Executive Directors of the AmChams, Members of the AmCham Europe (ACE)

A Truly Inspiring Event

16-19 October AmCham Serbia will host one of the two annual events of the European association of the AmChams: the European Conference

AmCham Europe (ACE)

The forthcoming European Conference to be held in Belgrade is a great opportunity for each AmCham Europe (ACE) member to hear and inspire others for new ideas, infuse new energy and motivate them to work further on improving transatlantic relations, business development, and job creation between the U.S. and Europe.

On October 16–19, AmCham Serbia will host one of the two annual events of the European association of the AmChams: the European Conference.

We asked the executive directors of member associations of ACE about their expectations related to the conference and more importantly about the role the AmChams play in economic development in their respective countries.



Ajša Vodnik

CEO, AmCham Slovenia

Visionary Thinking

AmChams are an ecosystem of human interaction, as well as synapses of progressive thinking that can play a pivotal role in improving the business and living environments in their respective countries

Best practice exchange, empowering the best ideas, visionary thinking, meeting interesting people and new learning from my colleagues across Europe and of course some “Balkan style” partying – these are my expectations from the annual European Conference in Belgrade. In my opinion, AmChams are an ecosystem of human interaction, as well as synapses of progressive thinking.

By being proactive, AmChams can play a pivotal role in Connecting, collaborating and spreading optimism by creating various networking events, addressing numerous current topics, fostering the exchange of good business practices, and creating platforms that offer unique opportunities to collaborate, connect, and exchange knowledge.

Improving general business and living environment in the country. By uniting a great wealth of people from various industries, fields and profiles, AmChams are an authentic treasure trove of knowledge. By joining knowledge and expertise, they can suggest plausible changes and open dialogue with the state inspire and initiate positive changes in business and living environment.

Professional as well as the personal development of people in the community. AmChams can play a crucial role in the development of people who are part of the communities, with a strong emphasis on young leaders. Student internships and many diverse mentorships and coaching programs, intended for young professionals as well as senior leaders, provide an opportunity for the AmChams to bring generations of young and active individuals together.

Promotion of American Business & International Collaboration. By being promoters of the importance of transatlantic relations, business development and job creations, AmChams can represent an entry point for companies that want to enter the US market, and open doors to potential foreign as well as domestic investors.


 

Andy Hunder
President, AmCham Ukraine

Great Opportunity to Share Best Practices and Opinions

2019 was very interesting across Europe, including for the Ukraine where the country elected a new president, and we look forward to sharing insights to share with colleagues from the ACE network

I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit Belgrade, and we are all very grateful to Vera and all the AmCham Serbia team for hosting this event. It is indeed a great opportunity to showcase to the heads of AmChams across 42 European countries, the best of what Serbia has to offer. As a tradition, the AmChams in Europe Conference will serve as a great opportunity to share best practices and opinions on pressing issues of today’s business world, as well as to discuss policy issues that impact members from different AmChams across Europe. 2019 was very interesting across Europe, including for the Ukraine where the country elected a new president, so obviously there are a lot of insights to share with colleagues from the ACE network. Plus, we will announce the winner of the ACE Creative Network Award.

I am very grateful to Vera and her team for hosting our AmCham Ukraine Healthcare committee coordinator at AmCham Serbia in Belgrade this summer. This was a good opportunity to share best practice in Healthcare reform in non-EU member states. The American Chamber of Commerce is the oldest international business association in Ukraine, operating since 1992.

For 27 years, AmCham Ukraine has been standing up for business, taking care of international companies operating on the ground, and attracting Foreign Direct Investment to strengthen Ukraine’s economy and improve the investment environment. The primary role of AmCham Ukraine as the country’s top B2G platform is to deliver the voice of business at the highest level, offering unique access to key politicians and advocating for pro-business initiatives.

Our recent survey shows that 74% of our members have noticed their businesses grow in Ukraine last year; three quarters are forecasting continued growth into 2019. AmCham members believe in Ukraine, have great success stories to share, and AmCham Ukraine supports them to make their business grow and expand.


 

Daria Sivovol
CEO, AmCham Estonia

Proud of Our Work

The Estonian AmCham is by far the most active and influential business organization in Estonia. We are not big in terms of numbers, but we are very important when it comes to thought leadership, advocacy and impact

I am very excited about the upcoming conference in Belgrade! Not only it will be a new destination for me to discover, as I have never been to Serbia before, but also it is always a highlight of my fall business season. I get truly inspired by our colleagues from so many different AmChams all across Europe, their projects and successes. I come back with lots of new ideas, new energy and definitely motivation to continue striving in my own chamber!

Our AmCham is by far the most active and influential business organization in Estonia. We are not big in terms of numbers (appr. 140 members), but we are very important when it comes to thought-leadership, advocacy and impact.

We are truly proud of our extensive Advocacy & Policy reach in Estonia, our strong voice in the business community and with policymakers and information intelligence that we are able to provide through our 40+ events during the year. I am especially proud of the Women in Leadership series that we have been running for the last five years and that has become a true flagship program for AmCham Estonia.


 

Elias Spirtounias
Executive Director, AmCham Greece

Looking Forward to Being in Belgrade

The program set by AmCham Serbia looks excellent, and I am confident it will serve greatly the scope and goals of the conference

 

This annual gathering is very important for the chambers since it provides the opportunity to their managers and senior staff, who occasionally also participate, to discuss and exchange views on many common issues the chambers are dealing with, to present and share best practice and benchmarks, and finally to meet with local business and senior administrative officials of the host country.

The program set by AmCham Serbia looks excellent, and I am confident it will serve greatly the scope and goals of the conference and we look forward to our participation and presence in the beautiful city of Belgrade. AmCham GR is considered to be one of the most dynamic and vocal business body in Greece today. Having been established in 1932, AmCham GR is one of the oldest American Chambers in Europe and worldwide.

With a corporate membership today of more than 700 companies operating in Greece, including American companies doing business in Greece and major Greek enterprises doing business in or with the U.S., the Chamber continues to encourage and facilitate trade, investment and professional partnerships from both sides of the Atlantic.

It serves as an effective spokesperson to governments and their agencies in order to obtain effective results in policy matters affecting Greek-American economic and trade relations, and as a liaison between the government and the private sector regarding general and specific points of concern.

Through the organization of top-quality events, exhibitions, fora, seminars, and congresses on both sides of the Atlantic, AmCham GR manages to raise awareness and effectively advocate for the interests of its members and the business community in extend.


 

James Lasry
President, AmCham Gibraltar

Aligning Political Efforts With Policy or Commercial Interests

AmCham Gibraltar’s expectations are to use the ACE conferences to get to know our fellow colleagues better and work together to learn our collective best practices

AmCham Gibraltar is the youngest AmCham in Europe and for associations such as us, the value of joining conferences such as this enables us to meet with long-established AmCham organisations and seasoned AmCham leaders from the various countries. AmCham Gibraltar’s expectations are really to use each of these conferences to get to know our fellow colleagues better and work together to learn our collective best practices so that we can help to implement these locally for our community and stakeholders. As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success.”

As a superpower, the United States has a unique ability to shape global events. We believe that AmCham Gibraltar’s role is to help build lasting relationships between the US and Gibraltar so that our local stakeholders can benefit as much as possible from this superpower relationship. Be it in helping to align political efforts with policy or commercial interests in the trade or even inspiring the youth of our country with educational and cultural exchanges. AmCham is the door to help facilitate, nature and grow all of these aspects for our home country. AmCham Gibraltar’s role is of integral importance on the advocacy aspect.


 

Marko Miročević
Executive Director, AmCham Montenegro

Success and Nothing Less

My expectation is that this year the conference in Belgrade will be a total success. Knowing AmCham Serbia very well, I am sure that the organization will be great

The AmChams in Europe Best Practice conferences is meant for us to learn from each other, familiarize ourselves with the best programs that we implement in the countries in which we operate, exchange views, and network. My expectation is that this year the conference in Belgrade will be a total success, it will fulfil its purpose and knowing AmCham Serbia very well, I am sure that the organization will be great.

We live in a world that is changing exponentially, and as an organization which is committed to the development of the business environment, our task is to embrace the change and drive it. That is why the future development of the organization will be highly positioned on the conference agenda.

AmCham Montenegro represents the strongest collective voice of the international business community in Montenegro. Our mission is to improve the business environment in order to attract more US and other investments to Montenegro. In order to succeed in that, we have focused our activities to develop a culture of public-private dialogue in Montenegro, in which business organizations are viewed as decision-makers partners in shaping the business environment.

In the last couple of years, thanks to our Partnership for a Better Business Environment Program, we are having significant success in that sense. Our unique approach, the dialogue model, has been appreciated by the Montenegrin Government, and the results that we have obtained in influencing legislation improvement and business barriers removal are widely felt by our members.

I’m also proud to say that AmCham Montenegro is a leader in promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR). For the development of our economy, foreign investments are very important, but not only in terms of money and workplace generation, but it is also about importing business best practices that have CSR values in their core. That is why we are proud to promote and represent companies that care for people and the environment in which they operate.


 

Susan Danger
CEO, American Chamber of Commerce to the EU

Inspiration for Brussels Team

Over the years I’ve enjoyed seeing the projects presented during the Creative Network Awards. Some of them have provided me with ways to improve or change AmCham EU’s work

The annual European Conference is an excellent opportunity for the AmCham Directors and members of their teams to exchange best practices and, most importantly, to learn from each other. The conference is a unique opportunity to share common challenges and to get new ideas. I am always inspired by the work and commitment of my peers from other chambers. For example, over the years I’ve enjoyed seeing the projects presented during the Creative Network Awards. Some of the projects have provided me with ways to improve or change AmCham EU’s work and inspire my team back in Brussels.

I also appreciate the opportunity to share some of our approaches and experiences. Overall, I get a lot of energy from interacting with my peers – I was sad to miss the last AmChams in Europe gathering, so I am really looking forward to the upcoming Best Practices Conference. I hope that collectively, we can continue to show the commitment of our member companies to Europe. AmCham EU speaks for American companies committed to Europe on trade, investment and competitiveness issues. It aims to ensure a growth-oriented business and investment climate in Europe.

AmCham EU facilitates the resolution of transatlantic issues that impact business and plays a role in creating a better understanding of EU and US positions on business matters. Aggregate US investment in Europe totalled more than €2 trillion in 2018, directly supports more than 4.8 million jobs in Europe, and generates billions of euros annually in income, trade and research and development. As a recognised and trusted policy partner, we provide constructive input and expertise to the regulatory work of the EU institutions. Our mission is (1) to build a stronger and more united EU; and (2) to maintain and strengthen the transatlantic relationship.