Bulgaria-China Business Forum

site.btaChinese Investments in Bulgaria at EUR 150 Mln as of End-2023 - Deputy Economy Minister

Chinese Investments in Bulgaria at EUR 150 Mln as of End-2023 - Deputy Economy Minister
Chinese Investments in Bulgaria at EUR 150 Mln as of End-2023 - Deputy Economy Minister
Deputy Economy and Industry Minister Nikolai Pavlov (Photo: BTA/Ivona Velichkova)

Deputy Economy and Industry Minister Nikolai Pavlov on Monday welcomed the interest of Chinese companies in expanding into the EU market and setting up manufacturing bases in Bulgaria. Pavlov said Chinese investments in the Bulgarian economy amount to EUR 150 million as of the end of 2023. He was speaking at a Bulgaria-China Business Forum in Sofia.

Pavlov said he is convinced that the forum will yield positive results for both sides, given the long history of bilateral relations and the existence of many trade and investment opportunities. "We have held a series of events in both countries over the last year, involving Bulgarian official and business delegations," he recalled.

About a hundred Bulgarian companies are taking part in the business forum, which is a testimony to the great interest in establishing relations and developing contacts with the Far Eastern country, Pavlov said. The Bulgarian companies are from the sectors of high technology, auto making, foods, pharmaceuticals, transport, education, finance and energy, among other fields.

The Economy and Industry Ministry views the development of bilateral trade and economic relations in the context of Bulgaria's EU membership and China's status as an important partner to the EU and Bulgaria, he said.

Pavlov described the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation in recent years as sustainable. According to him, Bulgaria's trade with China stood at USD 4 billion in 2023, with Bulgarian exports to China exceeding USD 1 billion, up by more than 30% year on year. Pavlov sees untapped opportunities to expand Bulgarian exports to the huge Chinese market, mainly the supply of products for which Bulgaria is known across Asia, including agricultural produce, foods, essential oils, cosmetics and wine.

Bulgaria is trying to attract Chinese investors in sectors in which it has traditional advantages, but also industries of high value added which make use of innovation and can ensure high competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy.

Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Tsvetan Simeonov noted that the sectors represented at the business forum are particularly important to Bulgaria. One of them is online trade. Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular among the Bulgarian public, but local companies are below the level required to maintain a balance in trade with China, Simeonov said.

According to him, the Bulgarian automotive industry has grown considerably in recent years. The country has almost 500 companies making car parts. Exporting car parts to China would be a major leap, Simeonov said.

Observing that the goods which Bulgaria exports to China have relatively low value added, Simeonov called for efforts to reverse the situation.

Discussing Chinese investment in Bulgaria, he noted that the value added of a product manufactured in Bulgaria should be at least 40% and the customs position should be adjusted in order for the product to be declared as "made in the EU" and move freely around the EU economic space.

/MY/

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By 04:05 on 18.07.2024 Today`s news

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