BACKGROUND

The Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) dates back to 1895 and is one of the four oldest Chambers in Bulgaria. It re-launched its activities in 1990 under the conditions of the transition to market economy. It enjoys a reputation for the delivery of high quality business services on a local, national and international basis. Membership of RCCI is voluntary and currently stands at approximately 100 member companies. Membership reflects the mix of the economy of the Ruse region and includes the full range of large and small and medium sized companies in the production, trade and services sectors as well as other non-government business support organisations .

The Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry might be described as "Mid-Atlantic" – that is, it has adopted features of both the continental European chambers, which focus on business and trade activities, and the American chambers, which focus on the economic development of their cities.

Thus, the principle activities of The Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry are:

•  Promotion of the economic development of the Ruse region;
•  Lobbying local and central government and other public authorities to promote an understanding of the role and needs of the business;
•  Providing wide range of services to member and non-member companies to help develop their businesses, both at home and internationally.

The organisation has grown in recent years and operates from owned managed accommodation totaling over 1000 m? and an annual turnover in 2002 of over 75 300 Euro. Its premises are occupied not only by its staff but also by such companies as the Management and Business Development Centre Ltd., TUV Rheinland Consult Bulgaria, which are established by the RCCI. It promotes and supports the achievements of the local enterprises in providing a comprehensive range of business and trade related services including a strong policy arm representing individual and collective interests of its members. With a total of 12 professional staff supported by a range of external associates, the organisation is well placed to service the growing needs of businesses.

Some of our main achievements can be listed as follows:

•  Registered Management and Business Development Centre established as a three way international initiative between The Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry, The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ltd. (UK) and The University of Ruse
•  A full collective member of The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, thus a full member of Eurochambers, The Association of Balkan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the World Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Paris
•  A member of the World Chambers Network and of the Global Business Exchange to the WCCI in Paris
•  Affiliated member of The Union of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry Rhine, Rhone, Danube, Alps
•  Affiliated member of the Union of the German Exporters
•  A partner of the German company Apparel Commerce in providing references and joining the Bulgarian companies for ready-made clothes to a closed Internet portal for conducting orders for work with materials supplied by the client
•  Awarded the 1996 Award for Special Contribution to the Development of International Cooperation on a Regional Level
•  A founder member of the Ruse Business Centre and the Business Incubator established in co-operation with the Municipality of Ruse , The Union of Private Economic Enterprise and The Bulgarian Industrial Association under the EU URADA programme.
•  A founder member of the Agency for Sustainable Development of the Ruse region. Established close contacts with the Association of the Danube regions with a head office in the town of Bellene – Bulgaria .


KEY COMPETENCE AND EXPERIENCE

•  Pragmatic and flexible approach to delivery mechanisms
•  Substantial project management experience - participation in international projects under the PHARE and MERCURY TACIS programmes, LEONARDO DA VINCI, The British Know-How Fund and Eurochambers, management and delivery of two projects financed by USAID throught the Open Society Club – Ruse under the DEMOCRACY NETWORK programme )
•  Extensive knowledge and experience in local and regional development, SME development, exports and investment promotion
•  Extensive knowledge in European standards and trade related legislation

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