AmCham Bulgaria Welcomed H.E. Kenneth Merten, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria

Today, AmCham Bulgaria welcomed to Bulgaria and to its business community the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Kenneth Merten. The event was attended by nearly 200 representatives of the membership, and it was held at the Grand Hotel Millennium Sofia. It happens at the beginning of the celebrations of the 120th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and the United States of America.

“AmCham is very proud and grateful for having your first public speech in Bulgaria. I can assure you that you can rely on AmCham to pursue our joint priorities in many sectors and many areas of national and regional importance,” said Olivier Marquette, AmCham Bulgaria President. “One thing is certain: only together we can continue building up stronger relationships in these strategic sectors for both the United States and Bulgaria.”

Read Olivier Marquette’s Full Speech, incl. AmCham Bulgaria Priorities

“During my tenure, I would love to see this vibrant economic partnership only continue to grow. We see tremendous potential to expand our connectivity in key areas like technology and innovation, agriculture, education and entrepreneurship, infrastructure, and notably energy. Other opportunities will be made available by entering the Eurozone and further integrating into European markets,” said H.E. Kenneth Merten, U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria in his remarks.

Read Full Ambassador Merten’s Speech, April 27, 2023

April 27, 2023: AmCham Board of Directors had an introductory meeting with H.E. Kenneth Merten, prior the Business Breakfast. L/R: Georgi Ganev (IBM Bulgaria), Omourtag Petkov (DGKV), Ivan Mihaylov (AmCham CEO), Ambassador Merten, Olivier Marquette (AES Bulgaria), Stanislava Taneva (Citi), Hannah Kamenetzky, Commercial Advisor, Tommy Ver Elst (Sensata Bulgaria), Andrea Brouilette-Rodriguez, DCM, Hristo Borisov (ARS Bulgaria).

AmCham Priorities

Regional and Transatlantic Advocacy
  • We promote trade and investments between the U.S., Bulgaria, and Canada with physical and virtual outreach on many levels.
  • For a year now, the AmCham Office in D.C. is helping Bulgarian companies explore the U.S. and vice versa.
Regional & International Initiatives
  • AmCham Bulgaria has some iconic and prominent companies among its members. The focus on their core businesses and engagement with AmCham helps all together achieve a better positioning and collaboration at national and regional levels.
  • Again, our two major reports on Bulgaria’s Power Sector Decarbonization and Healthcare present some solid proposals for reforms thus meeting the requirements of the EU Green Deal and the expectations of the citizens.
  • We have continuous engagement with the Three Seas Initiative.
  • AmCham Bulgaria partners with other nine Chambers in the Balkans to make this region more friendly for trade, transport, and business. This is our contribution to their accession to the EU.
Sustainable Business Climate and Investments
  • On the Rule of law and fight against corruption AmCham has recently restarted a coalition with many bilateral chambers. Our collective action is visible and sound. In January 2022, together with the previous U.S. Ambassador Herro Mustafa, we sent strong messages to the political elite and the need for bold actions.
  • AmCham advocates for Bulgaria’s advancement towards the Eurozone and accession to the Schengen Area, since the country is part of the Transatlantic Economy, it is a must.
Digital Economy and Innovation
  • Digital Transformation, Cyber Security & Privacy –a stable government is needed, with a vision to implement the desired policies and platforms for a better digital foundation in Bulgaria and its citizens.
  • Innovation and R&D capacity improvement and technology transfer – having a better business climate, Bulgaria will be seen by global investors and entrepreneurs.
Human Capital
  • Diversity and inclusion awareness – our purpose is to raise sensitivity about and to help companies embrace proper policies that accommodate differences, so their people have a better place to work and prosper.
  • The Empower Her initiative found good soil among our members.
  • Education and Future of Work – Bulgaria has some great achievements in education, but there is a real gap between schools and real business. AmCham’s experts can help in making better business-oriented programs and vocational training. Institutions such as the Fulbright Commission, America for Bulgaria, the American College of Sofia, and the American University in Bulgaria are already shaping generations of bold, positive, and valuable people. We should do more together with them.

About the event

The business breakfast was suppored by the Golden Sponsors: Asarel-Medet, Dundee Precious Metals Bulgaria, Geotechmin Group, Glavbolgarstroy, HPE operated by Selectium, Mastercard, Overgas, and VISA.

Among the members that contributed to the event by buying Corporate tables are: APRA Porter Novelli Balkans Communication Group, BG Nova, ContourGlobal Maritsa East 3, Interlogistics Holding Limited Sofia Ltd., JTI Bulgaria, Kamenitza, MSD Bulgaria, and Nettera Telecommunications.