Companies from all business spheres compete for 2018 Investor of the Year Awards

Photo: BTA

Sixteen companies reached the final stage of 2018 Investor of the Year Awards. Over 90 companies from various spheres- economy, information technology, healthcare, science, etc, competed at this year’s edition of Investor of the Year. The Executive Director of Invest Bulgaria Agency Stamen Yanev told Radio Bulgaria details on the criteria used to assess the winners in the different categories and how business climate attracts foreign investors in this country:

The winner of Investor of the Year 2018 was selected under the following criteria: investment volume, number of new job openings, presence in the local municipality, impact on the development of the local municipality, impact on the social environment, etc. Business climate in Bulgaria is very positive. Many Bulgarian companies increased production volumes in the recent years. Last year the number of investment projects doubled as compared to 2017 which is due to some favorable conditions such as political and economic stability, geostrategic presence, talented young people, tax system, incentives, etc.

In Stamen Yanev’s words, highest increase was registered in the field of automotive industry, logistics, transport and IT sector.

The Investment in Human Capital award bestowed on VisteonElectronics Company during the ceremony was among the most significant awards. VisteonElectronics produces high-tech electronics for the automotive sector. Its clients are reputable American, German, Japanese and Koran leaders in the automotive industry. Investment in human capital is crucial for the development of our business, because people are the company’s ambassadors in the contacts with our clients, the Director of VisteonElectronics Ivan Mihaylov said at the ceremony.

A company discovering and developing new medicinal molecules used for the treatment of various oncological, neurological, cardio-vascular and rare diseases received the Investor of the Year award in the Start-Up category.

Micar Innovation has been investing for three consecutive years in the discovery of new medicinal molecules, the company’s CEO Dimitar Dimitrov said. Our goal is clear- to reach the end clients of the large pharmaceutical companies. For us it is important to patent and show the benefits of a medicinal molecule to a large pharmaceutical company that would later buy it and continue the medical research.

Currently, the company portfolio contains 10 new medicinal molecules which are in a different phase of research. The molecule which is expected to be used for the treatment of chronical pain, pancreatic cancer and skin cancer is in a most-advanced stage of research and is now entering a phase of preclinical studies.

The day this company received the Investor of the Year award in the Start-up category it had a 30 minute presentation at the Biotech In Europe Forum in Basel, Switzerland, within the frameworks of a discussion in the field of artificial intelligence and its use in finding new medicinal molecules. Many large pharmaceutical companies attend this forum which provides excellent opportunities for establishment of new contacts, connections and cooperation in this field.

Awards were given in other categories such as Green Investment of the Year, Investment in Expanding Business and Bulgarian Municipality 2018. This year the city of Vratsa (Northwest Bulgaria) received the Bulgarian Municipality 2018 award which is recognition for the efforts of the local municipality to turn that city into an attractive investment destination. Three large investors decided to invest in Vratsa, in order to expand their business. Currently, the local authorities are negotiating with two other potential investors.

The Investor of the Year Grand Prix went to the international retailer JYSK which sells household goods. Its history began in 1979 when the company opened its first shop in Denmark’s second-largest city Aarhus. Today the company has over 2,700 shops in 51 countries, including Bulgaria. So far JYSK has invested EUR 100 million in Bulgaria and created 300 new jobs.

English version: Kostadin Atanasov

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