Ivan Mihaylov Marks One Year as The CEO of AmCham Bulgaria

  • The Board notes an increased membership focus and engagement with the activities of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria.
  • The ACC has been publicly initiating issues related to improving the investment climate and business environment in Bulgaria.
  • The Chamber’s focused activities in regional and transatlantic dialogue are also noted.

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of Ivan Mihaylov’s inauguration as the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (ACC). He was elected to this position following a thoughtful process organized and led by the ACC’s Executive Committee in the wake of the departure of the previous director, Peter T. Ivanov in the summer of 2022.

Reflecting on the past 12 months, he shares, “A year ago, I set myself a few key aims – a member-centric focus; increasing the visibility and ability to impact that our organization has institutionally in Bulgaria, but also in Brussels and Washington; as well as engaging with strategic partners from near and far with whom we can work to improve the investment climate at home and in the region. In this one year we have set a good start which, with the help of the Board, members, staff, and supporters, we will endeavor to build on in 2024.”

Here we present the main milestones of the Chamber for the period under the leadership of Ivan Mihailov from October 2022 until now:
  • Focus on members:
  • Personal and in-depth meetings were held with 107 of the 336 members of the Chamber;
    • Тhere has been exploratory communication with a further 80 members.
    • The first visit of 6 members to Northeast Bulgaria (Dryanovo, Shumen, Razgrad, Varna) was held, the so-called AmCham Northeast Bulgaria Membership Outreach.
    • There were dozens of advocacy campaigns with case studies of members on issues such as digitalization, disinformation, healthcare, energy, etc.
    • 26 new companies were recruited and 18 left.
  • Focus on house committees:
  • The number of committees and working groups is being optimized for better governance and results.
    • Today the ATC has 5 committees: Healthcare, Energy and Mineral Resources, Digital Economy, Human Capital and Education, and Rule of Law and Legislative Reform.
    • The working groups are: ESG, Tax and Finance, Communications and CSR, and Public Procurement.
    • Experts are continuously sought from among the ACC members to volunteer to work on the committees to improve the investment climate in the country.
  • Public events of significance for the business environment in the country:
    • Today the ATC has 5 committees: Healthcare, Energy and Mineral Resources, Digital Economy, Human Capital and Education, and Rule of Law and Legislative Reform.The working groups are: ESG, Tax and Finance, Communications and CSR, and Public Procurement.
    • Experts are continuously sought from among the ACC members to volunteer to work on the committees to improve the investment climate in the country.
    • Business meeting with the Interim Minister of Economy and Industry Nikola Stoyanov, 08.11.2022
    • AmCham Thanksgiving Charity  Dinner, 22.11.2022 – with the amount raised for the two charitable causes is 65 000 BGN.
    • “Rule of Law and the Business Environment in Bulgaria”, 20.01.2023 – with the participation of H.E. Hero Mustafa, US Ambassador to Bulgaria (2019-2023), H.E. Joël Mayer, Ambassador of France to Bulgaria, H.E. Amb. Giuseppina Dzara, Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria, and Stefan Roeken, Charge d’Affaires of the FRG in Bulgaria.
    • “Bulgaria in the Eurozone – Next Steps for the Business”, 05.04.2023 with the participation of the Governor of BNB Dimitar Radev and the Executive Directors of the American Chambers of Commerce of Greece and Croatia.
    • First public appearance of H. Amb. Kenneth Mertens, US Ambassador to Bulgaria, 27.04.2023.
    • Round table with representatives of the SGS, SAC, SCC on the initiative for improvement of the Commercial Law of the Republic of Bulgaria – 19.05.2023 – initiative of the Committee “Rule of Law”
    • Business Breakfast with the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria – 26.09.2023 with the participation of Nikolay Denkov, Prime Minister, Assen Vassilev, Minister of Finance, Galin Stoev, Minister of Education, Martin Gikov, Deputy Minister of Innovation and Growth, Emil Dechev, Deputy Minister of Justice and Bogdan Bogdanov, Minister of Economy and Industry.
    • “Towards High Value Healthcare System in Bulgaria” – 26.10.2023, a joint initiative with the Bulgarian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce.
  • Added value events for ACC members:
    • AmCham Executive Club: Meeting with Günther Verheugen, Vice-President of the European Commission (2004-2010) 
    • Start of the ESG theme among the members of the ACC, 30.05.2023.
    • Visit of 6 ACC members in North East Bulgaria – 07-09.06.2023 – VSK Centaur, Alkomet, Herty, Cargill Ocean Transportation, ADM Razgrad, and Bulyard (part of IH Bulgaria).
    • Celebrating Independence Day with a party for members and their families, 01.07.2023.
    • Webinar with EXIM Bank, 07.07.2023 – presentation of the financial opportunities that the Export Bank of the USA provides to businesses.
    • ACC General Assembly, 20.09.2023.
    • Watching the U.S. Open 2023 Finals – in conjunction with TennisKafe, 10.09.2023.
  • Participation in international initiatives
    • Scale in Europe Outreach – promoting Bulgaria as an investment destination in the USA, 06 – 10.12.2022 – Project of the Ministry of Economy and Industry in partnership with ATC held in San Francisco (Sun Valley), California, and Portland, Oregon.
    • Brussels Briefings of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU and Transatlantic Week with a presentation of the report “Transatlantic Economy 2023“, 21-22.03.2023, Brussels, Belgium.
    • Annual Meeting of the American Chambers of Commerce in Europe in the USA – Washington DC and Houston, Texas, 05.05 – 11.05.2023 – with visits and meetings at the US Chamber of Commerce, US Government Ministries, as well as visits to NASA Space Center in Houston and companies from the aerospace and energy industries.
    • Three Seas Initiative Business Forum, Bucharest, Romania – 06 – 07.09.2023
    • Annual conference to share best practices of American Chambers of Commerce in Europe and celebrate the 60th anniversary of AmChambers in Europe, Athens, Greece, 27 – 29.09.2023.
  • ACC office in Washington, USA
    • Increase office efficiency and effectiveness.
    • Focus on business plan and working with multiple clients in the US and Bulgaria.
  • International positioning
    • US Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC – regulatory dialogue
    • American Chambers of Commerce in Europe – the head organization of all ACCs in Europe and Eurasia – regular dialogue, participation in planned events, and regional initiatives.
    • US Chamber of Commerce, Washington DC – regulatory dialogue
    • American Chambers of Commerce in Europe – the head organization of all ACCs in Europe and Eurasia – regular dialogue, participation in planned events, regional initiatives
    • Sister American Chambers of Commerce in Europe
      • ACC Greece and Croatia – on the topic “Eurozone”
      • ACC Greece – on the topic “Energy”, integration of the Western Balkans
      • ACC North Macedonia – Improving the business climate between Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
      • ACC Serbia – Western Balkans economic integration.
      • ACC Romania – The Three Seas Initiative, joint digitization initiatives.
    • CEE Digital Coalition – active participation in the work of the coalition.
    • OECD – participation in discussions with OECD experts during their regular visits and meetings with stakeholders in the process of our country’s accession to the organization.
    •  U.S. Government – regular dialogue with experts responsible for Bulgaria in key ministries.
  • Numerous partnership events and initiatives:
    • Dialogue with other bilateral chambers of commerce on topics of common interest.
    • Mission Funding: Empower Your Business With Investments for Growth – in partnership with the Fund of Funds, 16.06.2023.
    • Green Transition Week, organized by dir.bg, 20.06.2023.
    • Round table with Meta
    • Sofia Economic Forum IV, 27.06.2023,
    • Robotics Strategy Forum 2023, jointly with PARAi, 19.09.2023.
    • Hive 2023, together with “Tuk-Tam”, 19.09.2023.
    • “Strengthening transparency and good governance through collective action”, jointly with the Basel Institute for Good Governance, 10.10.2023.
    • Entrepreneurs and Startups Investment Risk Management Workshop, in conjunction with U.S. Department of State, CRDF Global, PwC, 10/13/2023.
About Ivan Mihaylov

Ivan Mihaylov is the CEO of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria from 25.10.2023. He served on the Chamber’s Board (2020-2022) and was part of Intellias, Ukraine, a trusted technology partner to leading technology organizations and digital professionals, helping them accelerate their path to sustainable digitization.

For over 10 years his name has been associated with the automotive sector in the country. He is perfectly recognizable as the Visteon Electronics Bulgaria Director of Romania (2014 – 2022) and before that as the Operations Manager of Johnson Controls Electronics Bulgaria (2012 – 2014). Ivan Mihaylov has three master’s degrees – in Computer Science from the Technical University of Sofia, in Economics from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and from The Red McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, USA.