On April 15, 1890, the first Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria was established in Ruse, and 130 years later, the Ruse Chamber of Commerce and Industry continues to uphold the traditions that were the basis of one of the most successful economic endeavors after Liberation.
By 1890, there were 14 larger factories of the metalworking, chemical, food, ceramic, leather, etc. type enterprises in Ruse. industries. Significant growth is also noted in trade. Only in the period from 1885 to 1903, 135 trading companies were registered in the city.
In these conditions, at the frequent meetings of the first Ruse merchants, which took place in the well-appointed cafe of Ohanes Enkarniyan on "Kniazheska" street, the creation of a trade organization - the First Bulgarian Private Chamber of Commerce, with monthly contributions to its members, was conceived.
At the end of 1889 and the beginning of 1890, the business circles of Ruse, taking into account the potential benefits, began to actively work for the implementation of the initiative. Like the existing chambers in European countries and America, the association aims to gather the intellect and initiative of the economically active strata and to serve as an advisory body to the government, while at the same time protecting the interests of the commercial-productive class. The Ruse newspaper "Istok" writes that on April 15, 1890, a new trade association was founded in Ruse under the name "I Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce" by 33 prominent representatives of the then commercial elite.
As a private association, the Ruse Chamber of Commerce was created without the protection of the central state administration of the country, similar to the structure of the English free chambers.
At that time, the great merit of the Ruse business circles was not so much in the opening of new factories, commercial offices and banks, but in the organization of new forms of cooperation between the business elite and the state leadership with the aim of better economic development of the country. The members of the Chamber have different political beliefs, but this does not prevent them from working together for the prosperity of the city and the country, using their knowledge and experience, while also seeking support from the state.
Very soon after its establishment, the Chamber of Commerce managed to establish itself in the economic life of the city, and gradually gained national importance. At the beginning of June, the Board of Trustees of the Chamber presented itself officially to Prince Ferdinand during his visit to Ruse. And on July 19, 1890, the Chamber gave a solemn banquet in honor of Prime Minister Stefan Stambolov's visit to Ruse in the summer garden of the "Haberman" beer hall. The event was attended by more than 200 guests with different political affiliations - Stambolovists, Caravelists, Tsankovists and even extreme Russophiles. Everyone is united around the opinion that the past should be left behind and work on the "creative economic field".
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Rousse Chamber of Commerce became actively involved in educational activities, after the state delegated powers to organize professional courses and open vocational schools. The first chamber school in Ruse was the Mechanical and Technical School, opened in 1921. During the years of peace, handicrafts grew and became an important branch of both rural and urban life. Taking into account the requirements of the law, RTIK fully takes care of the development of crafts in the region. On November 5, 1923, similar to the schools opened by the Varna and Sofia Chambers, the Chirash School was opened in Ruse. It is the first in the area of the Chamber. In the following year RTIK opened apprentice schools in Vidin and Pleven, in 1925 – in Sevlievo, and in 1926 – in Lom.
The detailed history of the Rousse Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be published in the form of an almanac, which will be officially presented later in the year. Due to the current epidemiological situation, RTIK is postponing the public celebrations of its anniversary to a later stage.