site.btaNorth Macedonia Companies Doing Business with Bulgaria Meet in Skopje
Companies in North Macedonia which have business relations with Bulgaria held a meeting in Skopje on Thursday, organized by the Bulgarian Embassy and the Macedonian-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce (MBCC).
Bulgaria is the fifth most important trading partner of North Macedonia and its second most important export destination. Bulgarian direct investment in North Macedonia totals EUR 270 million. In 2022, annual two-way trade surpassed EUR 1 billion.
Bulgarian Embassy Commercial Service chief Krassimir Dragnev said at the opening of the meeting: "The last three years have raised many challenges to entrepreneurs in our countries, from working amid a pandemic to a recession, a crisis of materials and energy. Many of the negative economic tendencies have not ended to this day, but thanks to the enterprise and the perseverance of people like you, our bilateral business partnerships have survived and remain a cornerstone and a measure of normalcy in relations between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. Owing to the resilience of economic cooperation between our companies, crises have become opportunities, and the trade dynamics between our two countries have been restored."
Dragnev said that a Bulgarian-Macedonian business forum will be held in Sofia on December 7 on the initiative of the two neighbours' foreign ministries. A similar event was held in Skopje last year. It was opened by the then foreign ministers Nikolay Milkov of Bulgaria and Bujar Osmani of North Macedonia.
This time, the MBCC will be the main partner in putting together the business delegation from North Macedonia.
Bulgarian Ambassador in Skopje Angel Angelov thanked the generations of activists who founded, developed and strengthened the MBCC. He expressed hope that with her ambitious programme the newly elected MBCC President Bilyana Miteva will make the institution "more vibrant, dynamic and much more open to all economic entities, which will strengthen the relationship between Bulgaria and North Macedonia".
Miteva said in a statement: "I have a great responsibility because the Macedonian-Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce, which has existed since 2011, has had many successful projects, and to surpass them, I count on cooperation between businesses and public institutions in our two countries to remove all barriers to business."
Data of the National Statistical Institute in Sofia show that between January and September 2023 Bulgarian exports to North Macedonia increased by 22% from a year earlier, and Macedonian exports to Bulgaria grew by 7%, Ambassador Angelov said. After going above the EUR 1 billion mark in 2022, two-way trade will reach even higher levels, the diplomat said.
Angelov also noted: "There is much work at hand, and the main goal is to connect our two countries in every way. Geography does not change. Regardless of politics, we will remain neighbours and will need to maintain relations with one another. Business has proven it best of all."