Bulgaria Ranks as Balkans' Fifth Largest Exporter in 2017
Sofia, February 26 (BTA) - Over 52,000 million leva's worth of goods were exported from Bulgaria in 2017, double the amount of ten years earlier, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said in a press release on Monday, referring to the findings of its survey.
By September 2017, Bulgaria was the Balkans' fifth largest exporter after Greece, Turkey, Romania and Slovenia. In terms of GDP, Bulgaria ranked fourth in the Balkans, after Greece, Turkey and Romania.
At 59,000 million leva for 2017, the value of imports into Bulgaria also grew from 2007, albeit by a smaller margin: 38 per cent. For years, Bulgaria's foreign trade has been showing a deficit, which approximated 7,000 million leva for 2017 and was mainly due to the large import of petroleum products and natural gas. The good news is that the trade deficit is decreasing (it was 16,000 million leva in 2007).
In recent years, the Bulgarian economy has been growing at a steady and stable rate. The Chamber's survey found that companies are strongly interested in an expansion of international cooperation. China is one of the best preferred destinations for business contacts, and Bulgaria's exports to the Asian country grew by 36 per cent in 2017, reaching 1,200 million leva. The principal commodities that Bulgaria sells in China are refined copper, copper articles and electric components.
Taking up 66 per cent of this country's exports, the EU Member States remain Bulgaria's principal trading partners. There is a major untapped potential for growth of export to third countries, with which the volume of trade is modest.
Nearly 44 per cent of all foreigners who visited Bulgaria in 2017 came from neighbouring countries. A consensus is already taking shape among the Balkan countries on placing joint packages on the international tourism market, including visits to several countries in the region.
On the other hand, Bulgaria's insistence on the Western Balkans' integration and economic cohesion is an important step towards deepening trade relations and implementing joint infrastructure projects as boosters of growth in the region.