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Bulgaria Economic Forum
Type: web
Category: organisation
Language: english
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Last updated: June 17, 2002
The Bulgaria Economic Forum (BEF) is a non-government organization, founded by private companies, non-government organizations and state institutions in 1998 (founders and members) with the main objectives to promote Bulgaria's business environment to potential foreign investors and to assist the economic processes in the country. In 1999, lead by the understanding that when promoting Bulgaria we need to also address the issue of Southeast Europe, which still suffers from the negative image of the recent conflicts in Yugoslavia, we widened our scope of activities and initiated a number of initiatives aimed at fostering the regional co-operation, which is lagging behind the process of individual country's integration in pan-European and other regional structures.

Since the information about the existing business and investment opportunities in Southeast Europe is still largely undisclosed to the international business community, we also started a networking process among the Investment Promotion Agencies and non-government organizations in the region with the aim to enhance the regional investment promotion and attraction capacity.

In 1998 BEF started with organizing the annual Bulgaria Investment Forum, the major business event in the country with attendance of more than 1,000 representatives of the political, business and academic circles from the country and abroad. In 1999 we widened our reach and organized the first Southeast Europe Economic Forum (SEEF), following the format of the World Economic Forum events. The first and second editions of SEEF in 1999 and 2000 gathered in Sofia more than 2,500 participants, about 220 speakers and gained wide national, regional and international media coverage.

This year, besides SEEF, whose third edition will be in the period 15-17 October 2001, Sofia, we organized two sector fora - Bulgaria Tourism Forum (18-20 April 2001, Sofia) and Agribusiness Forum (2-4 May 2001, Sofia).

In 2000, in co-operation with the Bulgarian Foreign Investment Agency and working closely with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in the framework of the Country Flagship Initiatives under the Stability Pact's Investment Compact, we initiated a networking process among the investment promotion and development institutions from the Southeast European countries. The products of this co-operation were the established Regional Roundtable on Investment Promotion (July 2000), the Investment Guide for Southeast Europe (published in October 2000) and the Internet Business Portal for Southeast Europe (launched in December 2000).

The Internet Portal for Southeast Europe has the ultimate aim to integrate the existing business information resources in the region and to provide easily accessible, accurate and reliable information in a standardized format. At present it includes daily business and political news from the countries in the region, interview of the day, Southeast Europe project databank, reports and analyses on the economic environment in Southeast Europe (country profiles (e.g. the electronic version of the Investment Guide for Southeast Europe), links to investment and business related web sites, NGOs and government institutions of the member states, as well as to international organizations and IFIs, etc.

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