1 April, 2023
Vladimir Mitev and Doru Dragomir presented their joint initiative in a video
(source: Wikipedia)

Vladimir Mitev and Doru Dragomir presented their joint initiative in a video

The Bridge of Friendship blog and the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria-Romania are initiating a series of video talks about important economic and intercultural issues related to the Bulgarian-Romanian space. In episode zero of this talk the blog’s editor Vladimir Mitev and the chamber’s president Doru Dragomir presented their joint initiative.

Hello to the viewers, listeners and readers of the Bridge of Friendship blog. I am the founder of this blog, and you may know that it is a blog, which has been existing for almost seven years with all its articles in Bulgarian and Romanian language and often in English and a blog, which has a certain idea of making Bulgarians in Romania know each other better. With me today is Doru Dragomir, who is the president of the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce, Bulgaria-Romania. And we are here to announce a joint mini series of videos or something like a podcast. And I now ask Doru Dragomir to present himself as well before we go with what we propose to our public.

Hello, Vladimir. Thank you very much for your idea. Hello to everybody, to all your listeners and readers. And, of course, to the partners, members and friends of the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria-Romania. As you said, my name is Doru Dragomir. I’m an entrepreneur before anything else. I am acquainted with Bulgaria for almost 12 years when I opened my first business  in Sofia, and for ten years I have been the President of the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce Bulgaria-Romania. It is one of the main support organization for business community in both countries. But not only in both countries, because we are also supporting businesses that are coming from outside our region and are interested in investing in Bulgaria or Romania.

So we have gathered to present an idea which we have about a certain mini podcast, which we hopefully will help Bulgarians and Romanians, as well as their partners or friends from other countries, know the situation in the countries, especially with emphasis on economic situation better. Could you present the idea?

Of course. First of all, again, I want to thank you for the initiative of having this type of project. Our project as we discussed it will be related to three main areas. First of all, it will be dealing, of course, with the economy, the economy of the both countries, the economy of Romania, economy of Bulgaria, and how it looks at the moment, a little bit of history about the last 30 years of democracy in the both countries. The second area that we’re going to cover, will be the relationship between the state and the population. We are talking about businesses and we are talking about normal people and how you should as a person take into consideration the relationship with the public authorities in the both countries. And the third interesting part from my point of view, will be related with the culture of Romanians and Bulgarians. And when I’m saying culture, I’m talking about the things that are common and the things that are differentiating us and how we, Romanians and Bulgarians, can accommodate the relationship between the two countries on the general level and between the people in the two countries on the personal level.

Okay. Let me also add that it will be a miniseries or a podcast which will be in three languages. So we will speak certainly in one of the languages, Bulgarian, Romanian or English, and there will be subtitling or transcription in the other languages of the blog, which I edit. And we’ll be looking for some distribution in other media as well because we believe that hopefully the content which we provide will be useful for a larger public. And let me ask here about something specific. We all know we have had experience in other countries. So why do you think that such discussions are necessary? What kind of void will they fill or will try to fill?

Well, I was going to start with the most obvious part, let’s say, based on my experience. And this is related to the economy and trade between the two countries. Companies from both Romania and Bulgaria want to do business on the other side of the Danube. But in order to do business, they have to communicate with each other. And in order to communicate, they need either to speak the language or to find it like it is our case now today in this podcast to find a common language which can be English in most of the cases. And this communication will solve two main problems. First of all, it will solve the problem that we are still having between Romanians and Bulgarians related to trust. And the second one, it will be related with the fact that knowing the people that it’s on the other side of the Danube, it will make you get much more easier in touch with them and being willing to to work with them. That’s why I’m considering any type of communication related with Romania and Bulgaria, it’s very important. And that is why we decided on these three areas that we are considering. It’s covering the entire interesting part of relations for normal people. When I say normal people, I mean people that are not necessarily doing business, but they are interested, let’s say, to visit the countries, to people that are going on the other side of the Danube, because they have families there and they have to relocate or just for business purposes. And we considering that our area of coverage will give some kind of important information that will make the people get much more easier when they will get on the other country.

Yes. I like very much the idea that we are not doing something for business only that it is open to the large public. It aims at certain empowerment, let’s say, if that doesn’t sound too brave, but the empowerment of the people so that they know better their neighbors. And we also aim at providing certain knowledge about specifics of the countries as well as of their economic development. For example, the automotive industry in Romania is something which I believe will be of certain interest for Bulgarians. And on the other hand, both countries have developed strong IT sectors or have interest in tourism, etc.. And also it is notable that fiscal policy has been a large issue in the last years in any of the countries. So I announce that we are open to the public and maybe it’s now the moment for you to call for action to our public, because we are not only aiming to just speak and dump some content in the public space, we are looking also at the certain opening to the readers and listeners.

Absolutely. In fact, the main idea that we are having during this project, it’s related mainly to communicating with the people. Of course, we’re going to give our experience. Of course we’re going to give our knowledge. Of course we’re going to give our ideas. But in the same time, it is extremely important for us that Bulgarians, Romanians or foreigners that are living or working in Romania and Bulgaria are going to get in touch with us, either with the with the blog, either with the Bilateral Chamber of Commerce in order for us to reorganize, maybe the information that we are planning to to prepare for this one year-project. And it is also extremely, extremely important that people understand that this should be a dialogue between us as persons that are having experience in both countries, either of living, either of working, and people that need certain types of information. And we are ready to provide those information whenever those will be requested from the people.

So I’m encouraging all the readers, all the viewers of of the blog, all the friends of the bilateral Chamber of of Commerce to get in touch with us, to follow our monthly podcasts and videos in order to understand a little bit more about what is happening in Romania and Bulgaria, how the things we are seeing in the nearest future, especially taking into consideration the crazy period that we are that we are living in. I’m always liking to say an old saying that comes from China. I think they are saying: “May you live in interesting times”. It seems that we are lucky. We are living very interesting times. We had the pandemia and now we are having the war. We are having an economical crisis that it’s coming and very, very soon it’s going to hit our region also. So there are a lot of interesting things that are happening around us. And we have to be prepared and we have to take in consideration also what is happening, not just in Romania, in Bulgaria or in just our city that we are living or in our village. And our idea is the fact that together we’re going to be stronger. One of the main things that I’m saying all the time in all the events that I’m participating is that Romania and Bulgaria should act together from all points of view, from the social point of view to the political and business point of view, because together we can become a voice that are going to be taken in consideration. Otherwise, we’re going to still be on the level that we are at this moment. So please, everybody, follow us and I’m really sure that you’re going to find useful information for you during this following year.

Yes. Looking forward to the first episode. That was episode zero here. And in a few weeks we’ll be providing the first episode of our podcast. And as we discussed, we are looking certainly at a certain regional or larger perspective to the events which we discuss about, not a national-centric one. So follow us, follow the podcast, follow us on social networks, and let there be greater interaction between Bulgarians and Romanians.

Photo: A ferry in the Bulgarian-Romanian part of Danube (source: Pixabay, CC0)

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