On 19 April 2010, the Bulgarian Embassy in London hosted a business seminar focusing on Bulgaria’s recovery and stabilization in the aftermath of the global financial and economic meltdown, and outlining the prospects for starting a business or investing in this country.
Under the motto “Bulgaria – Recovery Ahead”, dozens of British business representatives gathered in the embassy guest hall to discuss the trends in the international response to the crisis and the steps taken by Bulgaria and the UK to restore the economy, expand bilateral cooperation and draft investment projects and business plans for FY 2010-2011.
In his opening address, the seminar chairman, Mr. Plamen Dimitrov, Minister Plenipotentiary (Commercial and Economic Affairs), assured the participants in the readiness of the Ministry of the Economy, Energy and Tourism to be of assistance to potential British investors.
Ambassador Lyubomir Kyuchukov pointed out that Bulgaria continues to offer tax and legislative incentives to investors, and that the trends in the recovery of the economy speak of the opening up of additional opportunities. Due attention was paid to Bulgaria’s pivotal role in Europe’s energy security and to the possibilities for accessing and making use of EU funds.
Mr. Raymond Kingsland, Vice-Chairman of the British-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, stated that many English businesses are showing an interest in Bulgaria and explained that some of the reasons why investors find it attractive are its unexploited market segments, qualified workforce, good conditions for foreign business, and low tax rates.
In the heat of the debate, Jamie Robertson, director of Zero Carbon 2020, piqued everybody’s curiosity by announcing his plans to start manufacturing electromobiles in early 2011.
Among those who shared their views about the business environment in Bulgaria were: Kamen Shoylev from the UK branch of the New Balkans Law Office; Donald Robison from the UK-based Robinson Group; Milko Kovachev, ex-energy minister and current EBRD officer; Strumen Paunov, president of the Bulgarian Business Club in London; the company director of Financial Services for Eastern Europe; representatives from DLA Piper and several other large legal firms, but also from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the City of London, and IT companies planning on investing in Bulgaria.
According to Julian Matthews, a member of the BBCC Board of Directors, one should be more eager to discover Bulgaria’s potential than to lend an ear to negative publicity about it.
The seminar at the Bulgarian Embassy showed the existence of a tangible interest among British businesses to seek new investment opportunities in Bulgaria at the point of its stabilization and recovery from the economic crisis.
Speech by Jamie Robertson, director of Zero Carbon 2020