November 26 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria is ranked as Europe's top outsourcing hub in the latest edition of a global index measuring the attractiveness of offshoring locations published recently by Chicago-based management consultants A.T. Kearney.
The Global Services Location Index (GSLI) is a ranking of the 50 best destinations for outsourcing services worldwide, including IT services and support, contact centers and bank-office support. The ranking evaluates three main criteria: financial attractiveness, people skills and availability, and business environment.
Since the last survey, conducted in 2007, Bulgaria has dropped four places to the 13th position among the 50 countries covered by the index.
The only other state from southeast Europe to get a ranking is Romania which has climbed 14 spots to 19th, just behind Estonia which is only the third European location to land in the top 20.
“Bulgaria could maintain a very good position in the Location Index and remains an attractive location for offshoring. Bulgaria and Romania, members of the European Union but with a lower cost profile than most other member states, are the new offshoring stars in Europe,” A.T. Kearney Vice President Jan van der Oord said in a statement made available to SeeNews.
Bulgaria provides a great example for creating niche capabilities – for example when Outsource Partners International established a Business process outsourcing (BPO) center to cater to the global shipping industry, they selected the Bulgarian port city of Varna, where they could find the relevant expertise. In Romania, Swedish telecom company Ericsson established a global delivery center, exclusively employing engineers, the report said.
"Bulgaria is clearly better positioned than most of the countries in the region […] and must now make use of this advantage by keeping the low cost profile and at the same time developing value added services,” van der Oord said.
He added that the still favourable labour cost conditions can raise the country's attractiveness. Bulgaria could also benefit from the global crisis that had a negative impact on previously competitive countries as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
Among the biggest changes in this year's index is the decline in rankings of central European countries that were one of the premier global hubs for offshoring a few years ago but rising costs have eroded their competitiveness. The top three countries in the 2009 iteration of the index remain unchanged - India, China and Malaysia, the report said.