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CSR is to Make Profits Transparently

March 30, 2005
CSR is to Make Profits Transparently

"What really is CSR? That's making your profits transparently!" That's how Mr. Maxim Behar, BBLF Chairman, started his presentation on the need of ethical business in Bulgaria at the CSR Conference organized by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the National Chamber of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, on 30 April 2005.


 "If we don't make profits, we are out of business. The moment we start making profits, however, is when we must turn to the community and give our share to its prosperity.

CSR could very basically boil down to three main things, especially in Bulgaria: to the way we treat our colleagues at work and their families; what we do to protect the environment, and in what measure we exercise our community commitment.

Transparent profit comes first, followed by a well-conceptualized strategy of distributing that profit. But we should never CSR is a voluntary act. No one can be forced to get involved with it."


The CSR conference of the BCCI outlined a number of basic rules of Corporate Social Responsibility, attempting to present the concept in a more attractive manner to representatives of primarily the medium and small business, and NGOs.


According to Mr. Rangel Cholakov, Chairman of the National Chamber of Craft Enterprises, Bulgaria needs a radically transformed corporate value system to target citizens and civil society. "A business that supports the environment and its community will always be successful," Mr. Cholakov stated.


Mr. Ivaylo Kalfin, Advisor to the Bulgarian President, elaborated on the initiatives undertaken by the Presidential institution. "It is very pleasing that people and business talk about CSR, that this is something we are all concerned with," Mr. Kalfin said. "CSR is important to overcome the constant rivalry existing between the State Administration and business. The State Administration sees business as a homogeneous entity that tends to breach regulations and tries to avoid paying taxes. On their part, business considers the State Administration to be nothing but a serious glitch in their work, overcharging them, and constantly raising the cost of their investments."


Mr. Kalfin informed the audience that the Presidency has been running a number of projects, some of which are related to CSR. One of the projects follows the idea of the President for economic co-operation on the Balkans - a Balkans-made development strategy; another one features a report on the challenges to business and the economy - one of the topics subject to analysis here is namely CSR; the Bulgarian Christmas, which for its two years of existence has managed to collect over BGN 1.2 mln, 50% of which have come from citizens and the other 50% from the business. The sources collected through the Bulgarian Christmas initiative will this year suffice for the equipping 8 children's clinics.


Ms. Pia-Maria Boerkbaca of the European Commission stressed the CSR is of great importance to the European Union as well, as it helps strengthen European economies and attributes to their sustainable development and growth. According to Mr. Boerkbaka, the involvement of public authorities in CSR should be very limited. CSR is a voluntary action, repeated a number of times Ms. Boerkbaka. The stress on CSR in international trade negotiations has been growing immensely during the last couple of years, she specified in conclusion.    

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