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February 2010:

U.S-Bulgarian New Economic Partnership for the Future
Ambassador James B. Warlick
Speech to the American Chamber of Commerce
Sofia, Bulgaria - February 25, 2010



“We have already started laying the foundation for our new Bulgarian-American IT partnership. Because the IT sector offers great potential to increase the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy, expand US-Bulgarian economic relations and generate much needed jobs. In 2009 the US Embassy and the Bulgarian government launched its first public-private partnership, “the US-Bulgaria Partnership for IT and Innovation.” As part of this initiative, three public-private partnership projects that bring together substantial resources from industry as well support from the U.S. Agency for International Development will be announced shortly.

I’d like to give you a human example of the kind of vibrant US-Bulgarian IT partnership we could achieve: When Angel Kelchev of Pazardzhik won the visa lottery several years ago at 18 years of age, he had no clear life plan, but came to the United States with a solid Bulgarian high school education. Following a stint in the U.S. military, he attended and excelled at his undergraduate studies in American universities. He is now pursuing graduate work in a joint program at Stanford and Harvard. Each year for the past three years, Angel has returned to Pazardzhik, working in partnership with Rotary

International and the local Rotary Chapter of Pazardzhik to raise funds for his home town technical high school to equip a computer lab. Energized by his success and mindful of the impact he is having on the lives of Pazardzhik’s youth, Angel is now growing the partnership with the support of USAID, Microsoft and Harvard University. This year his program will expand, giving several hundred Bulgarian high schoolers the full range of technical computer skills necessary to get jobs in Bulgaria’s IT sector.”