Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

SAME OLD SONG IN THE IT SECTOR

The tenth jubilee issue of the info and telecom technologies - BAIT Expo - which was opened during the week, will hardly differ much from the previous ones. Only the number of participants and the area on which their stalls spread in the International Exhibition Centre in Sofia, will be probably different. However, the ideas of the organizers from the Bulgarian Association for Information Technologies (BAIT) for the large-scale entering of these technologies in our country have not found the State's support so far.
We are still far behind the European indicators for IT application in the administration and schools. We need serious assistance on the part of the State in order to cope with the problem, BAIT's Chairman Zlatko Zlatkov said at the official opening ceremony of the event. An old song was sung in response, but this time the performer was PM Sergey Stanishev, who praised the country's intellectual potential and stressed that better conditions had to be established in order to keep young specialists in Bulgaria instead of escaping to the West. What is common between all these phrases is the lack of concrete measures for their realization. The Socialists leader admitted that the establishment of an agency for info and telecom technologies has already been delayed. In unofficial talk with a reporter of the BANKER weekly IT heads complained they were not having any assistance whatsoever from the Cabinet at present. The criteria according which the State will be choosing executors of public procurement are enigmatic to them, too. The other broadly discussed issues in the branch are: where are the computers, purchased by the former government, why weren't they installed, and are tutors of students available?
Statistical data show that 75.2% of the Bulgarians have never used a computer or did that more than a year ago. Only 9.6% of the households take advantage of the opportunities offered by INTERNET. The respective average percentage in the EU is 42 per cent. And nearly 82% of Bulgaria's population is ignorant about INTERNET.

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