site.btaBulgaria May Turn into Logistics Hub for Arab League Countries
Meeting with Economy and Industry Minister Nikola Stoyanov on Wednesday, Khaled Hanafi, Secretary-General of the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC), said the organization was looking into opportunities for turning Bulgaria into a logistics hub for import from and export to the European Union. Egypt's Ambassador to Bulgaria, Khaled Emara, attended the meeting, the Economy Ministry said.
The delegation from the largest business organization of the Arab League countries visited the port of Burgas and held meetings with business organizations in the region.
The establishment of a Bulgarian-Arab business chamber is underway. To this end, an agreement between the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Union of Arab Chambers is being drawn up. It is also planned to open a representative office of the new organization in Bulgaria to promote business contacts with the Arab League countries. A series of events will promote investment opportunities and joint projects, Khaled Hanafi said. The Union of Arab Chambers can give access to a market of over 1 billion people and the key is for Bulgarian companies to be much more proactive.
Bulgaria is extremely interested in strengthening the potential of economic relations with Egypt and the Arab region, Stoyanov said. He outlined other areas for business partnerships. "The promotion of investment opportunities in industrial zones, contacts between start-up companies and experience exchange programmes will open new horizons to the economic relations between Bulgaria and the League of Arab States," Nikola Stoyanov added.
Bilateral economic relations between Bulgaria and Egypt were also discussed at the meeting. The two countries have traditionally good trade relations. In 2022, two-way trade totalled nearly USD 830 million, up by nearly 40% from 2021.
The participants also commented on the organization of regular business forums and initiatives with state-level participation. This is a tool to motivate large as well as small and medium-sized enterprises to meet and set up contact points for common projects. The Economy Minister pledged that the Trade and Economic Affairs Offices in the region will engage actively in this process.
Bulgarian companies were invited to participate in the International Food Expo in Morocco organized under UAC's auspices this autumn.
The Union of Arab Chambers is the largest independent regional, non-governmental organization, which brings together the chambers of commerce of 22 countries of the League of Arab States, as well as a number of bilateral chambers and business councils between those countries and their external partners. The organization works to strengthen investment, economic cooperation and trade between the countries of the Middle East and North Africa and to expand contacts with other regions.