Bulgaria’s Deputy PM Mariana Nikolova Takes Part in Online Summit of 17+1 Initiative

Bulgaria in EU | February 9, 2021, Tuesday // 14:56|  views

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Mariana Nikolova took part in the video conference meeting of the "17+1" summit meeting, the government press office reported.

"It’s a privilege to me to be here today and take part in the Summit of the 17+1 Initiative, at which I hope we will outline concrete initiatives and future guidelines for cooperation", Deputy Prime Minister Nikolova said at the beginning of her statement.

"I greatly appreciate the personal commitment to the 17+1 Initiative of our host - President Xi Jinping. His leadership is especially important at a time when we all face serious challenges," Nikolova said. She added that for Bulgaria China has always been an extremely important partner both bilaterally and within the framework of the EU-China Strategic Partnership and the 17+1 Initiative.

The Deputy Prime Minister commented that Bulgaria attaches particular importance to the deepening of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the EU and China as a factor of peace, prosperity and sustainable development, of multi-lateralism and of the international order based on the rule of law.

In her words, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned upside down our way of life and work and faced us with serious challenges. Deputy Prime Minister Nikolova has expressed her sincere gratitude for the outstretched hand of the Chinese state leadership and for the assistance provided in the fight against COVID-19 in the most difficult period for Bulgaria in the past year.

The Deputy Prime Minister has expressed confidence that, on the basis of solidarity, understanding and the united efforts, we could overcome the current situation sooner and return to the normal way of life.

She has called on all participants in the 17+1 Initiative to take further advantage of the demo zones launched in China for the promotion ofcooperation in agriculture, logistics hubs and e-commerce kiosks for agricultural and other products. "I appeal to the Chinese side to help expand these platforms," Minister Nikolova said.

Deputy Prime Minister Mariana Nikolova has proposed to continue the active and task-oriented efforts of both sides to overcome the long-standing negative trade balance, which for the Bulgarian side is a real problem. We rely on the support of the Chinese government and the leadership of President Xi Jinping to identify and implement further concrete measures to expand and facilitate access to the Chinese market, she said.

The second proposal was for the Chinese side to help extend the range of the exported goods by simplifying and speeding up import procedures in China, in particular food and agricultural goods. A framework of coordination between competent departments would be of great importance and in line with the anti-epidemic measures, the minister said.

Deputy Prime Minister Mariana Nikolova also stressed that further efforts are needed to promote contacts and direct exchanges between businesses, including between small and medium-sized enterprises. She has clarified that the Bulgarian government and business would welcome any serious intention on the part of a Chinese company to invest in bulgaria under EU rules with the application of various forms of cooperation.

The Deputy Prime Minister has said that after lifting the current restrictions, concrete steps will be needed to boost tourist flow from China, including options for establishing direct air communication. Traditionally important to us remain the spheres of culture, education, science, in which we rely on the support of the Chinese government, the Bulgarian minister said.



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Tags: Bulgaria, summit, 17+1 initiative, Mariana Nikolova


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