Yesterday the American Chamber of Commerce conducted its regular General Assembly of its membership. The event was attended by Justin Friedman, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria. The Assembly took place at the Intercontinental Sofia.
The agenda of the General assembly included approvals of the 2019 Board of Directors’ Report, of few amendments of the Statute of the Chamber, of the 2020 Budget, and 2018 Report of the Auditors. All items of the agenda were approved unanimously.
General Assembly Highlights
Justin Friedman’s remarks
On behalf of the U.S. Embassy in Sofia the General Assembly was attended by Justin Friedman, Charge d’Affaires.
“I congratulate AmCham Bulgaria on a successful year, and I challenge members to further strengthen business-to-business connections this coming year in support of the U.S.-Bulgaria Strategic Partnership,” he addressed the audience.
AmCham President Remarks
“It was a year that makes us feel proud of what we have achieved. It was thanks to the support of the Board, of the membership, and of the AmCham team led by Petar T. Ivanov,” said during the opening Olivier Marquette, AmCham Bulgaria President.
Several events marked AmCham’s 2019 records.
- The Round-table at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce with the Prime Minister Borissov and members of the Cabinet on November 25th, 2019 is our major achievement. It confirmed that AmCham is a trusted partner of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and of the Bulgarian government. Such an event serves as a starting point for next development and strengthening the Transatlantic economic relations between Bulgaria and the United States.
- On November 22nd we hosted the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador H.E. Herro Mustafa at her first public appearances where she presented her priorities and engaged with our members.
- On October 7th we had our annual Business Breakfast with Prime Minister Borissov. The event demonstrated the strong relations and strategic partnership between Bulgaria and the U.S.A., taking place on the eve of the biggest defense acquisition of our country since the 1990s.
- The InnoStart Forum, June 20th, was the biggest evidence that Bulgaria has immense innovation potential and a promise to unlock it, thus turning our country into innovation and startup nation.
- Explore U.S.A. Conference, April 9th, showcased the unique opportunities of the American market and told success stories of Bulgarian entrepreneurs that made their break-through there.
- We held our traditional social events – the Independence Day Celebration and the Thanksgiving Charity Dinner. We gathered friends and families in the spirit of joy and sharing. Those events raise funds to support noble causes and gave back to the community.
Also, Olivier Marquette thanked the Chamber’s Committees and Working Groups for their active work through the year, as well as for their dedication to develop the potential of the members and to be strong in advocacy on various business-wise topics.
“Our strategic approach to be active in the AmChams in Europe network, as well as to work closely with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce resulted not only in the above-mentioned events, but it serves as a base for our better positioning in 2020. Our sister AmChams sees us as a trustworthy organization, desired partner for events and EU policy improvements, and to cooperate for the sake of the SEE growth,” said Olivier Marquette.
AmCham will continue to follow its mission and to generate added value for its members and stakeholders. The 2020 initiatives are:
- 25th Anniversary – AmCham Bulgaria has gone a long way since its creation in the 1990s. Chamber’s first quarter century should be celebrated with style and by making an impact.
- Trade Missions – from Bulgaria to the United States and from the United States to Bulgaria. The 2020 sequence of the Explore USA Conference must accelerate Bulgarian participation at the SelectUSA Summit (June 2020, D.C.)
- Topical events on cyber-security, energy, rule of law – in line with the priorities.
- Rebranding – the Chamber has already showed positive change by making an impact and add value to its stakeholders. This process leads to change of the brand to address the progress and visibility of the organization.
“In order to meet our targets, to continue with the raising trend of Chamber’s reputation, and to provide benefits to our members, we have to focus on quality not on quantity. The 2020 Budget is a balanced one, and it is designed to upgrade the achieved in 2019, as well as to mark our 25th Anniversary,” highlighted Stanislava Taneva, First Vice President.
The approved by the General Assembly amendments to the effective Statutes of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria aimed at improving the organization of the operations of the Chamber and its bodies.
- Clarification of the legal entities that can be members of the Chamber.
- Introducing the Chief Executive Officer as an organ of the Chamber with its rights, obligations and functions governed by the Statutes
- New rules for convening the General Assembly.