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PM: BBLF is a Central Player among Business Associations in Bulgaria

March 14, 2003
PM: BBLF is a Central Player among Business Associations in Bulgaria

Speech by the Prime Minister the Hon. Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha at the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum Conference on "Practical Management of Business Ethics" with HRH The Prince of Wales

Your Royal Highness,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the third speaker in such distinguished company, I propose to be fairly brief.


I want to thank the Prince of Wales for his good words about Bulgaria, which deeply touched me. It is four and a half years since you first visited Sofia and laid the foundations for your Business Leaders Forum here. On that occasion you shared your duties with the then President and happily among us today, President Petar Stoyanov, who remained throughout his term of office, and still is, a staunch supporter of the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility. There have been many positive changes in our country since those early days and I do believe that the transition towards a functioning market, now well established on the basis of a sustained period of macro-economic stability.


The BBLF has earned its place as a central player amongst the Business Associations in this country, as most of us know, and under Mr. Behar's outgoing leadership it has championed a number of highly regarded projects, in particular The Business Ethics Standard - something which I not only stand by, but have supported since the very first moment. This sets some principles of conduct which are of crucial importance to everyone doing business here and which give a lead in transparency that the Government warmly applauds. Another project I regard as exceptionally worthwhile is your career advisory program to help under-graduates learn how to approach the jobs market.


I consider it as more than symbolic that on this occasion it was I as Prime Minister who was privileged to be your guest with His Royal Highness. Clearly your projects have matured from the conceptual to the practical, from the 'Representative' to the 'Executive'. I shall certainly ensure that my colleagues on the Council of Ministers are aware of your work and efforts.

Ladies and Gentlemen!


In a wider business context, I am pleased to see that your Forum membership covers a very broad spectrum of successful companies - large and small, Bulgarian and multinational, and spanning manufacturing, service industries and the financial sector. My Ministerial colleagues and I are doing everything possible to manage and develop the Bulgarian economy in a way that will create progressively improved conditions for every one of you doing business here.


Prince Charles and I very much look forward to meeting Members of your Forum and to seeing the exhibits of some Bulgarian companies who have signed up to your Business Ethics Standard.


Last but no least, I want to express my deep gratitude to Your Royal Highness for coming to my assistance last autumn in not only recommending, but also sponsoring through your International Business Leaders Forum, the secondment of Mr. Bill Drysdale, a founder member and first Chairman of the BBLF, to be an advisor and working team member in my office throughout this year. Those of you who know Mr. Drysdale won't be surprised that he is already busy bringing some good business and team-building principles to bear on how we do our work at No 1 Dondoukov Boulevard!


I would only like to add that in quite a long life and in broad travels and experience in many countries I still have to find somebody who has worked as persistently, I would say as quietly and as thoroughly as His Royal Highness in all his philanthropic activities. And I think that those who have the privilege to have known him for a long time can voucher it that really His Royal Highness has done great deal to make this world a better place.

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