More than 100 potential investors interested in Bulgaria were attracted at the economic forum of KBC Group, UBB and CIBANK in Brussels
17 November 2017
More than 100 managers of Belgian companies participated in the economic forum Investment and Business Opportunities in Bulgaria, which was organized by KBC Group, UBB and CIBANK and took place in Brussels this week. The event was held under the patronage of the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Kingdom of Belgium on the occasion of the upcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
President Plevneliev (who served in office from 2012 to 2017) opened the forum and outlined the macroeconomic framework. Stamen Yanev, Executive Director of InvestBulgaria Agency, presented the priority areas of investment in Bulgaria over the recent years.
The Belgian financial group has initiated the forum aimed at attracting foreign investors to Bulgaria as a continuation of its model of working with international clients. The bank is among the first partners sought by investors on the local market, explained Frank Jansen, member of the Management Board and Executive Director in charge of SME and Corporate Banking at UBB and CIBANK. Alexandra Bacheva, Head of International Network Desk, and Kiril Velichkov, PhD, Head of European Programs and Financial Institutions Department in the uniting banks, spoke respectively on the topics of working with international clients and the role of EU funding.
Atanas Kambitov, Mayor of Blagoevgrad, and Stefan Stoyanov, Deputy Mayor of Plovdiv, presented the investment opportunities in their municipalities, which are among the Bulgarian municipalities that are developing most dynamically and are most attractive for foreign investors.
Three Belgian companies with successful businesses in Bulgaria presented their experience and emphasized that the strong advantages of the Bulgarian business environment were the hospitality of people, the good geographic location and the good ratio between the price and quality of resourced used. They shared difficulties such as the bureaucracy, the dysfunctional infrastructure and the brain drain from Bulgaria to foreign countries but they also mentioned improvements in these areas.
The speakers were unanimous that the environment for foreign business in Bulgaria had improved significantly over the recent years and that an additional advantage was the opportunity for financing investments through EU funds with the intermediation of banks.