At the invitation of Emídio Sousa, Mayor of Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal, Sofia Investment Agency presented the investment profile of Sofia and the business opportunities in the capital at the International Fórum Bizfeira in Portugal.
For a 4th year in a row Biz Feira Business Forum is organized by Santa Maria da Feira, a municipality near Portugal’s second biggest city Porto, a metro region of over 2M people.
The event took place on October 11 in the Europarque Congress Centre, located in the Porto Metropolitan Area. BizFeira was visited by nearly two thousand people and exhibitors from Europe, Canada, USA, Brazil and Africa, as well as many bilateral chambers of commerce, associations connected to the Portuguese diaspora, and municipalities from several European cities. Member companies of the local IT cluster AETICE formed the majority of the exhibitors.
The Invest Sofia representatives had many meetings with local IT, manufacturing and trading companies with presence or interest towards Sofia and Bulgaria. As a part of the BizFeira event, the city of Sofia participated in a workshop on the opportunities of further developing the IT sector in cooperation between Portugal, Sweden and Bulgaria with participants from the AETICE cluster and the Swedish city of Gothenburg. Our partners from Portugal, Sweden, Canada and the US were interested to learn more about the fastest growing sector of Sofia’s economy.
A very special thank you to Ms. Celine Fernandes, the International Business Director of NU Boyana FX, for participating in the workshop and sharing her insights on working with teams from Bulgaria and Portugal:
‘Working with Bulgaria is very easy. The English is excellent and there are no language and cultural barriers. The country has strong traditions in IT and creative industries.’
We explored possibilities for cooperation in the IT sector between the three countries in cost-reduction in manufacturing through digitalization, team-development and access to new markets.
The visit also included a tour of Centro Empresarial Feira, a former shoe factory that is being turned into a new business and logistics center with a built-in area of over 50 000 sq. m. by a private investor.
Santa Maria da Feira is a municipality with approximately 140 000 people and the administrative center of a highly developed industrial area in Portugal, known mainly for the production of cork and articles for the footwear industry.
The city of Santa Maria da Feira is also famous for its annual Medieval Festival that draws over half a million visitors in August.
The Municipality adopted a series of actions to improve its business climate, tourism and international visibility, and is actively reaching out to cities and organizations in Europe, North America and Africa for cooperation. A delegation from Santa Maria da Feira headed by Mayor Sousa visited Sofia earlier this year. During the visit we presented Sofia as a business destination.
We would like to thank our wonderful hosts from Santa Maria da Feira Camara Municipal, Mayor Emidio Sousa, Ms Maria do Rosário Meneses and the rest of the BizFeira team, as well as our partners from Business Region Gothenburg, the Swedish-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Portuguese-Canadian Business Professionals.
We are looking forward to visiting Portugal again in early November for Web Summit in Lisbon.