8.06.2000 - Dr. Jorg Mittelsten Scheid, President of Eurochambres: "Bulgaria can choose transport as priority"

At the invitation of BCCI, Dr. Jorg Mittelsten Scheid, President of the Association of European Chambers of Commerce (Eurochambres) visited Sofia for one day. The meeting organized by BCCI and its EuroClub was under the topic "Challenges of the European Market to the Bulgarian Entrepreneurs - Producers and Tradesmen, and the Role of Chambers of Commerce"

Dr. Scheid discussed the role of chambers of commerce as a mediator in fair business and of Eurochambres as the official spokesman of small and medium-sized enterprises before European institutions. Members of Eurochambres are over 1400 chambers from 33 European countries and Israel. They represent more than 11 mln companies, 95% of them being small and medium-sized.

Eurochambres act as a political institution as well. The European commission seeks the opinion of SME-s through the network of chambers uniting them. The other European institutions also seek the partnership of the association. That is how Mr. Scheid outlined the role of chambers of commerce and industry.

Dr. Jorg Mittelsten Scheid spoke also about the problems that stand before Bulgaria. The country has to pass 20 000 regulations, and, once adopted their implementation will be controlled. The agricultural produce accounts for 80% of Bulgarian exports, the ecological movements in Bulgaria are strong which may incur problems. Hungary used to have a similar structure but it changed its priorities - it redirected its economy towards high technologies, software, services. According to Dr. Scheid, Bulgaria can develop transport with priory. The German government envisages 30% growth in this sector for the coming years, and the European Commission - 60%.

The President of Eurochambres had a meeting with President Petar Stoyanov and with Prime-Minister Ivan Kostov.

Dr. Scheid's visit was assessed by the President of the Republic as an important sign, which will encourage the Bulgarian businessmen. "I am very happy that in the person of BCCI Eurochambres find a good partner. The small businessmen still have problems when handling new technologies and information. It is exactly there that the help of BCCI will be of great importance", said Mr. Stoyanov.

The Prime-Minister showed interest in the facilitation of electronic trade in Bulgaria. BCCI President Bojidar Bojinov assured him that the entrepreneurs can receive the required information and qualification both by the Electronic Trade Centre with the Chamber and by the eight EuroInfoCentres located throughout the country, 6 of them being within the structures of the BCCI and the regional chambers of commerce and industry.