AmCham Bulgaria Discussed Rule of Law, Investment Climate Improvement with U.S. Ambassador Jim O’Brien

Yesterday, August 30th, 2022, AmCham Bulgaria hosted U.S. Ambassador Jim O’Brien, Head of the Office of Sanctions Coordination at the U.S. Department of State, during his two-day visit to Bulgaria. The meeting was attended by Board members and/or chairmen of AmCham Bulgaria, German Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, and the Swiss-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, as well as by H.E. Herro Mustafa, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria. AmCham Bulgaria was represented by Omourtag Petkov, Board Member and Chair of the Rule of Law and Legislative Reforms Committee, and Stephania Semova, Committee Lead. The German Chamber was represented by Tim Kurth, President, and Dr. Maya Neidenowa, Vice President, and Chairwoman of the Legal Commission. The Swiss Chamber was represented by Boni Bonev, Chairman.

The group discussed strategic topics, such as improving the business environment and the investment climate in Bulgaria, as well as the importance of the rule of law and transparency to global business.

“Having Ambassador O’Brien here to discuss with AmCham and our partners from the other two bilateral chambers topics of great importance for the development of the U.S.-Bulgarian business relationships adds value to the broad Transatlantic conversation. It is a great honor for our organization to be part of it. This meeting is more evidence of the solid partnership between the U.S. Embassy and AmCham. For us, this is another opportunity to contribute to the development of stronger business and economic relationships between our countries and a way to provide strategic views and insight,” – stated Omourtag Petkov.

The meeting is part of a series on rule of law and Bulgaria’s investment climate sponsored by AmCham and the U.S. Embassy. The partnership between numerous of the bilateral chambers focused also on Rule of Law is dated back in 2016 when they addressed the issue publicly. Then in 2019, AmCham and the German Chamber held a joint Board meeting attended by both countries’ ambassadors. Then, there were several webinars on the rule of law with representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice. The three chambers have worked together to improve Bulgaria’s healthcare sector by implementing the recommendations and findings of the AmCham 2021 Healthcare Report. They also partnered in the 2021 InvestBulgaria Agency initiative to reposition Bulgaria as a preferred nearshoring destination.

AmCham Bulgaria’s Priorities 2021-2022

In September 2021, the AmCham Board reconfirmed its four priority areas:

  • Regional and Transatlantic Advocacy.
  • Sustainable Business Climate and Investments.
  • Digital Economy and Innovation.
  • Human Capital Development.

On top of them, we have two imperatives that are the fuel for all priorities above – these are Rule of Law and our continuous engagement with the members.

Moments from the discussion