Qatari Investors Snub Bulgarian Business Forum in DohaBusiness | March 14, 2012, Wednesday // 12:34| views
From left to right, Bulgaria’s Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, during the meeting in Doha with the ruling Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Photo by EPA/ BGNES
Businessmen from Qatar failed to show up Wednesday at the much publicized in Bulgaria Bulgarian-Qatari business forum in the capital Doha.
The news was reported from Qatar by the special correspondent of Darik radio.
Bulgaria is represented at the forum by 103 companies from sectors such as food manufacturing, tourism, construction, real estate, and pharmacy. Their representatives arrived on a charter flight to present products and services with the hope of attracting Qatari investors.
However, only Bulgarians could be seen in the showroom Wednesday. Bulgarian Economy and Energy Minister, Traicho Traikov, who is part of the official delegation, led by Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, opened the forum in English, addressing an all-Bulgarian gathering. He explained that Bulgaria's Foreign Affairs Ministry had invited a large number of Qatari businesses (about 500, according to preliminary reports) thus the official language was scheduled to be English.
Traikov assuaged Bulgarian businessmen that their presence would not be a waste of time, and explained that despite the missing Qatari counterparts, the partnership between the two countries will happen this time within the frame of concrete parameters. He did note, however, "some conditions for doing business with Qatar" such as a handful of wealthy people making the decisions on large-scale projects.
The Minister admitted that in the last two years, Bulgaria had proposed a number of projects without result, pointing out as reason their small scale and insufficient profitability in the eyes of local businessmen.
"The forum is still something marvelous for us and the real agreements on projects will happen during face-to-face meeting with investors," Traikov concluded.
Bulgarian PM Borisov is on an official three-day visit to Qatar. In adittion to the businessmen and Traikov, the delegation includes 6 other ministers from the cabinet – of Interior, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, of Foreign Affairs, Nikolay Mladenov, of Regional Development, Lilyana Pavlova, of Defense, Anyu Angelov, of Agriculture, Miroslav Naydenov, of Transport, Ivaylo Moskovski, and the Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova.
This is Borisov's second visit to Qatar, the country with the largest Gross Domestic Product, GDP, in the world, in the last two years.
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