Automotive Cluster Bulgaria to hold biennial car industry forum

Automotive Cluster Bulgaria to hold biennial car industry forum Stanislavov and Ivanov (in the middle) during the presentation of Automotive Forum & Expo Sofia; Author: Radomir Ralev

SOFIA (Bulgaria), May 16 (SeeNews) – Automotive Cluster Bulgaria said on Wednesday it plans to start organising a biennial automotive conference in Sofia, named Automotive Forum & Expo, which will be supported by Germany's trade fair for the automobile aftermarket Automechanika.

"The international conference will demonstrate the most successful car projects in Eastern Europe, as well as the perspectives for the future development of the industry in Bulgaria," the CEO of Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, Lyubomir Stanislavov, told a news conference.

The first edition of the event will take place October 18-21 at the Inter Expo Center in Sofia. It will aim to include all types of new technologies, the electric car industry, car parts and components, car maintenance and garage equipment, as well as accessories for passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and lorries.

Automotive Cluster Bulgaria will aim to invite as many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) active in Eastern Europe as possible, because there is no car manufacturer in the region who is unsuccessful, Stanislavov said.

"We will also present success stories of car parts suppliers active in Bulgaria and I assure you that there are a lot of them."

The first two days of the conference will feature B2B events in order to facilitate contacts with Bulgarian firms, while the last two days will focus on B2C, the general manager of Inter Expo Center, Ivaylo Ivanov, said at the same news conference. 

One of the main concerns of the industry is the lack of skilled workforce and the event will include a career forum for young people organised in cooperation with the technical universities in Bulgaria, Stanislavov noted.

Representatives of some large international companies active in Bulgaria, like Castrol, Bosch and Monroe, have already expressed interest in participating in the event, but they need the approval of their parent organisations, Ivanov said. 

"The nearest conference carried out under the Automechanika brand is in Istanbul and is organised directly by German trade fair operator Messe Frankfurt. We hope to develop the event in Sofia and the support of Automechanika will help us promote it. Whether it will become Automechanika Sofia depends on how we develop the event," Ivanov added. 

Automotive Cluster Bulgaria, a non-profit organisation which represents the interests of automotive manufacturers, suppliers and organisations providing services for the automotive industry, was established in July 2012 by eight sector players active in the country. The cluster currently has more than 130 members and the industry has about 40,000 employees in Bulgaria.

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