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Software AG: "IT Investor of the Year 2007" in Bulgaria

(PresseBox) (Darmstadt, ) .
- Size of investment, number of jobs created and development of new technologies are the major selection criteria
- Software AG s investment confirms Bulgaria s reputation as a high-tech development location
- A global R&D network is an important factor in Software AG s growth strategy

Software AG, a global leader in business infrastructure software, today announced that they have received the " IT Investor of the Year 2007"

award from the Invest Bulgaria Agency at a ceremony in Sofia. The Invest Bulgaria Agency awards recognize the contribution of direct foreign investment across a range of industries.

Software AG s Research and Development centre in Sofia, established in 2006, now has fifty employees and this number will increase throughout 2008.

Bulgaria has been a center of technology development for many decades accounting for 50% of IT exports and software engineers in the former East Block. With over 1000 local IT companies the industry successfully compete for EU projects with European IT partners. Locally, Bulgaria s Government has played a leading role in modernizing the IT industry cumulating in the launch of a new e-portal in October 2007, providing access to more than 1,300 services in various ministries, agencies and municipalities.

The Invest Bulgaria Agency was established by the Bulgarian government in xxxx. The agency provides services to companies investing in Bulgaria covering legal, operational, personnel, supplier and local government issues. Foreign Direct Investment in Bulgaria more than quadrupled between 2001 and 2006 to over €4 Billion.

"Bulgaria has a vibrant, experienced and skilful IT industry and as a member of the EU, a common and familiar legal framework", said Dr. Peter Kuerpick, Chief Product Officer for the webMethods business division and member of the Software AG executive board. "This makes it relatively easy to both establish development facilities here and get a fast return on investments".

The success of the Sofia R&D center is another step in Software AG s goal to be a €1 billion company by 2010. Now Europe s fifth largest software company, Software AG sees the nearshoring of development facilities in Eastern Europe as an important contributor to profitable growth.

"Diversity is key", said Software AG CEO, Karl-Heinz Streibich, "To successfully compete globally we have major innovation and R&D centers in Germany and the US, support the European software industry through development in Eastern Europe and, of course, support around the clock operation through our facilities in Asia. However, Eastern Europe s cultural affinity, its proximity and highly trained engineers will insure further investment there as well."