“Bulgaria has mature companies which are already seeking expansion in the U.S. market.” This was the key take-away of Petar T. Ivanov’s presentation during the 2nd Edition of the Plovdiv Economic Forum, June 26-27, 2019. “One thing is certain, the American investments play important role in Bulgaria’s growth.”
The event was organized by the Delphi Economic Forum, and AmCham Bulgaria was among the partners.
The Transatlantic Economy
Petar highlighted the recent data about the American investments in both Europe and Bulgaria. He quoted the 2019 Transatlantic Report, published by AmChamEU. Both the United States and the EU create the biggest global market: it has more than 830 mln citizens, they jointly generate more than USD 5,5 trillion of the global commercial sales and more than 1/3 of the global GDP (per Purchase Power). On both of the sides of the Atlantic there are more than 16 mln jobs which are attributed to the EU-American businesses.
U.S. Investments in Bulgaria
“Our recent study showed that the U.S. investments in Bulgaria are underreported at least 2 times. They represent at least up to 5,7% of all FDIs in Bulgaria compared to the National Bank’s statistics of 2,5%,” presented Ivanov.
Also he emphasized on the fact that the business – no matter American or European – wants to have predictability and good business environment, in which main factor is the rule of law.
He described the 5 strategic sectors that concentrated almost 98% of all U.S. investments in Bulgaria till 2016. They are Manufacturing, Agriculture (24% of FDI), Energy, ICT and Trade.
Bulgaria’s investments in the United States
Bulgaria’s trade balance with the U.S. is in good shape. In 2018 Bulgaria’s goods export to the States equals to USD 659 million compered to the U.S. goods imported to Bulgaria is two times less – USD 382 million.
With regard the services, the United States exported services to the amount of USD 469 million, compared to the Bulgaria’s services exported to USA at the amount of USD 406 mln.
In the Top 5 sectors of goods export overseas are included Computers and electronic production (USD 106 mln); Machinery manufactures (USD 81 mln); Apparel and Accessories (USD 75 mln), Chemicals (USD 75 mln), Crop production (USD 42 mln).
Based on this data he concluded that because of the maturity of the Bulgarian business, some of its leaders and companies have already started successful businesses in the United States. He gave example of the AmCham’s Explore USA conference, April 9th, 2019, at which were presented the opportunities of starting business in America as well as business leaders presented their unique experience and know how.
The Plovdiv Economic Forum was organized by Delphi Economic Forum, Greece, and the Center for Liberal Strategies, Bulgaria, for a second year in a row.
It was opened by the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and a total 57 esteemed Bulgarian and foreign speakers took part in its program.