BCCI, a licensed WTC Sofia affiliated hosted Bulgaria -Belgium Business Forum organized together with the European Center for Economic, Academic and Cultural Diplomacy (CIDIC) and the Bulgarian Embassy in Brussels.
“Bulgaria follows Belgium’s experience in many areas. Bulgarian legislation draws experience and has a good example of laws in Belgium with their adoption after the Liberation of Bulgaria. The Western European country is also a model for economic diplomacy from which we can learn.” This was stated by the President of BCCI at the opening of the Forum at the Chamber. Tsvetan Simeonov said that the Chamber has many partners in Belgium, including Brussels Enterprises Commerce and Industry, the Federation of Belgian Chambers of Commerce, Flanders' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belgian Foreign Trade Agency, Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency.
Since December 2017, BCCI has been cooperating with the European Center for Economic, Academic and Cultural Diplomacy (CIDIC) with which it had prepared and organized the forum. Simeonov pointed out BCCI’s excellent cooperation with the Honorary Consuls of Bulgaria in Belgium, in East Flanders, as well as with the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Brussels and the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia.
Baron Ernest de Laminne de Bex, President of the European Center for Economic, Academic and Cultural Diplomacy (CIDIC) addressed business representatives from both countries and confirmed the organization’s readiness to deepen existing and develop new trade and economic relations.
Ambassador Maya Dobreva said that cooperation at business level and the promotion of individual contacts remain central to her work as a Bulgarian Ambassador. Ambassador Dobreva is Honorary President of CIDIC for the first half of 2018 on the occasion of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU.
Lyubomir Ganchev, Adviser to the Bulgarian Minister of Economy, noted the growing trade activity between Belgium and Bulgaria. According to the Ministry, Belgium is a traditional and important partner for our country. In 2017, exports to Belgium amounted to EUR 1116.8 million (72.7% growth in comparison with 2016), and imports from Belgium were EUR 637.9 million (5% growth in comparison with 2016). The trade balance is positive, amounting to EUR 292.2 million. The increase in the positive balance exceeds 1130%.
According to Ganchev, Belgian companies, which have already established themselves in Bulgaria, have long-term interests and are recognized as highly socially engaged companies.
The Commercial Counsellor at the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia Anne Defourny also presented detailed information about the opportunities for bilateral economic relations and business. She gave a number of useful tips to Belgian companies which are just getting to know the local market.
Dozens of meetings were held between the Bulgarian and Belgian companies with common interests in the field of food industry, machine building, automobile parts, aviation, transport and logistics, consultancy, media, etc. More than 60 business representatives from Bulgaria and Belgium attended the event.
Within the framework of the Bulgarian – Belgian Business Forum, organized by BCCI and the European Center for Economic, Academic and Cultural Diplomacy (CIDIC), awards were bestowed to partners of CIDIC as well as to companies for contribution in the field of economic diplomacy.