A presentation of the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria-Romania, which is based in Sofia and Bucharest
This text was given to the blog The Bridge of Friendship by the head of the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria-Romania Doru Dragomir so that it could be used in a digital book on the Bulgarian-Romanian relations, The book should be published online later this autumn.
The bilateral chamber of commerce Bulgaria-Romania is an organisation, whose main goal is to support the business communities in Romania and in Bulgaria in their desire to find partners in the two countries, in finding mutually complementing packages of offered products and services and in their promotion on a global scale.
The history of the commercial relations between Romanians and Bulgarian is millennial, whatever the forms of statehood in the two geographical spaces has been. Commerce has always been the main bond between the communities on the both river banks. The two countries have a common past in the last one hundred years – politically, administratively and economically. These similarities have contributed to the perception of the two countries as a group of countries on European level and within the common market. Until 2007 cross-border trade was dominant in the bilateral commercial relations. After 2007 more and more medium and big companies from the two countries showed interest towards the market beyond the river.
The rising number of investors that go to the neighbouring country was the main reason for the establishment of the BCCBR. This organisation aims to cover the territory of the two countries. Before its establishment the structures that were dealing with business between Bulgaria and Romania were concentrated in the border area – in Rousse, Vidin, Silistra, Giurgiu, Alexandria, Constanta. But after the establishment of the BCCBR the territory of those relations expanded.
The Bilateral Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria-Romania was established in 2013 in Sofia by 18 Romanian and Bulgarian companies, which act on the two markets with their products and services. These companies have been feeling the need to have a common work platform and a common voice, which could represent them in their relations with the authorities in the two countries. At present the chamber has offices in the capitals of the two countries – Bucharest and Sofia. It is remarkable for the fact that it has expert teams in the two countries. This leads to flexibility in the activity and greater efficiency in support of companies. A priority of both offices is to answer the desires of their members and companies, which develop activity on both markets.
The chamber distinguishes itself through its membership in the systems of the chambers of commerce in the two countries and in the The International Union of Bilateral Chambers of Commerce and Industry. We have created partnerships with all the active bilateral chambers of commerce in the two countries. We are among the few representatives of the Bulgarian-Romanian business on European level. We are members of the priority axes 8 and 9 of the European Strategy on the Danube Region and participated actively in the Transnational Danube Project and in the Black Sea Economic Council.
The activity of our organisation is related directly to the needs of the member companies. In the process of our adaptation to their needs, we have developed a network of services and projects, which lead to expansions of the mutual visibility of the two countries’ economies. Events such as the Danube tour, the series of seminars of the BCCBR aimed at the small and medium business in 9 cities in Bulgaria, the Festival of Traditions and Culture in 7 cities in Bulgaria have contributed to the better acquaintance of the communities to the south of Danube with the Romanian potential. On the other hand the events within the initiatives b2b in Bucharest and Cluj Napoca, the meetings with the business communities of Iaşi, Ploieşti and Braşov have contributed to Bulgaria’s becoming more accessible for the Romanian business.
The chamber aims to eliminate the main barriers before communication between the two countries and to increase the level of trust between the businessmen and their potential partners in the neighbouring country. At the same time the chamber also supports the development of partnerships among the companies in the two countries, whose results are to be promoted on international level. The chamber is a representative of the main expo spaces in Romania and Bulgaria – Romexpo, Interexpo center, and to two of the most important fairs in Europe – IFTA Munchen and Ecomondo Rimini.
The chamber organised a series of events in the two countries, where businessmen and representatives of the authorities, members of the European Parliament from Bulgaria and Romania, members of the academic circles and the NGOS participated. All these activities led to the creation of institutional partnerships with the parliaments in the two countries, with the academies in Bulgaria and Romania, with the universities in the two countries and with the centers for research and innovations.
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