From Law to Luring Investment: One Man’s Determination to Demonstrate Benefits of an Unsung EU Destination

CEO: Stamen Yanev

CEO: Stamen Yanev

Stamen Yanev, CEO of InvestBulgaria Agency (IBA) since January 2015, began his career as an attorney-at-law, specialising in the area of M&A and investments.

BA is a government organisation established to attract foreign investment. The goal was to assist project set-up and to ensure successful project development that would lead to employment, exports, and knowledge-transfer in Bulgaria.

“We help potential and existing investors explore the investment opportunities in Bulgaria and carry out greenfield investment projects,” said Yanev. “Our agency reports directly to the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy. As a government institution, we have direct access to all Bulgarian government and local institutions to facilitate the entry and development of business in the country.”

InvestBulgaria Agency’s services are provided free-of-charge. The firm offers detailed information about Bulgaria as a business destination and offers full information assistance. Also included in its services are site identification and selection, and support with applications for investment incentives. The agency links clients with suppliers and prospective partners, and directly liaises with central and local government, branch chambers, and NGOs.

IBA’s team has been recognised for its consistent dedication, and 2019 was a dynamic and productive year in attracting investment. Positive developments were implemented under the Investment Promotion Act (IPA) and 31 projects providing 2,858 new jobs were certified.

Investments are focused on the manufacturing, IT, mechanical engineering, electronics, chemistry, storage and warehousing sectors. The certification process has led to an expansion of business in Bulgaria, including attracting car giant Volkswagen to the country – underscoring the trust that investors increasingly have in the country’s business environment, says Yanev.

“This gave us a confidence that time when not only car parts, but whole vehicles, will be produced in Bulgaria is coming,” Yanev says. “In the past year we have recorded a huge growth in exports, which is mainly the result of realised production by foreign investors in Bulgaria.

“All parts produced for the automotive industry are exported, and 90 percent of the cars in Europe use parts produced in Bulgaria.”

There are 250 automotive sector companies in the country, with 65,000 employees. Last year, investments were made in areas of high unemployment, mainly in northern Bulgarian destinations such as Lovech, Botevgrad, Pleven and Rousse.

Helping to attract investment is the fact that Bulgaria is an EU country. “The tax regime, combined with the availability of skilled labor and the lowest operating costs in Europe, ranks us among the top destinations for business and investments,” says Yanev.

The InvestBulgaria Agency was unanimously chosen as a regional World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) director for Eastern Europe.

Yanev’s professional trajectory developed via some of the world’s major international universities and consulting companies. He received a Master’s degree in Law (cum laude) from the Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”.

Yanev specialised in European and English law at the University of Cambridge, and European Law at the ASSER College Europe (Netherlands), the University College London (UK), the European University Institute (Italy).


InvestBulgaria Team

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