Spain’s Foreign Minister: Bulgaria Has to Grow, Make Good Use of EU Funds

Politics | May 12, 2015, Tuesday // 12:54|  views

Jos? Manuel Garc?a-Margallo y Marfil (L), Spain’s Foreign Minister, and Bulgaria’s Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski (R) met Tuesday in Sofia.Photo by BGNES

Bilateral relations between Spain and Bulgaria are really modest, according to Jos? Manuel Garc?a-Margallo y Marfil, Spain’s Foreign Minister.

“Bulgaria is 33rd among our clients and 66th among our suppliers. Export, import, and investments are modest,” he said at a forum devoted to bilateral relations held in Sofia.

Marfil, as cited by the BGNES news agency, argued that Spain and Bulgaria could play an important role for gas import platforms for deliveries from the east or from the south.

“These are energy platforms designed to feed supplies to the EU. Bulgaria has always maintained its stability thanks to discipline throughout the years. There comes a time when Bulgaria needs to grow and to take advantage of EU funds. Spain was suffering from the blows of the economic crisis just as the other EU member states,” he declared.

Spain’s Foreign Minister boasted that the number of working Spanish nationals would reach 20 million soon, which he described as a historic figure.

He added that the Spanish economy was the 4th largest in the EU.

Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski referred to Spain as an important traditional economic partner of Bulgaria.
He informed that in 2014 bilateral trade between Spain and Bulgaria had topped EUR 1.7 B.

Lukarski made clear that Spain was 13th among Bulgaria’s EU partners as regards exports and 7th as regards imports.

Bulgaria’s Economy Minister declared that over the past 10 years there had been an increase in trade and the trend had remained in place in January 2015, reaching EUR 161 M.

Despite that, Lukarski noted that there had been a decrease in Bulgaria’s exports to Spain, which had dropped to EUR 24 M.

He said that the apparel industry, the production of car parts, railway transport and infrastructure, telecommunications, waste management, and tourism were excellent spheres for bilateral cooperation.

Lukarski also drew attention to the fact that Spanish investments in Bulgaria in the period 1996-2014 stood at EUR 873 M.

“Despite the financial crisis, unlike other countries in the region, Bulgaria retained macroeconomic and financial stability, as well as political stability. Bulgaria’s economy faces a number of challenges. The main focus in the work of the government is developing a hi-tech, knowledge-based economy and achieving GDP growth,” he stated, adding that the cabinet was also working to boost the country’s competitiveness.

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Tags: bozhidar lukarski, Economy Minister, bilateral relations, bilateral trade


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