Bulgaria Moves to Draft National Export StrategyBusiness | March 22, 2012, Thursday // 17:03| views
Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov (right) and CEIBG Chair Ognyan Donev (left) discussed Thursday the creation of a national export strategy. Photo by BGNES
Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov and representatives of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG) discussed Thursday the creation of a national export strategy.
Naydenov drew attention that Bulgaria's current exports consisted mostly of raw materials like grain and timber and not processed products.
He emphasized that the situation had to change and Bulgaria had to start exporting ready products.
"We have high quality Bulgarian products we can be proud of. This is how added value stays in the country," the Agriculture Minister stated.
He reminded that Bulgaria's foreign trade balance in the sphere of agriculture had exceeded BGN 1.2 B in 2011, compared to BGN 390 M in 2009, and that export had been on the rise.
Naydenov argued that support provided under the first pillar of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, direct payments to farmers, was substantial in Bulgaria, which resulted in strong incentives for grain producers.
He said that the imbalance imbalance favoring grain production over the other sectors had to be remedied, with extra attention going to vegetable growing, cattle breeding, etc.
CEIBG Chair Ognyan Donev explained that a Bulgarian Export Association had already been established at the CEIBG.
He said that the new entity included companies interested in exporting Bulgarian products on foreign markets and was open for new members.
Donev also spoke about using major retail chains as a stepping stone into foreign markets.
The CEIBG Chair cited Metro as an example, adding that it was the third biggest retail chain in the world after Walmart and Carrefour.
Donev went on to say that a special agricultural committee had been set up at the CEIBG to support the development of the sector in Bulgaria with Plamen Mollov as Chair.
Thursday's meeting also featured a discussion on a package of measures for encouraging conscientious employers in the sphere of agriculture.
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