Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) Chairman Bozhidar Danev met with Bulgarian Ambassador to the US Elena Poptodorova ahead of the Ambassador's new term, the BIA said on Tuesday.
Poptodorova expressed her desire to work on concrete matters concerning Bulgaria's trade relations with the US, which is the purpose of her contacts with the BIA Chairman as a representative of the Bulgarian business community. According to the Ambassador, the excellent political cooperation between the two countries provides a solid foundation to develop economic and trade ties.
Danev said that US investment in Bulgaria has so far been concentrated in the energy industry and information technology, but there is much potential in industrial research and development and in high-value-added manufacture.
The BIA Chairman specifically pointed to the existing potential in attracting US investors to the manufacture of products containing refined and unrefined copper. Bulgaria is second in the world in terms of output and export of copper materials, but imports copper conductors from India, for example, he said.
The situation with sunflower is similar, Danev said. Bulgaria is among the leading producers and exporters of sunflower, but imports sunflower oil from Turkey. In this sense, a significant potential exists to attract investors in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries who use sunflower.
Another potential field of development of bilateral business relations is the advent of US hedge funds on the Bulgarian market, as hedging is not practically used in Bulgaria for insurance against fluctuations of currency exchange rates or energy prices, the BIA said.
The Bulgarian business community could also derive considerable benefit from more active exchange of information and practical experience in the field of corporate management, in which the US holds a leading position in terms of applying new approaches and techniques, the BIA said.
Danev proposed hiring US consulting firms to identify the best way for Bulgaria to capitalize on its geographical location, and then attracting US investors to concrete economic spheres and activities.