Improving Business Competitiveness in Bulgaria

More than 70 business leaders, diplomats, and representatives of trade and business organizations gathered today in Sofia to discuss corruption prevention and detection.

In his lecture What CEOs Need to Know About Corruption Prevention & Detection: How to Limit Opportunities for Internal and External Malfeasance keynote speaker John L. Verna, CBA, CPA, CFE shared strategic advice with some of Bulgaria’s leading business decision-makers.

“We cannot change the world but we can change our companies,” said Mr. Verna who is the CEO & Executive Managing Director of the US-based Center for Strategic Business Integrity.

Visible leadership, organizational checks and balances, zero-based budgeting, and independent whistleblower hotlines – these were just some of the approaches and tools advocated by Mr. Verna.

The event was organized by the America for Bulgaria Foundation in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation and the Anti-Corruption Fund Foundation (ACF).

Attending the event were also Michael Forbes, Ambassador of Ireland to Bulgaria, Stefano Baldi, Ambassador of Italy to Bulgaria, Jurrien van der Horst, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of The Netherlands, and York Schuegraf, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Germany. Thorsten Geißler, head of the Bulgarian office of Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung and high-level representatives of the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, and Canada were also in attendance.

Representing ACF were Dr. Phillip Gounev, chairman of the Board, as well as member of the Board Amb. Ilian Vassilev and member of the Board and director of ACF Boyko Stankushev.

In his address to the audience Amb. Vassilev outlined ACF’s most recent investigations and achievements and stressed on the need for judicial reform in order to reduce Bulgaria’s high levels of corruption.

Nancy L. Schiller, President & CEO of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, commended ACF for its work and stressed the importance of meaningful anti-corruption measures.

“If Bulgaria is to achieve its goals, grow as a society, and keep its young people here, this issue [corruption] needs to be addressed, she said.


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