Petar T. Ivanov on BNT: The Winners from COVID-19 will be the New Digital Economies

On January 19th, 2021 The CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria – Petar T. Ivanov paneled in the TV program “Referendum” hosted by Dobrina Cheshmedzhieva in the prime time of the Bulgarian National Television.

Main topics of the discussion were:

  • The anti-epidemic measures and their impact on the European and the Global Economies.
  • Do European countries have a plan on how to use the crisis recovery funds?
  • What to expect from the Joe Biden’s administration in terms of economic development, relief, healthcare.

Petar Ivanov said that the current economic crisis is on emotional level due to the panic of the Covid-19. The winners of this crisis are those who have realized that there are two economies – the old and the economy of the future, which is digital. The big winners at the moment are the countries where the economy of the future is in place already. “It will be great for the EU if this become our focus too, and if we take measures to develop this economy in our region. To deal with the crisis faster, the businesses need to restructure and renovate their processes to be part of the new economy.”

Petar Ivanov explained that the pandemic has put the political systems around the world under extreme pressure, which has shown that it is not adequate to the peoples needs in that situation. He believes that there will be and should be a rearrangement in the political systems in order to respond appropriately to the dynamic situation. The conflict between the current political system and the disinterested young generation is the reason for the creation of conspiracy theories. Another important element that is part of the rearrangement – the authoritarian leaders and their behavior overexposes the effect of the crisis, as we have seen.

“The largest economy at the moment is the European Union, and since we are one community, we must look at this economy as one, common economy, not separately. Currently in the world, 1/2 of global consumption occurs between America and the European Union and 1/3 of world GDP takes place between these two transatlantic economies.”

“The technological process and innovation can only develop where there is democracy. It is not a coincidence that Silicon Valley attracts minds from all over the world. Entrepreneurship is linked to democracy and freedom. Technological process will continue its development in democracies”, Petar Ivanov said.

Regarding what has happened in recent weeks in the U.S. political scene, Petar Ivanov said that of importance for Bulgaria will be some investment restructuring and the opportunity to attract new FDIs. He expects that the new U.S. administration will turn to its traditional allies with whom it shares the same democratic values.

Europe is also divided over its attitude toward America in Eastern and Western countries. There is also an orientation of the United States towards the Eastern countries, because we are allies. “The example here is the “Three Seas Initiative”, which I call the Small Marshall Plan. If Bulgaria wants to attract investments we need to make strategy first and to include innovations.” An example of this is the biggest U.S. investment in the EU – Collectively U.S. investment in Ireland amounts to USD 444 bn. in the development and technology.

The possibility of more investment depends on the figure in the White House or the country that wants to attract investment?

“The president can give directions, but the Senate and the Congress and the overall structure of the United States are designed to control and balance the processes in a democracy. The process of attracting investments is two-way. The democratic behavior that Biden will demonstrate will have a good effect on the EU and Bulgaria“, Petar Ivanov said in conclusion

Watch the discussion in “Referendum” in Bulgarian.