Ambassador Dimosthenis Stoidis: Cooperation on Energy Projects Is Essential for Bulgaria, Greece
Novinite.com is interviewing ambassadors of Bulgaria's main trading partners as well as neighboring countries. Here is an interview with the Ambassador of Greece to Bulgaria Dimosthenis Stoidis.
What major bilateral projects are currently in the making?
Our bilateral relations, which are of strategic importance, continue to develop in a consistent and constructive manner. Border cooperation through Interreg and other initiatives for the development of specific regions for the period 2014-2020, in both neighboring countries is considered a high priority.
In this respect, major infrastructure projects constitute a field of mutual interest, benefiting trade, tourism, communication, between the peoples of our countries.
Energy is admittedly another sector of vital significance for Greece and Bulgaria, bearing in mind the imperative necessity to explore all possibilities for securing energy supplies at all times for our considerable national needs. In this context, regional and international cooperation is a prime obligation so that current projects related to the Southern Gas Corridor, like TAP and IGB, manifest concrete progress, in addition to the existing infrastructure.
What are, in your opinion, the biggest challenges in bilateral relations?
As I pointed out already, the development of our bilateral relations has witnessed substantial growth in the wake of Bulgaria’s accession to NATO and the EU. We are partners and allies which means that we share common values, principles, as well as a culture of working methods and a partnership mentality.
Our neighborhood additionally seems to need a confirmation of the principle of the good neighborly relations and constructive regional cooperation.
I would like here to mention another important challenge that requires our close bilateral cooperation, which is the addressing of the issue of immigrant flows.
The challenge that we have ahead of us is to preserve what has been accomplished and to work with consistency, with patience, with courage, with boldness, with sincerity and trust towards a fruitful and visionary relationship to the benefit of our peoples and in particular the new generation.
Where do you see the greatest potential for cooperation and untapped opportunities?
I already mentioned the potential in the energy sector. I can also detect very good prospects in cooperating in the field of water management as well in the real estate business. In fact the entrepreneurs of either country may deem profitable to explore participation in large privatization projects and other investment opportunities. Indeed the tourist sector presents permanent possibilities for further development and growth. In particular, religious and cultural tourism are important aspects that may improve considerably mutual cooperation.
Finally, the enhancement of the existing investments and bilateral trade.
Greece remains the 3d biggest investor in Bulgaria with invested capital of approximately 2,8 billion euro and 50.000 direct jobs, while the bulk of trade transactions between Greece and Bulgaria further increased in 2013, amounting at approximately 2,8 billion euro.
How are Bulgaria and Bulgarians perceived by your compatriots?
Bulgaria is a neighbor with whom present and future cooperation will strengthen the sentiments of enriched communication conducive to enhanced understanding of respective priorities. Business relations, tourism, commerce, economic immigration, scholarships, do pay their share in the conviction that our neighborliness is bound to provide us with auspicious prospects for a brighter future.
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