President Georgi Parvanov and President Karolos Papoulias officially opened the bilateral business forum "The role of companies providing consulting services in the development of public and private sector." The event was organized by the Embassy of Greece in Sofia in collaboration with the Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
President Parvanov noted in his greeting address that Bulgaria has consistency, continuity and political consensus among all political parties regarding Bulgarian-Greek relations.
"Based on the data I have, I can make the conclusion that the crisis did not affect us significantly, there are no visible repercussions in our trade relations, and this is good news," said Mr. Parvanov. The President said that interaction is active at level of big investors as well as small and medium-sized companies. According to Mr. Parvanov Greek investments in Bulgaria for the last 15 years amount at 3.5 B Euros.
"It's a matter of real pragmatic bilateral relations that we must keep and develop further," said Mr. Parvanov. He noted also that due to their strategic positioning, Greece and Bulgaria may become a hub of petrol and gas pipelines, thus securing not only energy supply in South Eastern Europe, but in the EU in general.
Mr. Karolos Papoulias said in his greeting speech that relations between Greece and Bulgaria are traditionally good, and Bulgaria ranks 4th in the export list of Greece. The President of Greece also said that despite economic downturn worldwide, economic relations between our two nations are developing in trade, tourism, energy and other spheres. Greek employers have provided occupation for 100 000 Bulgarian citizens, added the President.
Mr. Nikolaos Georgopoulos, Deputy Chairman of HBCB, said that the Hellenic Business Council in Bulgaria is the best platform for generating business among Bulgarian, Greek and Cypriot companies. He pointed out the role of the Council as catalyst of business relations. He also said that the HBCB's network of contacts is very large now as the Council opened its doors for non-Greek companies in 2009.
Mr. Tsvetan Simeonov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also greeted the participants in the forum and noted that Greece is among the top investors in Bulgaria. He also pointed out the excellent cooperation with the Hellenic Business Council and permanent exchange of ideas to the benefit of all entrepreneurs.
The forum continued with presentations of companies operating in the sphere of business consultancy: ICAP Bulgaria, Euroconsultants, and Planet. They presented the trends in recent times, the ways to optimize business operation despite economic slowdown, and the necessity to focus precisely on clients needs and assist clients through the whole process.