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BBLF Chair Maxim Behar: Business Ethics Should Be Done in Practice

March 13, 2003
BBLF Chair Maxim Behar: Business Ethics Should Be Done in Practice

Speech of Mr. Maxim Behar, Bulgarian Business leaders Forum Chairman at the opening of the conference "Practical Management of Business Ethics" in the presence of Prince Charles and Bulgarian PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg

Your Royal Highness,

Welcome Home. I really hope you feel like home in Bulgaria.

For two reasons, at least.


The first is clear - Bulgaria is extremely privileged to host you for the second time in less than five years.


And second reason - here, among the members and supporters of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum, at the same place, even in the same room, where almost 4 and a half years ago, even more exactly - 1588 days ago the Forum was officially inaugurated I can assure you that certainly you can feel at home.


Thanks to you, Your Royal Highness and thanks to the President Petar Stoyanov the idea became a reality.


Thanks to all the Bulgarian Leaders Forum members the reality became practice, business practice which in the modern world is in fact the only possible - fair, transparent, ethical and of course - to the benefit of all the players - employers, but also employees, private interests, but also public engagements.

Sir, allow me here, at this founding place of the Forum and at your and all the members' presence to express our sincere thanks to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Simeon Saxe Coburg for being with us at many interesting events, for regularly supporting our members and for trying to make their business life and the business environment more friendly and more comfortable. The first ever public meeting of the newly established BBLF, at the very beginning of 1999 was with King Simeon The Second.


Since then, especially after his arrival back to the country and his successful involvement in the political life, Simeon Saxe-Coburg was and is still with us, the Forum members and is deeply interested in all our projects and activities. So, thank you Mr. Prime Minister, be sure BBLF supports you, your ministers and your administration in your efforts to create better business environment and at the end of the day - better life for Bulgarian people and better future for the democratic Bulgaria.


Let me also report to you - for all those 1588 days, Sir, we were fully committed to the original ideas of the International Business Leaders Forum founded by you. 12 companies established the forum, nowadays we have 97 members and I am extremely happy to share the fact that the number of the Bulgarian companies joining the Forum is increasing rapidly.


More and more business representatives see the Forum as an interesting place where they can contribute to the creation of better business environment and also to the fight against corruption. A place where business can promote, motivate and stimulate good business practices and can formulate ethical business standards in a normal, accessible and understandable language.

That is the reason why Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum Managing Board created and approved a special Business Ethics Standard - Ten points, which might one day turn to be a milestone for the development of the Bulgarian business.


Today, at our conference, just before you came, we have discussed the practical management of the business ethics issues and heard very, very good stories from some of our members. We do believe that business ethics is something which should be done in practice, every day, every minute and our next step is to try to implement the right management in the offices, in the relations with our clients, partners, teams and also in the relations with public and municipal administrations.

But before all that happens our first objective is more and more companies to adopt the standard and to declare their goodwill to follow the ethical rules of modern business.

Even now, today, in this room we have a brilliant example. Six Bulgarian companies have declared these days their wish to sign and accept the Business Ethics Standard. My sincere request to you, Sir will be to hand out officially to all of them the Standard as a recognition of all that these companies do and will do for creating good business practices.


Thank you also, Your Royal Highness and mister Prime Minister for what you have said about the Forum. We all do appreciate what you have done for the business in this country and do hope you will remain our fully committed supporter and a close ally.


I promised to share with all of you our very brief vision for the way ahead.

In the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum see our logical development only together with the other Forums established by you Sir, namely - Czech, Polish, Hungarian and let's hope very soon - Russian. Next month, under my initiative the four Chairmen will have our first meeting in Prague and will discuss our joint future activities within the framework of IBLF. I am pretty sure you will welcome this initiative, as it has been fully supported by Susan Simpson, European Director of IBLF, the person we contact anytime of the day and of the week and who is helping us a lot in our different projects. Next meeting will be in Sofia, late October to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of BBLF. And to cut the long story short - we are deeply convinced that our Forums should go together and we must regionalize our efforts to reach better results.


One more time - Your Royal Highness, Mister Prime Minister, I thank you very much on behalf of the audience for being with as at this conference tonight and Sir - especially to you let me wish you fruitful, interesting and exciting visit in Bulgaria and what more can I say than two words which say everything -

Welcome back again!

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