Italy Outpaced China by Exports to Bulgaria – UniCredit Bulbank COO
Italy's exports to Bulgaria are three times the Chinese exports to the country, according to Andrea Casini, Chief Operating Officer of UniCredit Bulbank.
Speaking Monday at the conference "Bulgaria and Italy: We Build Together" organized by Confindustria Bulgaria, he noted that Italy was Bulgaria's third biggest partner after Germany and Russia.
Exports of Italian companies to Bulgaria in 2013 amounted to EUR 1.9 B, while China's exports to Bulgaria stood at EUR 648 M in 2013, according to reports of UniCredit Bulbank, as cited by dnevnik.bg.
Italian businesses exported to Bulgaria mostly textile and leather goods, a range of machines and equipment, consumer goods, metals and construction materials.
Italy also ranked among the biggest investors in Bulgaria with nearly EUR 2 B in foreign direct investment for 2013.
The banking and insurance sector reported investments of EUR 600 M in 2013, while the energy and the textile sectors registered investments of EUR 300 M each, according to an analysis of Confindustria Bulgaria.
"The sector of infrastructure is crucial for the Bulgarian economy and it is expected to change substantially over the next few years," said Casini, as cited by the press office of the bank.
He also noted that the big niche in the sector was due to the need to improve the transport, communication and energy infrastructure of the country and the opportunity to use EU funding.
Opportunities for energy investments in Bulgaria, including biomass projects, were presented to representatives of Italian business.
The real estate market in Bulgaria was also cited a sphere of interest for Italian companies due to the improvement in investors' attitudes, the stable levels of rents and the lower prices of property and maintenance costs of the buildings.