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Oct 19, 2007 17:23 EEST
October 19 (SeeNews) - The World Bank on Friday urged Bulgaria to speed up regulatory reforms in order to catch up with other European Union member states and benefit from the opportunities offered to the national economy after the country's entry this year into the bloc's single market.
"Bulgaria has to benchmark its progress against the best countries in Europe," the Bank said in a statement presenting its report "Bulgaria's Policy for Regulatory Reform in the European Union: Converging with Europe's Best Regulatory Environments".
"A national policy of regulatory reform can offer an effective strategy for managing the risks of more intense competition while preparing Bulgarian companies to prosper within the largest economy in the world," the World Bank Country Manager for Bulgaria Florian Fichtl said in the statement.
The World Bank recommended Bulgaria focus on four areas if it wants to build a modern regulatory system - management of the national regulatory system, building the institutions of a "best practice" regulatory system, improving the flow of new regulations and modernising the stock of existing regulations.
Bulgaria is currently around eight years behind the average European country in reducing the economic costs of its regulatory regimes, according to the report's author and international expert on regulations Scot Jacobs.
In a separate report, the World Bank also recommended Bulgaria reforms administrative procedures in tourism, transport and food sectors and removes administrative burdens as there are still substantial impediments to doing business in these three sectors.
"This is mainly due to slow municipal registration, and the proposal is to transform municipal registration into true reporting regime with fees reflecting administrative efforts," the Bank said in its "Reforming administrative procedures in the tourism, food and road transportation sectors in Bulgaria" report.
The bank outlined some key recommendations, including the simplification of administrative barriers in the tourism sector which should focus on deregulation in the hotel and restaurant sector and decrease of the registration fee for tour operators and travel agents; the registration of food processing companies with municipality and the ministries of health and agriculture; and simplification of the procedure for issuing transit permission for more efficient international cargo transit to third countries outside the EU.
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