Minister Lukarski presented the conditions for investments in our country before the American-Central European Business Association (ACEBA) in Washington
The Minister of Economy Bozhidar Lukarski met the Governor of the State of Arkansas Mr. Asa Hutchinson at the end of his visit to the State. Governor Hutchinson displayed interest in the present economic development of Bulgaria and gave a high assessment to the attained by Bulgaria as a macro-economic framework, investment and business environment, tax regime, low levels of the unemployment. The Governor emphasized the accelerated development of the State of Arkansas in the last few years, and as a result during the past year of 2015 there was a very good fulfillment of the budget of the State. As leading sectors he outlined the wholesale and retail trade, the timber production, the transport, the energy and tourism. He expressed desire to realize presence of Bulgarian companies in the State and his readiness to support the implementation of specific projects between companies from the two countries.
The representatives of the administration of Arkansas also informed about the opening of a representation office of the State on the territory of the EU in Berlin, which will render assistance to the development of specific initiatives with the countries from the EU. Desire was stated for the establishment of contacts of the office also with the Bulgarian institutions and organizations of the business. In the course of the talks about the development of potential trade and investment projects, the Governor demonstrated keen interest in the possibilities for popularization of Bulgarian yoghurt, dairy products and wines. He expressed readiness to support the work of the energy companies from the State which are interested in export of liquefied gas for Europe.
Minister Lukarski extended an invitation to Governor Hutchinson for a visit to Bulgaria along with a business delegation from the State. The Governor confirmed the planning next year of a visit to several European countries and the possibility on the basis of the present talks to discuss also a visit with a delegation to Bulgaria. The possibilities for Bulgaria and the State of Arkansas are excellent, Governor Hutchinson declared in conclusion.
At the end of his working visit to the USA Minister Lukarski met in Washington with American companies members of the American-Central European Business Association (ACEBA). The meeting was attended by companies from the sectors legal and consultancy services, forwarding and transport services, pharmacy, health care, insurance, food industry and so on. The attendees displayed interest in the current development of our country and outlined the significance of factors as the political and financial stability, the tax and investment legislation, the operating expenditures and business environment as significant for the American companies. Minister Lukarksi informed the representatives of the business about the achieved with regard to economic stability, about the applied in our country investment legislation and measures in support of the investors, as well as about the advantages of our country as an investment destination and the favorable conditions for business. Minister Lukarski indicated that a lot of the American companies may find their place for business development and investments namely in Bulgaria, not so much because of the Bulgarian market, which is relatively small, but due to the proximity of the markets of the EU, the countries from the Middle East, North Africa, Middle Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Some of the attending companies as Amgen, Metlife and Textron shared the good experience from their already established business in Bulgaria. The main questions on the part of the participants were related to the clarification of the tax regime, in view of the intensely attractive and low tax rates, applied by our country, the plans for entry into the Eurozone, the expected by Bulgaria effect of Brexit and support for the approach, the need of development of the relationships and the contacts and at the level of small- and medium-sized business. The Association declared its wish to organize a round table with the participation of Bulgarian companies and with its members in the city of Chicago.
The American-Central European Business Association is a non-profit organization focused onto the creation of a platform for a dialogue between leaders of American companies and representatives of the Governments of 14 states from Central Europe including countries from the Baltic region and a part of the Balkans, namely: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia. One of the main objectives of the Association is to provide companies based in the USA with a wide scope of communication with the state structures from the markets mentioned hereinabove with a view to obtaining the needed support for realization of business initiatives.
The organization is a partner for the organization of business meetings and round tables with the visiting the USA Presidents, Prime Ministers and members of the Governments from the 14 countries from Central Europe. At the moment the President of the Association is Eric Stewart, who is a partner with the Company from Washington Williams & Jensen, PLLC. The following are amongst the companies founders: Amgen, Archer Daniels Midland, Exelon Nuclear Partners, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Lockheed Martin, MetLife, Pfizer, PMI, and Raytheon.