The American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria reconfirmed its strategic priorities for the period 2020 – 2021. The Board of Directors approved four strategic priorities that ensure continuity with what was achieved during the previous period, strengthening the positioning of the Chamber in the dialog with various stakeholders, as well as points out the improvement of the business climate and specific sectors of the national economy.
“AmCham Bulgaria is well positioned before national and international authorities. 2019 was a great year for all of us. It is thanks to our efforts over the past two years, as well as thanks to the strive of the Board and the team to succeed. We would also like to thank our members for their continuous support and membership. We value your loyalty and are aiming to further strengthen the Chamber’s networking, advocacy, and common projects.” said Olivier Marquette, AmCham Bulgaria President. “I am certain that we will achieve everything we plan to achieve for 2020.”
Priorities in detail
The four strategic priorities are: Regional and Transatlantic Cooperation; Sustainable Business Climate and Investments; Digital Economy and Innovations and Labor Market Resilience.
Regional and Transatlantic Cooperation priority includes various engagement with strategic transactions, and sectorial regional, transatlantic and international cooperation within the AmChams in Europe network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria, and the government. The Chamber continues to put specific emphasis on the cooperation and dialog with the Western Balkan countries.
The Sustainable Business Climate and Investments priority includes on one side, the general efforts for promoting the country as attractive investment destination that is rich of talents, opportunities and resources, as well as on the other – emphasizing on specific and critical sectors for the country, such as energy and healthcare. For the Chamber, rule of law remains high priority that goes horizontally in each activity and advocacy of the Chamber, in order to eliminate the remaining hurdles before the sustainable economic development, red tape, fair justice, etc. in Bulgaria.
Again, the Digital Economy and Innovation priority will focus on the development and deployment of artificial intelligence technologies, cyber-security and privacy and all related with them policy introduction and upgrade of the legislative framework. The business context here will be seen in fostering relations and attracting venture capital from EU, Israel and the United States. It goes in line with the Chamber’s continuous support to the start-up community and the development of Bulgaria’s innovation ecosystem.
The topics related to human development and the improvement of the labor market go under the umbrella priority of Labor Market Resilience. The activities under it will search results for creation of policies to strengthen the labor market, and to address with quality measures the demographic challenges. The leadership will work towards the development of a multi-stakeholder ecosystem and approach in three main streamlines: future of work, education and legislation improvement to ease the access to the Bulgarian labor market.
There are also two overarching themes that are enablers of all our priorities. They are the Rule of Law and seeking ways and projects to increase the engagement and the involvement of the members. Thus, the added value to all stakeholders certainly will lead towards an increased reputation of the Chamber.
Since December 2019 there is a new membership structure of AmCham Bulgaria. It is based on in-depth analysis of the best practices of other like the Bulgarian one AmChams in Europe; on public available data, as well as it matches the strategy and needs set by the Board of Directors.
The Committees and Working groups of the Chamber remain unchanged, namely the committees are: Digital Economy, Energy and Mineral Resources, Healthcare, HR and Education, E-Governance, Tax. They match perfectly the priorities, and their leadership has the will to dedicate time and efforts to achieve their goals.
The Working groups are: Payments and Fintech, Capital Markets, Quality Management, and Communications and CSR.
The Board approved the 2020 Events Calendar in which the flagship event is the 25th Anniversary of AmCham Bulgaria. The event will be held in June and the team has already started its preparation.
Other key events of the Chamber:
- Cyber-security and AI Forum, October
- Explore USA Conference, April
The social events include:
- U.S.A. Independence Day Celebration, July
- Thanksgiving Charity Dinner, November 27th,
In order to support the implementataion of the priorities, the Chamber plans to organize sectorial events on topics such as energy, healthcare and demography, investments and business climate, human capital and labor market improvement, etc. In the 2020 events plan there are also outreach events in Varna and/or Rousse, implemented jointly with the Embassy of the United States of America in Bulgaria and its Commercial Service.
AmCham General Elections 2020
There will be General Elections for half of the Board seats in the fall of 2020 as part of the regular General Elections. Six members end their terms later this year, so the campaign will be announced in Q3/2020. More details will follow after the summer break. The same procedure as the one implemented in 2018 will be followed, including a Nomination period and Hearing before the membership.