There are Solid Ties and Huge Potential Between Bulgarian and American Economies

On November 1st, 2023, on the Enlighteners’ Day – Денят на народните будители, AmCham Bulgaria presented before its members the recently finished “U.S.–Bulgaria Economic Partnership: Investments, Labor, and Trade (1990 – 2022) Report”. The event welcomed 50 guests from our membership, along with AmCham Bulgaria President Olivier Marquette, Stanislava Taneva, First VP, Omourtag Petkov, Board Member and Chair of the Rule of Law Committee, and Ivan Mihaylov, CEO. The event at the InterContinental Sofia received 15 senior U.S. companies’ leaders that were part of the ACEBA Delegation to Bulgaria, as well as colleagues from the U.S. Embassy in Sofia and the senior leadership of the Institute of Market Economics – Svetla Kostadinova, Executive Director, and Latchezar Bogdanov, Senior Economist.

The Bright Picture Ahead of the U.S – Bulgaria Economic Partnership

“This great research presents the status of the American investments in Bulgaria and their impact on the national and regional economies. This is our second report on this topic – in 2018 when we published the first one, its data shocked the public and surprised our community. It busted some of the myths that used to say that the States are far, far away from Bulgaria. However, the study ranked the U.S.A. on the 6th place among all foreign investors in Bulgaria,” said Ivan Mihaylov in his opening remarks.

“Now in 2023, the picture is even brighter. The bottom line of the report is that there are solid ties between Bulgarian and American enterprises, a great exchange of capital and know-how, as well as some goodwill for sustainable growth on a national and regional basis. Presenting it before our guests from ACEBA who represent healthcare, ICT, cybersecurity, agriculture, defense, and financial services could bring more value to the investment climate and FDI inflow to Bulgaria. Often AmChams in Europe are seen as lighthouses to the business communities and societies for the better of the investment climate and economic environment. Our works should demonstrate the best practices and bring into the spotlight the improper ones which we should fight and erase. We are looking forward to building up this potential with all partners, including ACEBA,” added Ivan Mihaylov.

The formal opening was done by Olivier Marquette, AmCham Bulgaria’s President. He talked about the impact on the public data and the significance of the U.S.–Bulgaria economic partnership in the year when the two nations celebrate the 120th Anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, which started back in 1903.

“The U.S.-Bulgarian economic ties have never been better. The numbers of the report show it all in a very solid way and bring some inspiration to all:

  • Sales revenues BGN 10.6 billion (52% since 2016)
  • Jobs created 41,000 (43% since 2016)
  • The аverage wage in US-owned companies in Bulgaria is more than double the national average
  • The United States remain on the 6th position among all the foreign investors in Bulgaria.

“However, our job here in Bulgaria requires our efforts to be focused on the challenges we have, such as: unstable political landscape, sectoral reforms and transparent transition in healthcare, energy, education; the rule of law should become a must for all the authorities. This is our job here – together with the U.S. Embassy, other bilateral chambers, and most of all – together with you – our members,” with these words Olivier Marquette addressed the audience.

Then Eric Stewart, CEO, American Central-European Business Association, greeted the audience.

“AmCham Bulgaria has done an excellent job in promoting the Bulgarian-American economic relationship. American companies play an important role in the Bulgarian economy, offering high-paying jobs in critical strategic industries. We thank AmCham for hosting our delegation of 15 companies, covering the defense, healthcare, agriculture, IT, and energy sectors. We are excited to expand our relationship with AmCham in the years to come, and look forward to our engagements with key government officials this week.”

The event continued with a concise presentation of the “U.S.-Bulgaria Economic Partnership: Investments, Labor, Trade 1990-2022 Report” delivered by Lachezar Bogdanov, Chief Economist, Institute for Market Economics.

Download IME’s presentation.