Date: August 19th 2008

Dear TTP'er,
 
Last month in To The Point I talked about the Good News From Bulgaria.  The bottom line was:

There are more opportunities to make a lot of money in Bulgaria than almost anywhere else in the world. 

Bulgaria became a full member of the EU in January 2007, qualifying for enormous amounts of EU subsidies to bring its government services and economy up to EU standards.  A good portion of the $10 billion in EU aid Bulgaria will be receiving over the next five years will be to provide a 50% subsidy for private foreign investment in the Bulgarian economy.

That economy is growing exponentially because Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev is determined to maximize the attractiveness of his country to international investors.  Thanks to him, Bulgaria now has a 10% flat tax on income, 0% (yes, zero) capital gains tax, 100% foreign ownership of land and businesses, and no limits on repatriation of profits.

Investment in agricultural land, if one knows how to properly consolidate it, will be worth five times more in three to five years – which is doubled to ten times due to the 50% EU subsidy of the investment.

There are many other examples:  food production, canning factories, cheese and meat processing, real estate development.  There is enormous potential for "medical tourism" - international certified state-of-the-art medical facilities for cosmetic surgery, sports medicine, laparoscopic surgery, for which there is an average two-year wait in Western Europe.  All of these investments can qualify for a 50% EU subsidy.

So - want to come to Bulgaria with me and learn about it all?

I'll be taking a small group of 8-10 qualified folks to Bulgaria at the end of September.  In one week - leave home Friday September 26, back home Sunday October 5 - we'll meet Prime Minister Stanishev and his key officials, plus the country's top businessmen.  We'll tour the country to see the best ag-land, plus tourist wonders like the magic medieval capital of Veliko Turnovo, the 3,000 year-old Black Sea now-luxury resort of Nesebar, the monasteries of Troyan and Rila.

We'll also consume copious amounts of Bulgarian wine.  Who says you can't make a lot of money and have a lot of fun at the same time?

It'll cost $7750.  You get to Sofia, Bulgaria's capital on 9/26 and I'll take care of everything else.  If you want to come, don't waste any time letting me know: 
drjack@tothepointnews.comThis email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

I hope I’ll be seeing you in Sofia.

Jack Wheeler

BULGARIA INVESTMENT EXPEDITION ITINERARY:  September 26-October 5, 2008

Led by Dr. Jack Wheeler and Alex Alexiev, senior advisor to former president of Bulgaria Philip Dimitrov

Friday, Sept. 26:  Depart US on overnight flight for Europe connecting city (e.g., London, Paris, Rome or Frankfurt)

Saturday, Sept. 27:  Arrive Sofia, capital of Bulgaria, mid-afternoon via connecting city.  Transfer to Raddison Grand Hotel.  7pm reception and dinner.  Guest speaker, Ilian Vassilev, president, Deloitte Touche Bulgaria.

Sunday, Sept. 28:  10am departure via luxury coach for Sevlievo, a small town (30,000) in northcentral Bulgaria that has become prosperous due to foreign investment in local industry led by American Standard.  Enroute we have lunch in Troyan and visit the World Heritage site of the Troyan Monastery.

After checking in to the Sevlievo Plaza Hotel, we visit a state-of-the-art private hospital to discuss opportunities for medical tourism.  We then visit a hunting lodge favored by European big game trophy hunters, and the studio of world famous Bulgarian artist Nikolay Panayotov.

Reception and dinner with the Mayor of Sevlievo Yordan Stoikov and local businessmen and entrepreneurs.

Monday, Sept. 29:  10am meeting with American Standard executives to discuss their experience in Bulgaria.  After lunch, depart for Veliko Tarnovo, capital of medieval Bulgaria.  2pm meeting with Mayor of Tarnovo Ruven Rashev, and the Mayor of the nearby town Gabrovo, Bogomil Belchev.  3 pm meeting with local businessmen (tourism, agriculture, high-tech). 4pm visit to medieval Tsarevets Fortress.  7pm, reception and dinner with Mayor Rashev and local dignitaries.

After dinner, return to Sevlievo Plaza Hotel (30 min. drive).

Tuesday, Sept. 30:  9am depart for Dobrich, center of Dobrudja, the most fertile grain producing region in Bulgaria.  11am-1pm working lunch with Professor Dimitri Manov and agro-business executives from the region. Dr. Manov is the country’s top wheat scientist. Discussion of opportunities in purchasing/consolidating ag- land, grain, meat and dairy production

1pm meeting with Dimitar Manov, owner and CEO of Cibola Inc. a Sofia-based consulting company specializing in agro business and especially utilizing EU subsidy funds for it.

2:30pm depart for Varna on the Black Sea. Check in Grand Hotel Varna. Varna, Bulgaria’s largest port, an international beach resort and the country’s third  largest city, was known in antiquity as Odessos. It was founded by Miletians in 570 BC and is one of the oldest cities in Europe.

5-6 pm tour of Varna.  6-7:30pm cocktails with members of American-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce. Briefing on business opportunities in Varna (tourism, food-processing, transportation, communications etc).  7 pm dinner with Mayor of Varna Kiril Yordanov and city foreign investment  officials.

Wednesday, Oct. 1:  8-9 am breakfast meeting with local entrepreneurs.  9-11am tour of beach resort complexes near Varna (Golden Sands, Evsinograd).  11am drive to Nesebar,  an ancient Black Sea town and a World Heritage Site located on a small peninsula and the site of numerous historical monuments and churches dating back to pre-Hellenistic civilizations.  12pm lunch, followed by walking tour of Nesebar. 

2:30pm depart for Plovdiv.  Enroute visit to state of the art dairy farm in Stara Zagora.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second largest city, is one of Europe’s oldest cities, a contemporary of Troy (1500 BC) and much older than Rome. Captured by Philip II of Macedon in 342 BC and renamed Philippopolis, it was a prosperous Roman center known as Trimontium.

6pm. – Check in Trimontium Princess Hotel.  6:30 dinner with Mayor of Plovdiv Slavcho Atanasov and city businessmen, followed by a walk around Old Town Plovdiv.

Thursday, Oct. 2:  9am business tour of Plovdiv. 10:30 depart for Koprivshtitsa and the Valley of the Roses.  Koprivshtitsa is a town-museum with the best preserved examples of Bulgarian Revival Era architecture in the country.  11:30am, walking tour of Koprivshtitsa and lunch.  2pm, coach tour through world famous Valley of the Roses where much of the world’s rose oil for perfumes is produced, including visits to the valley’s top wineries.

5pm depart for Sofia, 6pm check in Raddison Grand Hotel.  7pm dinner with mayor of Sofia.

Friday, Oct. 3:  8-9: 30am, hotel breakfast meeting with Sofia businessmen, and Bulgarian  Minister of Transportation on investment opportunities in transportation sector.  10am-12n, meeting with Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev, followed by meeting with Cabinet Ministers.  12:30, working lunch with Peter Bozhkov, a lawyer specializing in ag-land purchase and consolidation, and Kamen Kolchev, chairman of ELANA Agricultural Land Fund listed on the Sofia Stock Exchange.  Briefing on current opportunities in agro business.

2pm, interviews with press, news agencies for those  interested.

4-6 pm,  walking tour of downtown Sofia, including Alexander Nevski Cathedral, site of largest exhibition of orthodox icons.

7pm, dinner with Prime Minister Stanishev and government and business leaders.

Saturday, Oct. 4: 9am depart for day trip to the World Heritage Site of Rila Monastery and the international ski resort of Borovets (real estate, sports medicine opportunities), both in the mountains south of Sofia.  Return late afternoon.  7pm Farewell Dinner.

Sunday, Oct. 5: Depart from Sofia for flight back to U.S.  [A mid-morning departure to a variety of European connecting cities will enable a same-day late afternoon/early evening arrival in U.S. home city.] 

Cost:

$7750 per person, single occupancy unless double occupancy requested.  Includes all transfers, accommodations, meals with group, ground transportation, all activities and meetings as outlined in itinerary.

Important note:  Meetings with any specific government official can not be guaranteed.

Cost does not include international air travel to and from Sofia, alcoholic beverages, personal expenses such as laundry and phone, passport expenses, trip cancellation and medical insurance.

Payments

Deposit of $1000 upon booking. $500 non-refundable.  Balance due by September 1st, 2008.  Refund in full (less $500) if cancellation in writing before September 1st.  Refund after September 1st only if acceptable replacement found.  Trip Cancellation Insurance highly recommended.

Requirements

Normal good health, normal capacity for walking.  US passport valid until at least January 5, 2009.   No visa required for US citizens.  No vaccinations required.  Positive cheerful attitude.  No whining and incessant complaining will be tolerated.  Travel often necessitates unexpected difficulties and schedule alterations.  Participants are expected to accept such necessities should they arise with helpful understanding.

Contact

Deposits and payments sent to:  Wheeler Expeditions, 611 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Suite 429, Washington DC 20003.  Phone 703-992-4239.  Email:  drjack@tothepointnews.com for bank wiring instructions or any questions.

For travel to Bulgaria, travel medical insurance, and trip cancellation insurance, we recommend Cristina Gifuni at McCabe World Travel in McLean VA, 703-762-5050, cristina@mccabeworld.com

 

 

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