AmCham Bulgaria Highlights from The Three Seas Business Forum

Bulgaria hosts the Three Seas Initiative in 2021. On July 8 and 9, 2021, the Summit of the Presidents of the 3Si countries and the Three Seas Business Forum was held in Sofia.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria is a co-organizer of the Three Seas Business Forum, which is organized by the Ministry of Economy in partnership with the SME Support Agency and the Bulgarian Development Bank.

Panel Digitalization

From left to right: Lorand Fulop, Michal Potoczek, Magdalena Dziewguc, Isabella Groegor-Cechowicz, Minister Assen Vassilev, European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, Artur Chmielewski, Petar T. Ivanov, Razvan Atim, Raycho Raychev, Madis Sassiad

Panel “Digitalization” under the moderation of Petar T. Ivanov, CEO of AmCham Bulgaria. Leading digital companies take part – global and regional. The main topics in the discussion were – digitalization of Infrastructure аcross the Sectors for the Industry 4.0; public Cloud is Key Enabler for Smart Infrastructure Services; access to Open Data is a Crucial Component for Infrastructure of Tomorrow.

Key-note speakers were: Mr. Assen Vassilev, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ms. Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, European Commission, Mr. Lorand Fulop, Deputy Secretary of State, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization of Romania.

Read more about the Digitalization panel – video, speakers, discussion.

AmChams 3SI Declaration

From left to right: Tony Housh, Ajša Vodnik, Petar T. Ivanov

3Seas Initiative Joint Support Declaration of the American Chambers of Commerce of the 3Si countries. The event was attended by a group of AmCham of Europe (ACE) representatives, incl. Ms. Ajša Vodnik, CEO, AmCham Slovenia, Vice-Chair, AmChams in Europe; Mr. Tony Housh, President, AmCham Poland. AmCham Bulgaria was represented by Petar T. Ivanov, CEO, AmCham Bulgaria.

10 AmChams (Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria) from the countries of the Three Seas Initiative signed a Joint Declaration to express their support for the better infrastructure, diversified and secure energy sources and fast digitalization and innovation. The document meets the 3SI goals to build a more integrated, prosperous and secure region within the EU Single Market.

Panel Energy

Energy Panel had Olivier Marquette, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria and Head of Business Development, Eurasia and President of AES Bulgaria as panelist and it was moderated by Kostadin Sirleshtov, Managing Partner, CMS Sofia (member of AmCham Bulgaria).

In his speech Mr. Marquette stated: “The main enabler of the energy transition is the massive decrease in the cost of renewable energy. Over the last 10 years (from 2010 to 2019) the price of PV modules, onshore wind turbines, and Li-ion battery pack decreased respectively by about 90%, 60%, and 90%.

“There is no “one size fits all” solution for all Member States to reach climate neutrality, and it really depends on the starting position of each Member State, and the availability of technologies in their markets. In the case of Bulgaria, there is actually a great variety of technologies that can contribute to the decarbonization of the electricity sector, including solar, wind, energy storage, natural gas, hydro, geothermal, and carbon capture utilization and storage” pointed out the President of AmCham Bulgaria.

Panel Innovation

Bojidar Neytchev from PwC Bulgaria, Board Member of AmCham Bulgaria was speaker at the Innovation Panel together with Maria Gabriel, EU Commissioner, Kiril Petkov, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Bulgaria and Nikolay Denkov, Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria. The discussion was moderated by Filip Genov. 

Bojidar emphasized the importance of three key elements in the innovation: collaboration, specialization and dreaming with a deadline.

“You can only have innovation if you are having the right collaboration and you could have collaboration if you minimize overlap.” 

He shared that “specialization leads to more efficiency and ability to leverage at a different scale” and added that “dreaming is great but to have a dream with a deadline and a budget is much better as it is no longer a dream but it becomes something that happens and it gets you to execution.”

“90% of the success of any strategy or vision depends on its execution and 90% of the execution depends on people” concluded Bojidar.

The panelists discussed connecting innovative ecosystems in the region, pooling capacities and connecting local research and RegTech initiatives. They also discussed how to cooperate in practice and how the participants in the Initiative can join them after the event in the realization of the projects.

AmChams in Europe at 3SI Summit and Business Forum

The Three Seas Sofia Summit was attended by a delegation of AmCham of Europe (ACE) incl. Ms. Ajša Vodnik, CEO, AmCham Slovenia, Vice-Chair, AmChams in Europe; Mr. Tony Housh, President, AmCham Poland, Ms. Maja Filipcheva, President, AmCham North Macedonia and Mr. Jordan Dimitrovski, Board Member, AmCham North Macedonia. AmCham Bulgaria was represented by Mr. Petar T. Ivanov, CEO, AmCham Bulgaria. They took part in the first ACE press conference.