AmCham Bulgaria CEO Ivan Mihaylov Comments on Bulgaria’s Relationship with US Investors

In an interview with BTA on the occasion of two international business and investment forums held in the USA, American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham) CEO Ivan Mihaylov said that Bulgaria is definitely generating interest among American businesses, and that AmCham and the InvestBulgaria Agency together with other active institutions and partner organizations expect a more detailed, much deeper communication in the future.

The two forums were organized by the InvestBulgaria Agency together with AmCham. The first forum, held in Sunnyvale, California on December 6, focused on Outsourcing and Information Technology, and the second one, held in Portland, Oregon on December 8, focused on the Electronics and Information Technology sectors. The events took place in the form of a roadshow within a project establishing Bulgaria as an investment destination under Operational Programme Innovation and Competitiveness 2014-2020. 

The mission to present Bulgaria as a successful and attractive investment destination was more than successful, Mihaylov summarized the results of the two forums. This roadshow was  the first to be held since 2012 and this time the focus was on high technologies in all their aspects, and also on the start-up society. Bulgaria now is a very different investment destination from 10 years ago, Mihaylov said, noting that Bulgaria is already a familiar destination for US businesses.

The AmCham CEO expects that after the forms contacts established there will continue and concrete investments will be made. He pointed out that AmCham and InvestBulgaria aim for this not to remain a one-time visit, but to hold a series of events in various formats with US businesses.

Mihaylov  pointed out that traditionally US businesses are very well received in Bulgaria, especially when it comes to business environment and local talent. The geographical position of Bulgaria is a very big advantage, as is access to European financing and the potential for innovation, he listed. The key partnership between InvestBulgaria, AmCham and businesses is also of great importance.  

When it comes to the negatives, the AmCham CEO pointed out that the American Chamber of Commerce values the rule of the law and its implementation. “Investors have less to worry about right now, but we have to finish what we started. There is certainly more to be done to improve the investment climate in our country,” he said.

Regarding political instability, Mihaylov commented that this is generally a bad sign for investors and would reflect negatively. The situation in Bulgaria must certainly be stabilized, he noted.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria unites 320 companies, one third of which are US companies.

The delegation for the forums in the USA included InvestBulgaria Agency CEO Bogdan Bogdanov, AmCham CEO Ivan Mihaylov, Bulgarian Startup Association CEO Nedyalko Dervenkov, Sofia Deputy Mayor for Finance and Health Doncho Barbalov, Plovdiv Deputy Mayor  for Education, Business Development and European Policies Stefan Stoyanov, Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) Director General Kiril Valchev, Bulgarian entrepreneurs, representatives of the startup sector, experts.

Source: Bulgarian News Agency (BTA)

Photos: AmCham Bulgaria