High-tech productions with included R&D centers are what Plovdiv should focus its efforts in the coming years. The task before the economy, not only in Plovdiv, but also in the country, is to transform itself into such that brings a higher added value, which in turn to raise the standard of living. This comment was made by Stefan Stoyanov, Deputy Mayor for Business Development at Plovdiv Municipality, during a business forum in the US organized by InvestBulgaria Agency (IBA). He participated in two conferences, part of the forum, which were held in the two largest states – the City of Sunnyvale, California and their Plug and Play Tech Center – the largest accelerator in the world, and in Oregon, which is home to one of the largest research centers for technology transfer.
The business visit was focused on the IT industry and start-up companies. According to Stoyanov, Bulgaria has its own place in the US business mindset, since low taxes and relatively low costs, compared to other EU members, remain a good prerequisite for a successful investments in our country. The Bulgarian delegation was led by the executive director of IBA Bogdan Bogdanov, who, in addition to the general presentations, was able to present the country to potential companies that are interested in our region or have already entered Bulgaria, but are looking to expand. Such is the case of Sanmina, which entered the Bulgarian market last year – namely in Plovdiv. Regarding the meeting with its representatives, Stefan Stoyanov commented: “Sanmina made a big acquisition a year ago, with which they bought the lighting systems division of the German Osram, since then they have been operating under a new American management and are developing their production. At the meeting in Sanmina’s HQs, we were with Bogdan Bogdanov and Ivan Mihailov, CEO of AmCham. The meeting allowed us to tell more about our country, because both high-level managers have not yet visited Bulgaria, but are going to it in February. They also shared with us their interests, what the company does in general and where it is thinking of developing.
The Bulgarian business and startup environment was presented from the point of view of the American business expat living in our country and currently CEO of Hill City Global Sofia, Ryan Fischer.
Nearly 24 000 expats live in Plovdiv, which, from an investment point of view, shows that the region is internationalizing and has enough talent to develop manufacturing, businesses and trade. And for Stoyanov, this fact only complements the image of Plovdiv as an established and leading industrial zone in South-Eastern Europe and continues to attract international companies. “We have one big task as a country and as local authorities – to continue promoting the positive sides of Bulgaria. We should make the most of it in the next few years. We as a country no longer need every investor who would show interest, but rather more high-tech productions, included with scientific development centers, business services – sectors with higher salaries”, he adds. the deputy mayor.
The business visit took place within the framework of the project “Establishing Bulgaria as a successful investment destination” under the Operational Program “Innovations and Competitiveness” 2014-2020.