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site.btaBulgarian-Ukrainian Industrial Chamber Chairperson: Bulgarian Companies Have Already Shown Interest in Participating in Ukraine's Recovery

Bulgarian-Ukrainian Industrial Chamber Chairperson: Bulgarian Companies Have Already Shown Interest in Participating in Ukraine's Recovery
Bulgarian-Ukrainian Industrial Chamber Chairperson: Bulgarian Companies Have Already Shown Interest in Participating in Ukraine's Recovery
Bulgarian-Ukrainian Industrial Chamber Chair Liliya Ivanova (Personal Archive Photo)

The members of the Bulgarian-Ukrainian Industrial Chamber (BUIC) are ready to take part in Ukraine's post-war recovery, BUIC Chair Liliya Ivanova said in an interview for BTA. The BUIC, along with other branch organizations, has already presented to the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy data about companies that have declared interest in participating in future tenders, she added. She also said that the BUIC will present information about future public procurement procedures in Ukraine not only to its members but also to representatives of all companies in Bulgaria interested in participating in the support for post-war Ukraine. 

Ivanova was approached by BTA in relation to the Bulgarian-Ukrainian business forum with bilateral meetings scheduled for April 25. Among the topics to be discussed there is Ukraine's recovery and the opportunities the country will be provided with by the EU funds for reconstruction of its economy and infrastructure. The forum will be held both in person in Sofia and online. 

Ivanova said that some 25 companies from Ukraine and around 30 companies from Bulgaria have expressed their wish to participate in the forum thus far. Representatives of Ukraine will explain the opportunities for investment in the country, and Bulgarian institutions will present Bulgaria. Caretaker Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev has been invited to participate, as well as representatives of the ministries of Economy and Industry, of Innovation and Growth, and of Energy. Also to take part in the forum are representatives of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the BUIC, Ivanova said.

The BUIC members already number over 30. These are mainly companies and organizations working in the fields of pharmaceutics, trade, cosmetics, metalworking, legal and consulting services, and production of industrial oils, said the BUIC Chairperson. 

Bilateral economic relations between Bulgaria and Ukraine are at a satisfactory level, Ivanova told BTA. She said that in 2023, two-way trade with Ukraine amounted to over USD 1.9 billion, which is 1.9% of Bulgaria's total trade. Ivanova specified that this trade statistics covers only traditional goods and services. There are separate statistics for arms trade, which the BUIC does not have. According to Ivanova, there is a slight decline in bilateral trade compared to 2022. "However, it was at a record high in the last 10 years in terms of trade in goods. This was a result of both increased export and import volumes in some commodities and because of the increase in prices of some of the leading commodities, such as petroleum oils, nitrogen fertilizers, ammonia. The commodity trade structure has not changed significantly, just the top three commodity groups have swapped positions," the BUIC Chair said. The main leading commodities in exports from Bulgaria are again petroleum oils and bitumen oils, mineral and chemical fertilizers, medicine. The imports from Ukraine include mainly semi-finished products of iron and non-alloy steels, sunflower, safflower and cottonseed oils. These are the traditional products which, according to her, have not changed in terms of structure but rather in volume.

According to National Statistical Institute data for the first half of 2023, cited by the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the bilateral trade between Bulgaria and Ukraine is down by 14.3% compared to the same period of the previous year. Bulgarian exports to Ukraine increased by 50.6% to reach USD 537.5 million, while imports from Ukraine amounted to USD 483.5 million, registering a 42% decline compared to the first half of 2022.

One of the main problems facing businesses from both countries is the difficulty of passing goods through the Ruse border control checkpoint. "Because of the war, the exchange of goods at this border crossing has increased perhaps four-fold, and for this reason we have insisted that measures be taken by the authorities in Bulgaria and Romania, respectively, to ease the traffic, as according to carriers, trucks and trucks wait between three and 5 five days," Ivanova said. She noted that written inquiries on the issue have been addressed to the ministers of Economy and Industry, of Transport, of the Interior, and of finance, but so far there has been no response.

/DS/

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By 10:58 on 18.05.2024 Today`s news

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