Bulgaria, Azerbaijan Plan to Strengthen Cooperation
121 ECONOMY - BULGARIA - AZERBAIJAN - BUSINESS FORUM
Plan to Strengthen
Sofia, November 7 (BTA) - Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova opened a business forum during the fifth session of the Bulgaria-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation in Sofia, her Ministry said.
More than 100 representatives of Bulgarian business and about 30 Azerbaijani companies established contacts for future partnerships.
Petkova listed the food industry, agriculture, tourism, wine-making, mechanical engineering and veterinary medicine as some of the potential areas for stronger economic ties. Although two-way trade increased by 38 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016, it still falls a long way short of the two countries' trade potential, it emerged at the forum. The direct air service between Sofia and Baku, which was launched early in 2018, was mentioned as a factor in strengthening bilateral contacts.
The Intergovernmental Commission is co-chaired by Petkova and Azerbaijan's Agriculture Minister Inam Karimov.
The energy industry was identified as a leading sector in bilateral contacts. The two sides exchanged information on the progress of the construction of the Southern Gas Corridor, of which the Gas Interconnector Greece Bulgaria is a key element. It was confirmed that Azerbaijan's state-owned SOCAR company is interested in investing in household gas supply in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian Agricultural Academy and the Agrarian Scientific and Information Advisory Center of Azerbaijan's Agriculture Ministry signed an agreement. The National Company Industrial Zones agreed to cooperate with the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park. The International Business School of Bulgaria and the Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University also signed documents on cooperation. LI/DD