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World Bank to advise Bulgaria on science, technology, innovation spending
14 02 2020The World Bank said that it has signed an agreement to provide analytical and advisory support to Bulgaria on how to make the most of public spending on science, technology and innovation, and how to formulate a vision for the education sector until 2030."Investing in people is a smart policy as it unlocks growth and helps reduce poverty. Aging, high outward migration, labor shortages and skills mismatches call for increased investments in education to be adopted by the Bulgarian government," the World Bank said in a statement on Wednesday.The agreement will support Bulgaria's education and science ministry in its efforts during preparation for the next programming period with the European Commission, the World Bank noted.In relation to the public expenditure review for science, technology and innovation, the World Bank will provide ideas for improving the effectiveness of public investments for the sector through reallocation of resources, redesign and rationalization of existing policies and instruments. Bulgaria’s gross domestic expenditure on research and development (R&D) has improved over a ten-year time frame, increasing from 0.43% of GDP in 2007 to 0.75% by 2017. Yet, this figure is still far from the 1.5% country target by 2020, the World Bank commented.A World Bank team of experts will also analyse education sector outcomes for the period 2014-2020. After that, the team will review preschool, general school, vocational education and training, higher education and life-long learning in Bulgaria, coming up with suggestions for strengthening the school system.The agreement needs parliamentary ratification before taking effect.