Bulgaria Presents Industrial Zones Around Sofia, Plovdiv to Chinese InvestorsBusiness | November 24, 2015, Tuesday // 14:28| views
Bulgarian Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski speaks at the economic and trade forum between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and China. Photo: Council of Ministers
Bulgarian Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski presented the industrial zones around Sofia and Plovdiv to Chinese investors.
Lukarski together with six other ministers is part of the Bulgarian delegation headed by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, which is on a visit to China for participation at the fourth leaders’ meeting of Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries and China, which is taking place in the Chinese city of Suzhou on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Bulgarian cabinet expressed its strong support for the partnership initiative between the countries of CEE and China, the government’s press service informs.
According to Lukarski, the most significant results from such a partnership would be the increase of Chinese investments in Bulgaria and the growth of trade exchange between the two countries.
The economy minister said this during the session of the fifth economic and trade forum between the countries of CEE and China dedicated to the development of industrial parks.
The forum is accompanying the leaders’ meeting, the so-called 16+1 initiative, which is attended by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
Lukarski presented Bulgaria as an excellent place for doing business, which offers considerable economic and logistical advantages to Chinese companies.
In his words, the strategic location and good infrastructure connectivity position Bulgaria as the “Eastern gate of Europe”.
Lukarski identified machine construction, automobile industry, electronics and electronic technology, information and communication technologies (ICT), chemical and pharmaceutical industry, agriculture and food industry as Bulgaria’s priority sectors, which hold potential of attracting Chinese investments.
Another possible field, which has potential to attract Chinese investors, is the joint construction of industrial and technological parks.
On behalf of the Bulgarian government, Lukarski invited Chinese companies to invest in Bulgarian industrial parks as either strategic investors for joint construction or as individual investors in their concrete sectors.
The minister highlighted that Bulgaria offers industrial and high-tech parks and zones, which are supported by the state and which might be of interest to Chinese companies.
In particular, Lukarski presented the Bozhurishte economic zone, which is managed by the state National Company Industrial Zones.
The zone has a strategic location in proximity to the capital of Sofia and spans an area of 2.7 million square metres.
The zone also has well-developed infrastructure and is directed towards production, logistics and services.
Sofia Tech Park was identified as the first science and technology park in Bulgaria, providing excellent opportunity to extend the activities of R&D centres from China and Europe.
The main focus of the state-owned park is on: ICT, natural science – biotechnology; foods and agriculture; green energy and clean technologies.
The Euro-Chinese economic zone Thrace (Trakia) was presented as a public-private initiative, including nine municipalities, six industrial zones and three clusters in the region of Plovdiv in central Bulgaria.
So far, the zone has successfully attracted investments of more than BGN 1 B and more than 110 foreign and local leading companies.
The aim of the zone is to create a bridge between Europe and China and to become a centre of industry, commerce and modern logistics.
It is situated strategically on Trakia motorway, which connects Europe with Turkey and the Middle East.
Lukarski expressed hope that the forthcoming concession of Plovdiv Airport will additionally aid the logistics and development of the business in the region.
The first stage of development of the zone foresees investments of EUR 150 M.
Logistical hub Plovdiv has the aim to combine growing traffic from China to the EU through electronic trade with integrated logistics and an aviation project.
The competitive advantage of the project lies in the integrity of its components – Plovdiv Airport, the economic zones situated in the vicinity, the free trade zone, which would create a one-stop shop for Chinese importer companies in the EU.
According to him, these advantages, coupled with the favourable economic, tax and price conditions, make Bulgaria competitive to other entry points to the EU market.