AmCham Bulgaria representatives took active part at the 2019 AmChams in Europe U.S. Conference, May 13-17, 2019. This is the most prominent event organized by the umbrella organization of the AmChams across the continent. This year the event had two stops. On the first days the delegation has meetings at Washington D.C. with institutional officials. The second part of the trip included visits to some of the global iconic and prominent companies with headquarters or major facilities in Seattle, WA.
The Bulgarian delegation included Petar T. Ivanov, Executive Director of AmCham Bulgaria and Daniel Kiryakov, Communications Manager.
There were 29 AmChams present at the event with up to 40 people of total.
Agenda in D.C.
The week started with speed dating at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. These sessions were hosted and moderated by Marjorie Chorins, Vice President European Affairs. The delegation got updates from key-officials of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on topic such as Transatlantic Relations, Trade Policy, Global Litigation and Liability, Data and Cyber Security, Global Energy Policy and Tax.
Various topics on defense, cyber security, geopolitics and NATO relations shaped the conversation at the Pentagon. The group was able to ask specific topics on Russia, strategies on meeting the 2% GDP spending on defense of NATO allies, and others.
Day 2 of the program at the capital of the USA included visits at the Department of Commerce, State Department, and a vivid conversation at the Atlantic Council. The topics ranged from the trade tariffs to the global treats like China commercial expansion, and Russian military risk.
Three Days in Seattle
The second part of the trip included visits to Boeing, Accenture, Amazon, Boston Consulting Group, The University of Washington and Microsoft.
At Boeing the group was presented with the history, present and future of one of the biggest corporations that builds airplanes, fighter jets and space systems. The tour at the largest facility in terms of volume amazed the audience by scale, operations excellence, and performance.
At Accenture the guests got some flavor of what is going on in the digital transformation of the major businesses globally. The hosts presented how the AI, IoT, machine learning, and other technologies are improving business processes and results.
The visit at Amazon had three sub-parts: the group was presented the history and the current strategy and operations of Amazon as a global player focused on exciting consumer experience.
Then the group had a tour at the Amazon Sphere – an artificial facility that includes variety of plants that adds value to their employees, guests and the community. Thanks to their innovation, Amazon Store gave unique experience of shopping without any cash payments and cashiers.
BCG presented their socially responsibility project Challenge Seattle aiming to solve some of the most critical problems of modern Seattle: housing, transport and infrastructure, education, and work force. By the leadership of BCG was formed a board of engaged leaders from the city which dedicate time and resources to structure programs to deal with the issue.
The University of Washington presented their two major programs on Nordic and Baltic Studies and the Natural Language Processing.
Microsoft welcomed the delegation at their Executive Office Building at Renton, WA. The group got familiar with the recent development of the company, including strategy and the future of AI. The tour included visit at the Industry Experience Center where the group was amazed by the myriad of implementation of digital projects done by Microsoft. Their range started from increased customer experience, farming, healthcare, teaching and gaming, as well as Formula 1, homes and banking.
The group from Bulgaria had active networking with their AmCham peers and the hosts from the respective host organizations. They rose many questions during the discussions related to the trade tariffs, defense purchase by Bulgaria, digital transformation, and the future of work.