Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bulgarian-American Partnerships

Just a few tidbits on current Bulgarian-American political and economic relations:

Touring the United States ahead of the upcoming UN Summit, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev spoke about the Bulgarian economy on an American financial news program. Watch the interview here. The commentators didn't seem to know much about Bulgaria, except for rumors of high corruption, but President Plevneliev made plenty of references to recent statistics like Bulgaria's growing rate of GDP and decreasing budget-deficit in order to persuade them that the Bulgarian economy will pull out of the current slump soon.

I think that a lot of what he says is true- Bulgaria seems to be an attractive place to do business for investors (apart from the bureaucratic nightmare which accompanies nearly every official procedure) and there are many opportunities for growth in lots of sectors and industries.

In related news, the next U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, Marcie Ries, released a YouTube clip (see above) in anticipation of her arrival here in Sofia after a few weeks. It will be interesting to watch new developments unfold as the American Embassy changes staff- most Foreign Service Officers and other diplomats serve three year terms and right now there is a big overhaul in process. I had the chance to meet a few new staff members last week, and it was exciting to see so much enthusiasm to promote mutual understanding between our two countries. I wish Mrs. Ries and the rest of her new team the best of luck here in Bulgaria!

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