we live. The reason they stay is because they still have a higher standard of living if we raise their taxes, they lose the reason they stay here."

Without significant and rapid improvements in the living environment and state policy to establish Bulgaria as a good place to live, the country will not be able to attract the necessary industry personnel from abroad, Dimitrov said. It should be recognized that human resources are at least as important as financial resources, and this thinking should be imposed at every level, he added.

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Increasing the maximum social security income will increase the costs of companies in the sector and will reduce the attractiveness of Bulgaria for IT specialists, and the latest proposals of the Ministry of Finance for a formula by which the level to be raised every year and is related to the average salary will turn it into a "form of hidden progressive tax", Dimitrov said. The sector is not against the increase, if there is good argumentation for this.

"If Bulgaria's economy grows this year, the only reason for this will be the IT industries," Dimitrov said, citing data from an internal survey of the sector.

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IT sector in Bulgaria


Dobroslav Dimitrov