Bulgaria Woos Chinese Investors in Machine Building, EnergyBusiness | November 19, 2012, Monday // 15:00| views
A memorandum for cooperation in the sphere of encouraging investments was signed in the presence of Bulgaria’s Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev and China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan. Photo by Bulgaria's Ministry of Economy, Energy and
Economy and Energy Minister Delyan Dobrev has outlined machine building and energy as priority spheres for cooperation between Bulgaria and China.
During the meeting with Miao Wei, China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Dobrev highlighted Bulgaria's competitive advantages, including low taxes, financial stability, and the good geographic location, according to a press release of Bulgaria's Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism (MIET).
The two Ministers agreed programs for cooperation between Bulgarian and Chinese companies.
Shan also assured of China's readiness to work with the Bulgarian government to create an industrial zone in Bulgaria.
Dobrev argued that the construction of industrial zones and the development of technological activity in Bulgaria were also good areas for bilateral cooperation with China, citing the industrial zone in Bozhurishte and Sofia Tech Park as examples.
He went on to list electronics, machine building, car building, and outsourcing as promising sectors for attracting Chinese investments in Bulgaria.
Dobrev is on a visit to Shanghai for the opening of the "Invest in Bulgaria" forum, which is part of a series of investment conferences organized by the InvestBulgaria Agency.
The project started at the beginning of 2012, with forums held in London, Munich, Brussels, Paris, Dubai and Moscow.
After China, Bulgaria will advertise investment opportunities in the country in Tokyo and San Francisco.
The InvestBulgaria Agency hopes to find investors in sectors like machine building, electronics, and the chemical industry.
China is Bulgaria's largest trade partner in Asia.
In 2011, Bulgaria imported goods worth USD 943 M from China and exported Bulgarian goods worth USD 402 M to China.
At the same time, Chinese investments in Bulgaria in the period 1996 – 2011 amounted to EUR 55.8 M, according to data of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB).
The investments were mostly concentrated in the sectors of renewable energy sources, telecommunications, car manufacturing, and agriculture.
China's largest investment in Bulgaria, the Litex Motors factory, was inaugurated in end-February 2012.
The car manufacturing plant near the northern city of Lovech produces vehicles of the Chinese Great Wall brand.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarian-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCCI) warned in June that the new rules for buying green energy in Bulgaria could lead to the withdrawal of around 20 Chinese companies from the country.
BCCCI Chair Viktor Azmanov said that the unclear pricing formula for renewable energy could drive out companies operating in a number of spheres.