Bulgaria Seeks Cooperation with China in Infrastructure, Transport, Energy

Bulgaria Seeks Cooperation with China in Infrastructure, Transport, Energy

Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - "Bulgaria is ready to discuss the participation of Chinese companies in the implementation of projects related to infrastructure, transport, and energy," said Deputy Economy Minister Lyuben Petrov during the 16th session of a Bulgarian-Chinese intergovernmental economic cooperation commission in Sofia.

Petrov said that after the commission's last meeting in 2014 Chinese investments here grew mainly in agriculture and feed production. The two countries are negotiating the construction of two yogurt making facilities in China. A cooking oil factory in Bulgaria, a joint company for electric cars and another one for assembly of high-speed trains are in the initial stages of studies, said Minister Petrov.

He outlined several priority projects, developed by the Economy Ministry, which are seeking Chinese investments. These included the economic zone Sofia-Bozhurishte, the industrial zones in Karlovo and Vidin and the development of an industrial zone in Stara Zagora.

The deputy prime minister outlined ways for high-tech Chinese companies to participate in Bulgaria's first high tech park, Sofia high tech park. The Economy Ministry is promoting a project for the development of a European-Chinese zone for economic development within the Trakiya economic zone in Plovdiv. Another important projects is a logistics hub in Plovdiv, designed to service Asian companies, selling their products and services on the European markets.

The session highlighted the finalization of the procedures for meeting China's imports requirements for Bulgarian agricultural and food products. Bulgaria is ready to propose projects in road and rail infrastructure which could ensure reliable and uninterrupted deliveries from China to Europe via Bulgaria, These include the roads Hemus, Sofia-Kalotina, Vidin-Blagoevgrad, Rousse-Veliko Turnovo (with a possible stretch to Svilengrad), the Cherno more express road and the Shipka tunnel.

These projects are at different stages and Bulgaria is seeking alternative financing without state guarantees, with private-public partnership being one possibility.

The railroad projects include the upgrade of the infrastructure between Rousse and Varna; Sofia-Pernik-Radomir; Radomir-Gyueshevo; Rousse-Dimitrovgrad; Karnobat-Sindel. A project for an intermodal terminal in Varna was presented at the session.

A health tourism project for Chinese pensioners was also presented. The Bulgarian Bank for Development is looking for cooperation with Chinese partners to fund projects of mutual interest which contribute to the development of the Bulgarian economy and the Bulgarian micro, small- and middle enterprises.

Source: Sofia