Borissov: US is key partner of Bulgaria

For the period 1990-2016, US direct investments in the country amount to BGN 4.5bn

Photo: BTA

During a meeting with members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham) on 18 September, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov expressed satisfaction that the US has emerged as the sixth biggest investor in Bulgaria, which he attributed to the good business climate in the country. Borissov said that financial stability is something that is appreciated over time, and stressed that Bulgaria's foreign debt has fallen to 24% of GDP. The premier also noted the steady GDP growth and the diversification of investment in manufacturing.

Borissov said that Bulgaria sets great store by the strategic partnership with the US in the area of defence. The prime minister spoke about the successful training exercises held regularly at the joint Bulgaria-US training facility in Novo Selo, southern Bulgaria.

He also dwelled on the illegal trade in cigarettes, which he believes will drop below 5%. The prime minister said that when the cabinet came to power the share of contraband cigarettes was 34%. He noted that the good results in fighting illegal trade and corruption have led to a 10% increase of salaries in the state-financed sector as of January 2019.

US Ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Eric Rubin said in his opening speech that business leaders in Bulgaria and the US have given the country a chance for sustainable economic development and growth. “Over the past 23 years AmCham has become a leading organisation. Through its efforts, we have strengthened relations between the two countries. The projects that realised so far show how important of a role my country's investments play in Bulgaria. US companies invest not only in businesses but also in healthcare and education. The money goes directly into Bulgarian communities and families. We will be your partners in every step of the way. I would like to thank the Bulgarian government for its extremely successful presidency of the Council of the EU,” concluded Ambassador Eric Rubin.

At the meeting, AmCham Executive Director Peter Ivanov presented the results of an AmCham study according to which the actual amount of US investments in Bulgaria by 2016 was BGN 4.5bn, which is twice and a half higher than the number announced by the official statistics. Ivanov said that more than 28,000 people work in US-owned companies in Bulgaria.

The US accounts for 5.7% of all direct foreign investment in Bulgaria, which makes the country the sixth biggest foreign investor in Bulgaria by end capital ownership, Ivanov said.

The AmCham executive director said that the meeting focused on the relations between Bulgaria and the US against the backdrop of the global economic changes, as well as on attracting investments, education, and human capital. Ivanov said that it is clear to everyone that the US companies support a strong and united European Union and strong commercial ties between the US and the EU.

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