US business in Bulgaria, Bulgarian government outline priorities in economic cooperation

US business in Bulgaria

US businesses in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Government outlined the priorities in economic cooperation as they met for a Business Breakfast hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham) and attended by Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

AmCham President Olivier Marquette said digital technologies,
artificial intelligence, cyber security and energy are the key
areas of cooperation between the two countries. AmCham Executive
 Director Petar Ivanov said that the Bulgarian economy is now
mature enough to set a foot on the US market and Borissov said
that this country exports to the US more than it imports which
means that the Bulgarian economy is developing.

Marquette said that digital technologies and AI are a prime
interest for AmCham and these sectors are also important for
Bulgaria’s position in the global economy. He assured the Prime
Minister that AmCham is ready for joint work to bring
digitalization to a new level.

The AmCham President reiterated that the aim of cooperation in
the energy sector is to ensure energy independence and
diversification. He recalled the recent first import of LNG to
Bulgaria and said that two US-owned power plants continue to
generate electricity in Bulgaria and contribute to the stability
 of the national energy system. He also mentioned the readiness
of Westinghouse to be actively participating in the Bulgarian
nuclear energy sector and expanding its operation in this
country.
 
He said that Bulgarian investments in the US have for years been
 competing successfully with national and international
investment. Bulgarian investors have created over 4,000 jobs in
the US, and their aggregate sales stand at over 1 billion US
dollars.

The AmCham President said that economic ties between the two
countries are very strong and the inflow of US capital in
Bulgaria is steady, accounting for some 11 per cent of all
foreign direct investment in this country. A total of 4.5
billion leva in US investments in Bulgaria have created 30,000
Bulgarian jobs, providing a catalyst for capable young people to
 stay in their home country, he said.
 
Dwelling on the increased potential of Bulgarian companies to do
 business with the US, AmCham Executive Director Peter Ivanov
said that this potential is  strongest in the hi-tech sectors,
solar parks, production of probiotics and software for the film
industry.

In a wide-ranging address at the Business Breakfast, Prime
Minister Borissov said that Bulgaria is among the countries
which have capitalized the most on Juncker’s Investment Plan for
 Europe and it has worked very well for this country.

He mentioned a recent deal for purchase of F-16 jet fighters for
 the Bulgarian Air Force which went through despite “fierce and
mean opposition” and accusations of lobbyism against the
government. “We bought the best that is out there for our
pilots,” said the Prime Minister, adding that the Ministers of
Defence and of Finance and himself “made the deal irreversible”.

Borissov said that Bulgaria is putting much effort in ensuring
its energy independence and diversification.

He went on to speak of North Macedonia and its Euro-Atlantic
integration, saying that it must be a member of the EU and NATO
“but it can’t play with history because history is clear”. He
also argued that Albania should be a NATO member as well
“because any country which is abandoned by the large European
family, is doomed to become breeding ground for corruption and
terror”.
 
Also invited to the AmCham Business Breakfast are Bulgarian
Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev, Defence Minister
Krasimir Karakachanov, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov,
Economy Minister Emil Karanikolov, Energy Minister Temenuzhka
Petkova and Transport and ITC Minister Rossen Jeliazkov, as well
 as US Charge d’Affaires Justin Friedman. RY/LN

Published by ” Bulgarian News Agency “

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