BRCCI protects the business interests of more than 100 Bulgarian and Romanian companies

InterviewSouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 5/2007

Katerina Georgieva, Senior Expert, BRCCI, for South-East European INDUSTRIAL Market Magazine

Present the BRCCI organization as history, activities, mission and membership

The Bulgarian Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BRCCI) is a cross- border business association established on 10th of September 2003 with the mission to support the Bulgarian and Romanian business communities in their endeavors to form business partnerships, create business-to-business links and exchange information.

Main objectives of the Chamber are to support and develop the economic links between Bulgaria and Romania; to protect the business interests of the Chamber member companies before state and other public institutions in Bulgaria and Romania as well as in third countries; to promote cross-border cooperation aiming at the successful integration of the businesses from both countries in the European single market.

Members of the Chamber are more than 100 Bulgarian and Romanian companies operating in various economic sectors ranging from industry, transport, tourism, trade and services, and also international companies and organizations with business interests in the two neighboring countries.

Based on 4 years anniversary how can you comment the companies’ feedback of being members of BRCCI?

In order to achieve the pre-set aims and objectives the team of Chamber has developed and offers a variety of services both to the members and to other companies and organizations with interests in both sides of the border. During its comparatively short history the Chamber managed to provide specialized services and answers to more than 600 enquiries. Also, 90 Bulgarian companies presented themselves at ROMEXPO exhibition center in Bucharest through the assistance of the Chamber.

Let us know more about the project CROSS BORDER MOBILE SME ADVISORY SERVICE.

BRCCI actively develops and implements projects with cross border effect. The latest project delivered by the Chamber is called “CROSS BORDER MOBILE SME ADVISORY SERVICE” and is funded under the EU Phare Cross-border Cooperation Programme Bulgaria-Romania. Its main objective was to foster business cooperation across the border and to support local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by facilitating their access to flexible and practical business solutions. Two step-by-step business guides were developed within the project (one in Bulgarian language focused on Romania and one in Romanian - with information on how to access the Bulgarian market). They are developed on the “question-answer” principle and contain very practical information on how to do business in the joint border region. Further, six working sessions of the Advisory Service were held (3 in Bulgaria and 3 in Romania) in order to demonstrate how the SME Mobile Advisory Service operates, to provide direct support to companies, to disseminate the guides. The sessions gathered more than 150 companies. Currently the project is in final stage, the guides can be downloaded from the Chamber website

Tell more about the membership - what are the requirements, and what would be the benefit of being member.

Any Bulgarian and Romanian company as well as companies and organizations registered in other countries who are interested in the Bulgarian and/or Romanian markets can become members of the Chamber. The interested company should fill in and submit to the Chamber Managing Board a membership application, which can be directly downloaded from our website. Members of the Chamber take advantage of numerous benefits (free and/or preferential rate for services, full access to the Chamber’s data base, promotion, etc.)

You are organizing members’ exhibitions participation - what is specific and interesting concerning this service?

BRCCI is an official agent of the biggest exhibition center in Romanian – ROMEXPO in Bucharest. In this regard the Chamber provides support to Bulgarian companies willing to participate or only visit the ROMEXPO exhibitions. Experts from the Chamber assist companies in booking stands, filling in documentation, arranging details concerning the participation, finding translators, contacts with partners, etc. For the year 2008 BRCCI will be official agent of 11 different thematic exhibitions organized at ROMEXPO.

Tell us about TIB - how would you comment the exhibition generally and the BG companies participation.

TIB (Bucharest International Technical Fair) is one of the biggest exhibitions in ROMEXPO – it gathers companies from various technical and engineering industries. TIB attracts many participants and visitors from all over the world and is an excellent opportunity for companies to present themselves, find partners and initiate future cooperation. This year BRCCI and The Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a common stand presenting 12 Bulgarian companies at TIB. The stand was an excellent opportunity for the companies to participate at the exhibition in a cost-effective way and to present themselves with samples of their products and advertising materials. The participation in a common stand at distinguished exhibitions in Romania is the first step for many SMEs from Bulgaria towards getting to know the market and find partners in the neighbor country.

What are the BRCCI upcoming initiatives and projects?

BRCCI will continue to follow its mission and main objectives – to foster and support business relations and cooperation across the Bulgarian-Romanian border and provide information and services in this regard. The Chamber will seek to apply and further develop the accumulated data, expertise and practical experience in other projects with financing sought by the EU structural funds.